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The Internet

Lessig On Net Neutrality 101

nanojath writes "Lessig delivers the final word on net neutrality. Read it 5 times to absorb the densest, most content-rich pronouncement that Wired will deliver in 2007." From the article: "Those who oppose network-neutrality regulation should also oppose... regulation of [municipal broadband,] last-mile broadband's most important competitor. Municipal competition won't kill commercial broadband any more than Linux has killed Windows. Yet it could change the business model of last-mile broadband, just as Linux has changed the business model of Microsoft. If there's going to be a Linux-like miracle to counteract innovation-threatening broadband business models, then, at a minimum, miracles must not be a crime."
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Lessig On Net Neutrality

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  • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:21PM (#17620910) Journal
    I'll give up on regulation banning network neutrality when the telcos and cablecos would give up on their regulations and contracts that ban other people from competing against their monopoly.
    • I'd support regulation when two wrongs make a right.
  • i'm worried (Score:5, Funny)

    by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:22PM (#17620950) Homepage
    Read it 5 times to absorb the densest, most content-rich pronouncement that Wired will deliver

    I'm pretty sure that if it's as dense as you say it is, it's going to clog the tubes on the way over here. Kind of like when I eat too much fiber, if you know what I mean.
  • by NaCh0 ( 6124 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:24PM (#17620990)
    You must be new to slashdot.

    Even dupes of dead horses are beaten around here.

  • Municipal and government networks do not have the advantage of competition, and therefore disparage innovation, not vice versa. Businesses compete and in order to gain an advantage, one business must innovate. I don't know why this article is claiming the opposite. Yes, I see the advantage of having standards, disparaging monopoly, and the like, but net-neutrality will only lead to a network that never gets better (think power lines). Yes, it is difficult for a business to get enough clout to own a netw
    • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:35PM (#17621166) Homepage
      Municipal networks are free from competition only if they are the only game in town, which virtually no one is proposing. Municipal networks will have to compete with telcos and cable companies.

      Also, there are a lot of places where there is an effective broadband monopoly already; in those cases would you prefer a for-profit monopoly or a non-profit one?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Shihar ( 153932 )
        The problem with any sort of state run industry is that it tends to murder off private competition. State run monopolies always have two advantages over any private corporation. State run monopolies can easier push through legislation to make it harder to compete with them, and state run monopolies can always make up for inefficiency, poor planning, and higher operational costs with tax money.

        Some times we accept this sort of inefficiency that state run industries bring for higher values. The cutting edg
        • by norton_I ( 64015 )
          Yet if I murder the phone company for just increasing the price of my DSL when my contract ran out by a more than a factor of two above the current rate, I will get thrown in jail. I already switched to DSL because the cable company had such abysmal service. The market has failed, as far as I am concerned.

          I will take the govt. over the phone (or cable) company any day. Show me a viable alternative, or resume forcing telecos to allow competative DSL at reasonable prices, and I might change my mind.

          Also, p
          • by cibyr ( 898667 )
            State-run telcos are not the answer. Private telcos are not the answer. See Australia, we've tried both, and we're still screwed. Also definitely don't sell off your state-owned monopoly. Competition is the only thing that works, and sometimes that need government intervention to give it a kick in the pants.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dpilot ( 134227 )
          Your argument might be true, except for one problem. At the moment, there isn't private competition.

          As far as I can see, last-mile information providers want it both ways. They want the subsidies and safety of a power company, and they want the profits of a hi-tech. So far, they're getting it, too.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by weston ( 16146 )
          State run monopolies always have two advantages over any private corporation. State run monopolies can easier push through legislation to make it harder to compete with them, and state run monopolies can always make up for inefficiency, poor planning, and higher operational costs with tax money.

          And yet, there are in fact government or civic programs that die, or never grow large enough to persist. Markets have their mechanisms for obsolescence, but they're not the only mechanisms.

          I am not against rules to h
        • by JesseMcDonald ( 536341 ) * on Monday January 15, 2007 @07:59PM (#17622184) Homepage

          The problem with any sort of state run industry is that it tends to murder off private competition. State run monopolies always have two advantages over any private corporation. State run monopolies can easier push through legislation to make it harder to compete with them, and state run monopolies can always make up for inefficiency, poor planning, and higher operational costs with tax money.

          I agree, and I wouldn't want a municipal government acting as an ISP. On the other hand, in my opinion the best source for the "last-mile" communications infrastructure is the same entity responsible for providing the roads and other fixed infrastructure; in most cases that is the city government, although it could just as easily be a private organization. (In many regards city governments, unlike state and federal governments, tend to resembly co-ops or private companies with the citizens as shareholders. The major differences relate to the form of income (taxes instead of rents) and eminent domain.)

          Ideally I would like to see something like the UTOPIA [utopianet.org] project in Utah, where the cities provide (and own) a fast fiber-based communications infrastructure and lease it out to individuals and companies on a non-discriminatory basis. (Important: this must be funded locally, preferably through the lease fees, and especially not with state or federal taxes.) The city itself does not provide Internet access; instead, individuals can subscribe to any ISP connected to the municipal network and access the Internet using that ISP as a gateway. The system eliminates the ISP's natural monopoly by separating the infrastructure from actual Internet connectivity, something that (IMHO) should have been done from the beginning. Besides reinstating competition among ISPs it also allows "non-Internet" data services, such as VoIP and IPTV, to be offered simultaneously over the same network; these can be offered over the Internet itself, of course, but are generally more efficient when routed over the faster municipal network. People can even offer their own services--community web sites, game servers, IPTV stations, etc.--over the local network at far better speeds than they would get through any ISP.

      • Also, there are a lot of places where there is an effective broadband monopoly already; in those cases would you prefer a for-profit monopoly or a non-profit one?

        Broadband internet is relatively new. The monopoly exists for potentially two reasons: integration and elimination of competitors OR the broadband company was the first to test the market in the area. The post office is a great example of a poorly run municipal system. They do not make enough money in stamps to cover all their costs. Are stamps the only way the post office is funded, or do consumers pay on both ends? I would rather pay on the more efficient end. Also, where competition does not exist

        • by sporkme ( 983186 ) *
          OT: The USPS is the only government mandated agency that is self-sustaining [usps.com]

          Special budget appropriations are made to cover the cost mail for certain groups. The first Bush administration and Congress eliminated over 90% of these appropriations in the early 90's and individual rates were increased to compensate.

          NASA would have been a better example. Burt Rutan could say a thing or two about competition with a government.
        • I feel like a broken record. But...

          Broadband may be new; indeed that isn't even relevant. The only effective means of getting "broadband" to my hourse, or neighbourhood is via buried cables (copper, or fiber -- pick one). Right now, "wireless" isn't a choice. (Although it could be, and we will revisit that point).

          To provide a reliable service, easements are needed. Neither the phone company OR the cable company came to me to negotiate a right of way, or usage on my land. Instead, they went to the local gove
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      net-neutrality will only lead to a network that never gets better

      And a non-neutral network will? How exactly will (indirectly) forcing me to pay more for Vonage or Skype over the cable/telephone company's VoIP get these networks upgraded?

      However if true innovation is encouraged, we will see a system that uses very few wires and increasingly uses wireless broadband.

      And maybe someday, someone will innovate low-latency wireless. Until then, it's not a replacement for wired connections.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        it's also not a replacement for capacity. Seems to me that over the new several years the core will move more into fiber and the edges will move to wireless...
    • by LukeCage ( 1007133 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:55PM (#17621414)

      I think it's interesting that you are using power lines as you example, but I'll stick with it. To extend your analogy, without network neutrality the power company can charge your appliance manufacturer a surcharge for use, and if they decide not to pay it then your refrigerator and washer/dryer gets a tiny trickle of electricity and is reduced to near-worthlessness.

      You clearly don't understand the situation, like most people who come out against network neutrality. The companies who are pushing this did not create the internet, did not create it's standards, and do not own the land that they are using to bring the internet to you. The internet is a "common area", not a market. There is no "free market" here unless you want to make it truly free, in which case I will charge Verizon $400 for the FIOS line they just ran under my property, payable immediately and monthly. Also Charter, you owe me another $400, pay up. Then these two companies can then negotiate with every single other homeowner in the city as well. But wait, we don't allow that (and rightly so) because it would ensure that no one ever gets broadband and stifle innovation. Instead, we grant Verizon a local monopoly and allow them to use our easements; in return they are supposed to stay away from doing exactly what they are proposing, which is using their power to bone us out of features because we have no choice (hey it's them or the cable company, that's hardly a free market).

      Also, power lines are a bad example because they work just fine for their intended purpose and are regulated.

    • Municipal and government networks do not have the advantage of competition, and therefore disparage innovation, not vice versa.

      Municipal networks encourage competition by forcing commercial networks to provide services that they had to that point refused. Municipal networks exist only because commercial networks refuse to compete, instead maintaining a "status quo."

      • I used to live in pete sessions district. Here is an excerpt from his wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org]:
        "Sessions is trying to pass the "Preserving Innovation in Telecom Act of 2005" (HR2726), which would ban towns and cities from wiring themselves for broadband. However, questions have been raised about Sessions's partiality toward the telecom industry: Sessions, a former SBC employee, holds half a million dollars in SBC (now AT&T) stock options, and his wife works for Cingular (jointly owned by the former SBC)."
        Too
  • Backbone (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Itchyeyes ( 908311 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:32PM (#17621108) Homepage
    Lessig claims that municipal networks will be able to compete with the Telcos to prevent abuse of their control over the network. I'm no expert but don't these municipal networks still plug into backbones owned by the Telcos? What is there to stop the Telcos from exercising their control at that level rather than at the end user level? I understand his point about not being too hasty with regulation, but there seem to be some holes in his logic.
    • As I understand things, there is sufficient competition in cross-country networks. So a municipality should have a choice of backbone providers to connect to.

    • Re:Backbone (Score:4, Insightful)

      by josteos ( 455905 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:49PM (#17621350)
      Its easy to bulldoze a consumer. But they might think twice when taking on a municipality who has its own staff of lawyers.

      So the telcos will be competing against an opponent who isn't motivated by maximizing profit. This means the telcos will have to compete on features, and choking the internet chicken just isn't one of those features that will make consumers switch.
    • Yes, your right, and this is the hole in his theory.

      Unless the Munis planned to create their own backbone and separate internet, his points are moot.

      His analogy would fit the browser wars better than the OS wars.
    • It seems like that would encourage ISPs to be *more* restrictive. If you have more traffic coming over your lines from these last-mile ISPs but no more revenue because they're not paying you, the ISPs would have to get revenue from somewhere else - most likely Google, Skype, and other big companies that send lots of data.

      One reason I support net neutrality is that both I and Google (or whoever) have paid an ISP for access the Internet. Why should there be a third charge if the people on either end have alre
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:58PM (#17621442)
    Many Linux-style volunteers are building free wireless networks that enable participants to share access and offer capacity to others. These volunteers are also building free protocols that enable legal access without shifting control to a last-mile access provider.

    Who? Why? Or are you talking just about all the unsuspecting people who set up unsecured wireless networks in their homes?
  • Monopoly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gravesb ( 967413 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @06:59PM (#17621444) Homepage
    I would rather see the government force the carriers towards network neutrality. They were awarded a monopoly by the government, and can't complain about regulation. I am usually a free market person, but in this case, I would like to see the government enforce the status quo. Once Wi-Max is mature enough to give people options, then maybe the carriers can have some freedom.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      How long till Wi-Max is mature enough? A couple years? How long will whatever legislation Congress passes be on the books? Many decades? 99% of that time being used by incumbents for purposes other than intended.
  • ...Net Neutrality and Munuciple Networks?...Because I resoundingly do. If I honestly thought legislation could be created to protect them that really wouldn't just be a smoke screen for increasing the megacorps' stranglehold over everyone I would support that too. We now have copyrights for works that will outlive their author by 70 years, patents on how information is manipulated, and Telcos entering the television market with federal assistance to help them drive cable-based ISPs out of business all mad
  • by Scareduck ( 177470 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @07:09PM (#17621572) Homepage Journal
    Linux was able to succeed as a collaborative effort because of cheap, commodity PCs (whose performance increased constantly), the Internet, a common desire for a freely available operating system, and remarkably good project management. None of this required capital beyond what was readily available to any one player.

    With broadband, the network neutrality issue comes back to the idea of common carrier status. This is important, because the companies delivering this traffic have been granted a monopoly on service explicitly. What the large ISPs are trying to do is to eliminate common carrier status while retaining the monopoly. Allowing that would be a disastrous mistake for the public.
    • by Azghoul ( 25786 )
      Lessig addressed the fact that it's not the same. Honestly, I'm way more inclined to believe what Lessig's selling over some dude on /. Sorry.
      • Sure, he brought it up and didn't bother to explore it at all (all emphasis mine):

        But life is all about repeating the same mistakes in many different contexts. So, are we reluctant regulators wrong again? Is there something we think is impossible today that will be obvious tomorrow? Can last-mile broadband be developed in a way that doesn't rely on the incentives that drive current providers toward innovation-stifling business models?

        Yes. There isn't yet a Linus Torvalds of broadband,

        Quite right. Lin

  • I'm not talking about the comments, they always were opinions (duh) but I'm talking about the articles. There's about 10 articles on net neutrality, and then another ten on some database that someone thinks is another sign of "big brother" which people attack like crazy, and of course let's not forget articles on politics which tend to attack anyone trying to regulate... well anything, toss in a few articles on people expecting people visiting america to be documented (heaven forbid we try to actually stop
    • Net Neutrality I really can't care about...

      You're more than welcome to continue not caring about net neutrality, and then some day down the road you won't be able to read Slashdot's "opinionated" articles because your telco is dropping all your packets from Slashdot due to your limited "Internet Silver" subscription which only supports the top 200 major websites. Slashdot will also be switching to 80% banner advertisements in order to pay off your telco so they'll stop dropping all the packets originating from Slashdot.

      • ...due to your limited "Internet Silver" subscription which only supports the top 200 major websites.

        No, that's not what lack of net neutrality would get you. The reason you wouldn't be able to get Slashdot is because of Slashdot's limited subscription, which only gives it 10% as much bandwidth as sites of a similar size that paid through the nose for premium access to the pipes of 5 different middlemen, who have nothing directly to do with either you or Slashdot.

        Dan Aris

    • You forgot about the articles on how great Apple's is or how much Microsoft's sucks... sometimes both in the same article.
      • Oops, should have looked closer at preview, that was supposed to be
        You forgot about the articles on how great Apple's <insert product here> is or how much Microsoft's <insert product here> sucks... sometimes both in the same article.
    • overmental Databases I'm actually for some of the times because the stories on here just reeks of people who read 1984 a few to many times and think goverment is bad.

      Or Atlas Shrugged, but the point being that if you haven't gotten the point of 1984 then you need to read it a few more times.

      It isn't that government is bad per se, but that the potential for what it can do should be in our minds at all given times least we be the next victims.

      Mostly, that 1984 is an allegory directly to Stalin and the purges
    • > I'm talking about the articles

      Slashdot is biased - heavily against large corporate structures which make scads of money, and heavily for small grassroots rebels which produce free products and services. They pick and choose the articles that best illustrate the worldview they think is important.

      However, EVERY media source does this. If you go to MSNBC, you find pretty much the opposite; the small grassroots rebels are either ignored or painted as dangerous, and the large corporate structures are hailed
  • most content-rich pronouncement that Wired will deliver in 2007.

    seriously where do you people get these time machines?
  • Lessig wrote: "Can last-mile broadband be developed in a way that doesn't rely on the incentives that drive current providers toward innovation-stifling business models?" Diminishing marginal returns apply to expenditures for R&D as well. Nobody would disagree that societies are becoming more advanced as time goes on, however, the rate at which companies are able to realize returns on that increase in "innovation" is not able to keep up -- learning curves apply as well, especially ESPECIALLY when com
  • by troll -1 ( 956834 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @07:54PM (#17622118)
    I might be misguided but frankly I don't trust the telcos. Verizon's CEO has said many times that the pipes belong to him and has indicated he's pissed off because everyone's making money off the Internet except him. I can see his point. Afer all, he's the one that owns the pipes.

    I wouldn't be so opposed to a non-net-neut world if I could be convinced the telcos weren't running a gnarly scheme to make my ISP bill look like my cell phone bill.

    The net has been so succesful perhaps because it was designed and developed in large part, not by private companies, but by scientists and engineers in an academic environment who were mostly employed by the government. Profit was not their goal.

    But if my cell phone company had developed the net, my ISP bill would probably list every site I went to that month and I'd be charged extra for things like email, SMS, MMS, streaming audio, etc., These would all be separately billable services. Voice would be charged per minute, data would be per megabyte, and I'd be nickel and dimmed for everything.

    DARPA was not a business. They were not out to make money. The designed a system for maximum efficiency and easy growth.

    Look at how the telcos have handled communications. For example, phone systems don't even have, nor have they ever had any intention of having, something as simple as DNS. If the telcos had had control over how the Internet evolved you'd be typing in Internet IP addresses simply so they could sell you access to a white pages directory.

    Maybe I have it all wrong but when I look at their history I really don't have much faith in telcos. What worries me the most is that we're giving these companies a large hand in determining, not how the Internet will look in a few years, but ultimately we're going to be giving them a lot of power in influencing how it's developed later on down the road. I say we tread carefully.

    • by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @09:57PM (#17623534) Journal
      The modern telephone company grew from a government granted monopoly. It is not a product of the free market, it's a product of the worst kind of government interference, the kind that gives advantages to some corporations at the cost of other corporations and the public.

      The modern Telco isn't an example of the failing of the free market, it's an example of what happens when you unduly restrain the free market for the benefit of corporations.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by max born ( 739948 )
        Please mod parent up.

        Not for being insightful but for merely opening up the debate.

        On the one hand it's true that government regulation stifled innovation by compelling the telcos to perform to government regulated standards.

        On the other hand, the FCC can be seen as being in the business of 'selling' licenses to cell phone providers irrespective of what they do with the spectrum. Perhaps licensing of the airways should be less about who can pay the most and more about who will do what with the band
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Companies such as Prodigy and CompuServ used to charge by the minute and by the kB. Where are they now? That model doesn't work if there's abundance and competition, only when there's scarcity -- and I think perhaps these anti-neutrality moves are designed to engineer some scarcity into the system ... so, prepare to be squeezed.
    • Verizon's CEO has said many times that the pipes belong to him and has indicated he's pissed off because everyone's making money off the Internet except him. I can see his point.

      So can I, except for the part about not making money. Verizon already gets paid twice for the usage of their inter-pipes, by both the sender and recipient.
  • Corporations exist to make a profit; making an ever increasing profit is required of them by their shareholders and some ill-conceived laws. Expecting Verizon or any other corporation to behave in a different way is nothing more than wishful thinking.

    When corporations provide essential services, the possiblity for great evil exists. If government doesn't step in to protect the public interest, those corporations will take every opportunity to collect an ever increasing fee from their captive customers.

    T

    • In the meantime, if you simply assume that every corporation is out to make every possible dollar in any way they can - you'll be right.

      And you know what the worst part is - there is no hardcore OR quasi-capitalist that will disagree with you when you say that. And they'll be proud of the fact, to boot.

      And they'll be demonstrating so very clearly why unrestrained capitalism doesn't work - because capitalism cares nothing for people, even to the point of considering people and human needs a hindrance to t

  • by Bright Apollo ( 988736 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @08:42PM (#17622668) Journal
    This is the canonical link to the issue: http://isen.com/stupid.html [isen.com]

    In short, your communication line is no more than infrastructure -- and no less. The argument that competition can somehow spring forth out of the last mile is based upon the fallacy that someone will string a whole new set of lines to homes. Verizon would argue that they alone own the telephone poles (they do not) and tie up the whole mess in the court system. Or that someone could blanket the nation with fixed wireless (Project Angel of AT&T); of course, the only entity that could it effectively is a local gov't and Verizon blocked that as well.

    Someone mentioned corporations act in their best interests, and that is true. As citizens -- because after all corporations are considered entities somewhat like people -- corporations would be psychotic sociopaths who in all honesty would be sentenced to life in a mental institution.

    Expecting these entities to act fairly is itself stupid. The only way to deal with them is harshly and unfairly, on the side of people and not the corporate interest. We know how that goes, too.

    Net neutrality is something we absolutely must have, not just as Americans but as free people. No corporate interest should take precedence, ever, for any reason. If they cry poverty, so be it. Let them find another way to make money. Really, if we pushed them hard enough, what could they really do?

    -BA

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mc6809e ( 214243 )

      The argument that competition can somehow spring forth out of the last mile is based upon the fallacy that someone will string a whole new set of lines to homes.

      In the early years of telephone, there were literally hundreds of telephone companies competing against each other. You might have 10 different companies sharing space on a telephone pole.

      The federal government then came along and decided to "bring order" to the telephone system in 1918 by nationalizing the entire telecommunications industry, with n

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GigsVT ( 208848 )
        Exactly!

        The only problem that needs solving is the last mile. It's the only place where a natural monopoly can exist. Net neutrality attempts to address some hypothetical problem with the backbones (that will never materialize), and doesn't address the last mile very much.

        I'm a libertarian and even I advocate municipal ownership of the last mile. It should be licensed to carriers on a non-descriminatory basis.

        There's no problem on the backbones. If Verizon or one of these companies tried funny business
        • by abb3w ( 696381 )

          The only problem that needs solving is the last mile. It's the only place where a natural monopoly can exist.

          Quibble: the last mile, and connecting it to both user and internet.

          I also suspect that certain backbones and associated right-of-way may be sufficiently high entry cost to allow for a further potential natural monopoly. This may not be true in all areas; in the US, the railroad industry has enough right-of way to lay fiber and insure at worst a duopoly (possibly triopoly, if telcos and cablec

          • by GigsVT ( 208848 )
            There's satellite, RF, and like you said at least 2 or 3 industries that have right of ways that land-based backbone could go in.

            Low risk I'd say. Also reality has shown that the backbone space is still pretty diverse, even with all the mergers and such in telecom. There are currently 8 real tier 1 networks.
    • by GigsVT ( 208848 )
      Did you even read the article? Your blind zealotry is showing.

      Read it. He says what I've said all along. Net neutrality is the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
      • Oh, I didn't know *you've* said that all along. I apologize.

        And you're both wrong, then. The last mile should be considered infrastructure like the street outside of your home. Imagine a toll plaza ten yards from your front door -- and everyone else's front door -- to get an idea of what a non-neutral last mile would mean.

        -BA

        • by GigsVT ( 208848 )
          Still haven't read the article I see. He advocates municipal/co-op ownership of the last mile, as do I.

  • by opieum ( 979858 ) on Monday January 15, 2007 @08:44PM (#17622696)
    Freedom of speech is great as long as nobody's listening.
    --Luthor ruling the USA via holographic president in The Dark Knight Strikes Again.--

    The point being made is people hear what is said but noone really does anything about it. The machine just rolls along while we here on slashdot and digg and various blogs talk about all this and do nothing about it. The awareness factor is limited only to the tech savvy crowd (many on here) who on allot of levels control information. I have seen very few instances where people are actually posting petitions or doing anything to show the dissatisfaction. Blogs go up but there really is no one united effort to focus the voice of the people toward the Govt to address our grievances. Just a bunch of divided voices and individuals voicing opinions who will often get outed as crazy. Larger numbers make a larger difference.

    If we take our voice into one central place and focus it at the Government they WILL listen. We out number them. They want our vote. As long as the 2 of the 3 branches of Govt are reminded that they have the axe of constituency voters hanging over their head they will listen. At this point they are paying lip service and doing under the table deals. We just need show that they have more to fear from us in terms of our voice and the resulting action that just posting on social sites. I am working on a number of petitions that deal with Government issues and laws important to constituencies all over the nation. Once they are finalized and written I will post links up. But I am hoping we can all rally behind that and show the Government we are serious about changes in the things we are seeing now. Corporate influence on Govt in general is no different than what religion was in the dark ages to the Govts of the time. The only difference is the lack of brutality.

    To offer tiered service is just an excuse for the corporations to limit what we can see on the premise that the content provider must pay for bandwidth. We just need to fight that tooth and nail with our voice. Make sure the public in general (non techies) are very aware of what that is and HOW it affects them. If they are aware of how bad it will be for them then more people will start to react. Preaching to the choir never gets it done. Preaching to the people who have no clue or don't see the danger has a much better chance of getting the message across and will spread. This is one method of creating a united front. /Steps off soap box.

  • Sounds like more government [capmag.com] regulation [capmag.com].
  • It will not be municipalities that push out the telco's, it will be new wireless technology that will allow people all the ease of 802.11b, but with a 30 mile radius.
  • Only briefly looked at what Lessig write, for sure Henry Rollins is more "direct"... (= http://throwawayyourtv.com/2007/01/rollins-opinion -on-net-neutrality.html [throwawayyourtv.com]
  • Did this guy just claim that he now thinks it was a bad idea to try to reduce Microsoft's monopoly power? He thinks because Linux is kicking ass in the server space, it's ok that consumers have suffered through all the sh*t Microsoft has foisted on them through the power of their monopoly? All of the virii, the worms, the trojans, the spam, adware, etc.? Has this guy ever used Windows?

    I don't see that this guy deserves an audience. Reluctant regulator? More like reluctant cogitator. I hate to call
  • "Municipal competition won't kill commercial broadband any more than Linux has killed Windows."

    That's a poor analogy. Linux may well kill windows, it just hasn't happended yet because Linux has deficiencies that have slowed its adoption. But broadband is broadband: unless the municiplities offer a severely substandard service, and even if they do, the motivation to pay will be severely underminded.

    Lessig's assertion, which really should be couched with "in my opinion", is a typical non-fact that those w

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