David Reed: A Statement from Various Advocates for an Open Internet – Why I Signed On

by on Nov.05, 2010, under Uncategorized

David Reed offers some reflections in support of the joint statement:

Open Internet is not “owned” by anyone, but is instead collectively created by many innovators at the edges, contributing services, content, communicating among themselves, and sharing a common culture across traditional jurisdictions, language boundaries, etc. In other words, the Open Internet is not a closed “service platform” or a “walled garden”, but an open interchange that crosses cultures, languages, and other traditional barriers. It would be sad if ATT, Verizon, Comcast, Google, or any other corporation were deemed to have the right to “own” your participation in the Internet, or to decide which tiny subset of content, which tiny part of the world you are paying to communicate with.

What would have happened if to use the “English language”, to read books in English, you would have to get an account with the corporate owner of the English language? When you say that ATT’s “culture” is distinct from Verizon’s “culture” – as if a “culture” is a “bookstore” that chooses which books to carry, that is the result. And until now, that is what the FCC has said the Internet was – whatever ATT offers to its customers over its pipes may not be whatever Verizon offers to its customers over its pipes. The Internet is not a private bookstore, but until this proceeding, the FCC had not acknowledged that the Internet was anything more than a minor service type.

This statement to the FCC doesn’t say this quite so explicitly. But it celebrates the spark that the FCC has ignited. Let’s keep that spark burning, kindle it, and recognize the gift of fire that is the Open Internet.

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