David Weinberger is blogging the FCC hearing :

I left this comment.

We've had this discussion before, I think. but I'm pleased to see the argument above. "Net neutrality is important but it is only a partial solution to the failures of the market that is at beast only weakly competitive. We need to make the Net competitive all the way through."

I find it deeply ironic that in a country that makes such a song and dance about free markets and free market capitalism, internet provision is a government mandated and controlled duopoly. This is anything but a free market. And in a marketplace owned and dominated by one or two incumbents, it's completely inevitable that they will abuse their position and offer less that you thought you were going to get for more money than you thought you were going to pay.

The solution to this is emphatically not more control over what the existing duopoly can and can't do. It's to break the existing control and to turn it into a real competitive (free) marketplace. There is another solution of course. And that's the socialist route of the government owning and building the infrastructure for the good of the whole society paid for out of taxes. But I doubt the USA has the stomach for that.

That's the answer that is easy to say but hard to implement. And it reaches into much deeper arguments about national infrastructure and how to handle infrastructure with high capital costs and where the final branch of the tree reduces to a single provision. eg water, sewage, electricity, roads. Over the last 150 years most developed countries have built 10 or 15 of these and governments have played a major role in creating the market conditions to help build them. Now we're facing one more which is to build very high bandwidth fibre to the home. So rather than get bogged down into whether Comcast (or BT or Deutch Telecom) should be allowed to filter packets, let's talk about how we build a fibre infrastructure for our citizens.

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[ 26-Feb-08 8:38am ] [ , ]