Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Steven Masur
Lawyer for start-up businesses in New York City

Testimony of Steven Masur
New York City
Broadband Advisory Committee
Jointly with the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President\

May 22, 2007

Masurlaw is a law firm that helps new businesses and business divisions start, grow, chart their future path and execute on it. Over the last 14 years, we have worked with hundreds of early stage businesses and new divisions of larger corporations to help them strategize, do deals, create and protect their intellectual property.

We represent the community of starting businesses in New York.

If we in New York want to be competitive with places like Silicon Valley, Mumbai, or Shanghai, we need cheap widespread broadband access in New York. New York has great colleges and universities. New York has smart people. New York has capital. New York is known worldwide as a desirable place to live. Why don't we have a more vibrant start-up community?

If we care about the future of New York, we need to focus on our pipeline of new businesses. We need to whip up all the good ingredients we have into a froth of new business innovation.

Let's make it EASY for people. Widespread cheap broadband access can help the process.

If people could connect to the internet anywhere in New York City, people could more easily share ideas, work on projects, and research topics of all kinds. A primordial soup of new ideas and interaction would result and would grow exponentially. This is the well from which the ideas that change the world spring.

Interaction and sharing information is what makes New York hum. It's why we are all here. It's the basis of all of our historical success.

Should access to the internet be limited to rich people? Is it only rich people who have good ideas? Why would we want to perpetuate a situation in which only rich people have access to a universal library of information on any topic and the ability to communicate instantaneously?

In an earlier age of our country, J.P. Morgan understood the importance of free access to information. He cared so much about it that he financed the establishment of a network of libraries nationwide. J.P. Morgan was not perfect by any means, but he knew that this was the key to creating a bright future for our country and could prevent it from sliding into a dark age of violence, disease, chaos and mayhem. If you consider the wild west at that time and relate it to the dark ages in Europe and the developing nations of today, you can easily see that our country could have gone in a completely different direction. The loss of the library at Alexandria set not only one group of people, but all of humanity back an incalculable number of years.

Now we have technology that can make knowledge on any topic and communication with anyone on earth instantaneous. Open it up. Grant cheap access. We have free water, let's have free information. Information is our future.

It's a lot cheaper to do this than to create a national network of libraries. Let's do better than JP Morgan.


Steven Masur