Tuesday, February 01, 2005


The Great Debate at F2C: Freedom to Connect

There are several pivotal events shaping up for F2C: Freedom to Connect. The Great Debate of F2C will be, "Should Telecom Regulation Look Like the Internet?" If this debate were a book, it would be called Mars and Venus at the FCC.

The old regulatorium looked like the old telecom business; there were separate silos for telephony, television, wireless, satellite, etc. Rick Whitt, MCI VP for Federal Law & Policy, and Tim Wu, Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, propose that the new regulatory model should follow the Internet's layered architecture; that there should be, at minimum, one distinct regulatory regime for physical access and another one for applications. Randy May, Senior Fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, and Adam Thierer, Director of Telecommunications Studies at the Cato Institute disagree!

This is not a new debate. It is a classic rematch, reminiscent of the Yankees and the Red Sox, Clay and Liston, France and the Germany. Here's an introduction to the "layers" position, and here's a rebuttal. There are reviews here and here and in numerous other places.

From my review of Adam Thierer's essay here, you can see that I'm not neutral. So I'm not moderating. The moderator will be Charlie Firestone, executive director of the Aspen Institute's Communications and Society Program, who will present a synopsis of the issues and make sure that the participants fight fair!

isen.blogThe freedom to speak is not the same as the freedom to speak loudly.

David Isenberg's "musings" on "the Great Debate at F2C:Freedom to connect" touches upon how the large players in the ISP game are beginning to clean their guns for a showdown that puts us, the internet users and our freedom to connect in the cross hairs..

No one will disagree that those with the most money speak with the loudest voices, but why should that be the case? What does that money buy? Basically, they can reach more people with it. It buys connectivity. But that doesn't have to be true anymore.

With the Internet ability to reach massive numbers of people and good organizational savvy, the field can be leveled, even tipped in the favor of the little guy. Added voices increase the decibel level, and ultimately, those government officials who receive campaign contributions from the ISP giants still must convince the voters, us little guys to put them back in office.

The "Great Debate" is the right tag for this upcoming conference. Much will be decided there, and the worlds connectivity will be in play.

I plan to stay connected to David Isenbergs blog; 'Isen.blog' at 'Freedom to Connet.net'

I'm ready to add my voice to the side that fights for that freedom; our freedom to connect. I hope everyone who reads this will join me too.

R. Warlov
"To The Internest Egress"
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