Rob Powell, Nov. 2010: Definitions, Dialogue, and the FCC

by admin on Jun.06, 2011, under Uncategorized

(Original at Network Ramblings)

On Friday [November 5, 2010], a wide-ranging group of thinkers filed a statement with the FCC in response to an otherwise unassuming NPRM entitled “Further Inquiry into Two Under-developed Issues in the Open Internet Proceeding“.  What they had to say was not for or against the NPRM itself.  Rather, they simply praised how it separated the concept of the internet from that of specialized services.

[. . .]

I think that this differentiation gets directly to what I once on this site referred to as the sloppiness of language surrounding the Network Neutrality shouting matches.  We all view the network neutrality from our own perspective.  Viewers see it in terms of pricing and choice.  Corporations see it in terms of services they provide and get paid for.  Institutions see it as a transformative societal phenomenon, and so on.

But when the FCC goes to regulate it, it has run into a lack of vocabulary common to each point of view.  After all the discussions, proposals, arguments, and lobbying, one still cannot state network neutrality unambiguously today without it being crippled by unintended consequences or containing loopholes the QE2 could pass through at low tide.  This is because the internet is a living thing.  It’s not a service but a platform that can provide virtually any combination old, current and future services, and it can and will morph in response to regulations much more quickly than the rules and regulations ever could.

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