Oh man. I finally figured out how to a) save the Post Office, b) stimulate the economy, and c) bring wireless broadband to every American in the lower 48. But I’m not telling unless you give me a kiss. There, that’s it – lean in to the screen, press your lips firmly against the … blech! I was kidding!… perv. Okay so check it out:
The US Postal Service should build out a national wireless broadband data network.
Let that one simmer for a bit.
For over 200 years the USPS has been delivering mail. Why not email? How freakin rad would it be if your email address was firstname.lastname@example.org? (That one will go fast, so you might have to settle for something like email@example.com. But still.)
Think about it: only the USPS has the national footprint to pull this off. They have real estate in every town in the country. That’s a lot of rooftops on which to place antennas. Can you imagine no more dead spots? I’ll bet John Lennon can. And no more price gouging from telcos and cable companies! Suck it, Comcast.
This all may seem entirely unrelated to a fatherhood blog. But I take it personally that South Korean babies are growing up with way faster wireless data than my son. I want the upcoming generation to have something blazing fast that will deliver internet, phone, TV, plus shit we haven’t even thought of.
“But,” you may be wondering, “who will pay for this?” Well, let’s see… the USPS is a federal agency, so the government should do this as a stimulus package. Tons of technology + lots of labor = a jillion jobs. If Obama were to adopt this for his re-election platform he’d win in a landslide. Oh, you’re welcome.
Once it’s complete we can offer everyone $20/month unlimited wireless broadband, with a hefty surcharge for the top 1% data hogs. Sell daily and weekly passes for tourists. Telcos and cable companies can lease bandwidth to carry their data. Doesn’t the government realize you can make way more money leasing out the spectrum than from auctioning it off?
Within a few years the USPS would become a hot tech company. Never again would they need to raise the price of a stamp! They could probably deliver snail mail for free – just for old times’ sake.
Fiscal spoilsports will say we don’t have the money for this. But that’s because they haven’t heard of my other genius idea to produce massive short-term revenue:
Meryl Streep stamps.
Meryl is a national treasure. Can we for once do the right thing and not wait for someone to die before immortalizing them on our postage? These stamps would be affixed to every piece of mail for years. The Post Office could even mess with everyone by charging more for old-school stamps that you lick. Because who doesn’t want to lick Meryl Streep?
The Post Office will have to be strategic about issuing the Meryl series. I’m thinking the first run is The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs. Kramer, Manhattan and (wild card!) Death Becomes Her. Three months later you issue Sophie’s Choice, Silkwood, Out of Africa, and The River Wild. According to my back-of-the-envelope calculations, the Post Office could return to profitability shortly after issuing the commemorative Bridges of Madison County stamp. By the time they do Mama Mia, they’ll have higher revenue than Google. Again, you’re welcome.
All that’s really left is to come up with a name for our national wireless grid. (For practical reasons, they’ll want to build out two networks: the main grid for civilian and corporate use, with a second frequency reserved for military, law enforcement, and first responders.)
I’m thinking the first one should be called something memorable and straightforward like the Primary Electronic Nationwide Internet System. The other one could maybe be the Auxiliary Network of the United States. But we may need to brainstorm on better acronyms.
Once this is deployed, our country can reclaim it’s competitive edge among nations. Demand action from your congressman and the Postmaster General. Spread the word with the same urgency that halted SOPA and reversed Komen. And maybe help come up with a better name. (You can suggest acronyms below.) Here’s one more to consider – Wireless American National Grid.