Municipal broadband overbuilders such as Chattanooga Tennessee, Longmont Colorado, and Fort Collins Colorado are in the curious position of acting as both marketplace regulators and market participants.
In this remand proceeding, critics of the RIF Order have failed to provide useful or informative insights on ensuring the needs of public safety are protected though regulation. Overall, the impression that light-touch regulation of the Internet provides the best blend of technical progress and protection of legacy Internet applications is reinforced even by critics of the current regime.
Net neutrality sucked the oxygen out of Internet policy for a decade, turning every discussion of Internet policy into a debate over the best way to ensure the Internet remained true to this newly discovered foundational principle of the Internet. But these promises were hollow because net neutrality only applied to one part of the Internet, data transmission between consumers, Internet-based businesses, and Internet Service Providers.
Net neutrality is an odd issues because it correctly identifies some problems that do take place on the Internet – blocking, throttling, and leveraging platform dominance – while attributing them to the wrong parties. I
To the extent that advocates have praised the Hooton study, they have done so by taking its claims at face value without examining the methodology or by simply expressing glee that Hooton got the “right answer” that comports with their project.
Contrary to popular myth, Colorado is not witnessing a taxpayer revolt against commercial broadband. A number of cities and counties has seized the authority from the state to build broadband networks through regular election ballot measures, but few have proceeded to build anything.
Perhaps the time has come to tell EFF what Barlow told lawmakers in 1996: “On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone.” The future of networking is intermodal competition between networks and services that control their destinies.
We need clarity about our antitrust standards as they apply to the Internet, safeguards for personal data, and reverse auctions to bring better broadband to rural America. None of that is terribly sexy, but it’s all important.