As We Rebuild, Let’s Take Digital Infrastructure out of Corporate Hands and Put It Under Democratic Control
In a brutal and devastating way, the Covid-19 pandemic is revealing the many stark and deep inequalities at the heart of our corporate capitalist political economic system. In the United States, for instance, every passing day brings new evidence of how structural and institutional racism has left people of color disproportionately vulnerable both to the disease itself and the economic effects of the efforts to contain it.
In a new report released by The Democracy Collaborative (US) and Common Wealth (UK), we contend that now is the time to start thinking about and treating digital infrastructure — including the wireless spectrum, cloud infrastructure, and fiber-based broadband internet networks — as essential public infrastructure. And as with other critical public infrastructure, like roads, water systems, railroads, and electricity networks, this means taking it out of the hands of extractive, for-profit corporations and putting it under democratic and public control.