11 Comments

Summary:

Freedom 2 Connect conference organized by David Isenberg is proving to be a network neutrality lovefest. I was scheduled to attend, but work commitments prevented me from going. Filling in admirably is my colleague Erick Schonfeld who is blogging up a storm on Business2blog. He writes […]

Freedom 2 Connect conference organized by David Isenberg is proving to be a network neutrality lovefest. I was scheduled to attend, but work commitments prevented me from going. Filling in admirably is my colleague Erick Schonfeld who is blogging up a storm on Business2blog. He writes about Michael Powell’s speech. Former FCC commish was pretty blunt in saying that legislating network neutrality is not going to happen, and it is a bad idea anyway.

“It is too facile to say the Internet belongs to the public. People are married to the metaphor of the public space, but they run into trouble when it comes to who should pay for this stuff. They think it should be the government. That’s not going to happen. The government is broke, It’s going to stay broke.”

Powell’s thoughts were matched by Martin Geddes, one of my favorite broadband pundits. “Network neutrality can’t be made to stick. Telcos will evade whatever definition you put up; it’s easier than fighting UNE-P unbundling rules. It’s easy to create atilted playing field,” he said in his speech today. Martin, makes a lot of sense, and offers a very coherent reasons why getting politics involved in NN is going to create one messy situation.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. It looks obvious Tuesday, April 4, 2006

    The Net Neutrality Mistake

      Om Malik links to two speeches opposing legislation Net Neutrality. The first speech by former FCC Chairman Powell which worn the net neutrality advocates that: You live by the sword, you die by the sword.  It is much harder get a …

  2. Jesse Kopelman Tuesday, April 4, 2006

    I see, the government is broke when it comes to building infrastructure here, but not when it comes to destroying it overseas. If Mike’s dad was listening, I’m sure he smiled.

  3. jesse,

    that is the best line ever… i mean ever

  4. Well, regardless of your opinion on our efforts abroad, I don’t think anyone would really want a government owned Internet. For that reason, I think we ought to be very careful about allowing governmental regulators to control the flow of Internet traffic. The free market has been very successful to date in meeting consumer demands, and it certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt.

  5. I’m with Powell and Geddes. It’s easy to ask Congress to regulate. The problem comes when you ask them to STOP regulating…

  6. The government is clearly not all bad, but when it comes to discharging regulatory powers they have a tendency to be very vague and to grant much power which in turn hurts both businesses and consumers. It’s for these reasons that I just cannot support net neutrality legislation and the regulation baggage that is necessarily connected with it.

  7. Jesse Kopelman Monday, April 10, 2006

    Well, you either have a government or you don’t. Unless you are advocating anarchy, there are certain things that a government should provide to its constituents. I think Internet access is one of those things. Privatize the highway system first and if that works out we can talk about the Internet.

  8. You can’t deny though that it’s been the absence of government regulation that has allowed the Internet to take off – far from anarchy, it’s been a model for innovation and progress. Regulation, on the other hand, would stifle innovation and ruin a perfectly good system. Flexibility will be the key to this country’s success in the broadband game. We have it now – let’s keep it.

  9. I don’t think that a “less is more” attitude toward legislation aimed at the internet is equivalent to advocating anarchy…I do think that there is a real possibility that once Congress starts meddling, they won’t stop.

  10. Jesse Kopelman Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Well, if you feel that way, let’s get rid of the regulation that helps big business. Let’s get rid of spectrum licensing. Let’s get rid of anti-municipal broadband legislation. Let’s get rid of franchising laws. The truth is that no serious player is advocating no regulation — everyone just wants only the regulation that is most favorable to them.

Comments have been disabled for this post