While unscrewing bad Internet policy probably isn’t top priority for the Administration-in-Waiting, it’s pretty high up there for me, and for quite a few other ‘Net obsessives out there.
In fact, I heard through the grapevine that the Obama transition team was looking for some Big Input to the Internet policy mill, due today.
A couple weeks back I floated FORWARD WITH FIBER: An Infrastructure Investment Plan for the New Administration. It’s a kind of Interstate Highway proposal, audacious in two respcts: 1) it proposes spending a few hundred billion on capacious fiber-based infrastructure that reaches everybody, or close enough; 2) It embraces rather than excludes the carriers that are already in the middle of this thing.
Regardless of what we do, we must liberate the Net (including the carriers) from telecom reguation. It’s too new, too different, and too important to be shackled by the boat-anchors of the 1934 and 1996 telecom acts — and by addenda to those acts, even if they are meant to improve existing law on behalf of the Net.
The Net needs a Declaration of Independence. John Perry Barlow’s (on the day the ’96 act passed) was inspiring in its day (and still rings true), but now we need something on which new policy can be built: policy that respects not only the freedom and openness of the Net, but of the markets that grow on the Net’s infrastructure.