Segments in this Video

Moyers Introduces Susan Crawford (02:24)


Susan Crawford's book, "Captive Audience," reveals how the U.S. Government allows media monopolies to stifle high-speed internet access. A grassroots petition calls for her appointment as next FCC chairman.

Comparison with FDR's Electrification Fight (01:14)

Crawford compares the power of the telecommunication companies with FDR's fight for the electrification of America. Web-access is vital to the education of our youth and the promotion of new business.

The Digital Divide (02:11)

Inventor of the internet, the U.S. is behind the rest of the world as one third of Americans lack high speed internet. Rural areas are not connected while others cannot afford to subscribe. This deepens our economic inequality.

Profit Above Public Interest (02:31)

Crawford claims that high-speed internet access should be treated as a utility. The expense and lack of fiber optic and wireless connections in the U.S. creates a digital divide with the world. We need competition and regulation.

How Did This Happen? (02:00)

The assumption that market forces would provide universal access proved untrue. Copper cable is the only choice offered for 80% of Americans. The market divided into big cable companies and wireless providers.

The Fiber Optic Option (01:35)

The 1996 Telecommunications Act Cable failed to encourage competition as companies had already divided the market. Crawford says that fiber optic could replace cable and wireless, granting cheap, available high-speed internet.

Limitations On Municipalities (01:49)

North Carolina law prohibits municipalities from forming internet utilities, limiting students and business formation, ultimately damaging our democracy by the lack of communication and increase of inequality.

Merger of Comcast and NBC Universal (02:30)

Moyers and Crawford discuss the merger. As both distributor and content provider, the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal chokes competition and allows the control of information.

Separation of Content and Conduit (01:52)

Moyers asks about the importance of economy of scale to these industries. Crawford replies that FCC regulation is vital to make this work for all Americans. Moyers reads a quote from "Captive Audience."

Create Pressure for Industry Regulation (00:48)

Crawford states that politicians often favor a market-driven economy. The public must pressure their politicians to resist the influence of campaign contributions.

Lafayette LA Builds a Fiber Optic Community (02:16)

Moyers discusses the 2006 documentary, "The Net@Risk" filmed in Lafayette, LA. Crawford points out that cities can use their "rights of way" and low rate financing to build a fiber optic network.

The Cozy Relationship of Regulators and Industry (02:26)

Moyers asserts that the FCC is supposed to regulate the telecommunication industries. Various former regulators become lobbyists or work in the industries they were meant to regulate.

The FCC Must Act (00:60)

Moyers presents a speech by present chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, warning that the U.S. is in a global bandwidth race. As FCC chairman, Crawford would work to break the hold of big companies on internet access.

Citizens Should Pressure Their Politicians (00:46)

In summary, Crawford says Americans need fast, cheap access to the internet and a few monopolies are standing in the way. Citizens must pressure their local and national governments.

Credits: Moyers & Company: Who’s Widening America’s Digital Divide? (01:54)

Credits: Moyers & Company: Who’s Widening America’s Digital Divide?

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Moyers & Company: Who's Widening America's Digital Divide?

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



America has a wide digital divide: high-speed Internet access is available only to those who can afford it, at prices much higher and speeds much slower in the U.S. than they are around the world. But that doesn’t have to be the case, says Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology, and innovation and author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age. In this edition of Moyers & Company, Crawford joins Bill to discuss how our government has allowed a few powerful media conglomerates to put profit ahead of the public interest. As a result, says Crawford, all of us are at the mercy of the biggest business monopoly since Standard Oil in the first Gilded Age a hundred years ago. Broadcast date: February 8, 2013. (29 minutes)

Length: 30 minutes

Item#: BVL53088

ISBN: 978-1-61753-568-0

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.