I just watched the most fascinating interview with Michael Powell, the FCC chair who is stepping down after 8 years, on PBS' Charlie Rose show. Read PC World article >>
Powell said (I paraphrase): Over 17% of the nations' GDP is in telecom or computing technologies. Policymakers are dangerously slow to recognize the power of intercommunications technology, they still think of it all as 'gadgets' and not as essential tools for society. Wireless will be the glue that hangs all these new technologies together, and the internet will strongly continue to be the backbone of widespread economic change in all sectors. The disadvantaged and low income populations will begin to benefit from mainstreaming of technology and lower entrance costs. We will have troubles skipping the "untangling" of legacy telephone and cable systems, but our thirst for new ways of human communication will overcome these problems.
Etc...this interview was right up our alley, and worth finding a transcript. Powell really gave you a hopeful sense that digital technologies are for the common good, and we must work to both regulate and promote innovations.