I am confused beyond endurance by whatever-the-hell is going on (or went on) with the “final Stimulus Bill”. So maybe some of ya’ll can provide some A’s to the following Qs:
|— Where can one see a copy of the final bill? How about in .html, rather than .pdf form? Earth to Newspapers (and hell, bloggers): Give us some links to some goddam hard facts on this thing. Even the @#$% New York Times story on the Plan’s passage offers no links at all to the bill. Or whatever got passed.|
|— What the hell is the NTIA, really, and how is it different from the FCC? I ask because I see it all over the place, and hardly heard about it before this. I’ve read what it says at that last link, and I get the feeling I’m missing a lot. Especially politically.|
|— Are there “open network provisions” in there, like Public Knowledge said yesterday? Where? What?|
|— Is “open” defined in the bill?|
|— How about “broadband”? Here’s a search for “broadband” at ReadTheStimulus.org; but I’m not even sure if it’s for the “final” plan. Or wtf it says, really. Take this, for example. Okay, I just found this. Not sure what to think about it, though.|
|— Is the Internet treated as infrastructure in any serious way by this thing? I look up “Internet” at ReadTheStimulus.org and find eleven results. Over half say something like “The secretary shall post on the Internet…”|
I like this Washington Post graphic, even though it looks like a map of a boondoggle to me.
My big concern, of course, is with the Internet, which desperately needs to be liberated from the telecom Regulatorium. This “package” isn’t the right place to do that, I’m sure. But liberation needs to be done. Far more economic prosperity will arise form Internet build-out that’s free from regulatory encumberances that date back to the railroad age.
Which brings me to another question.
|— How would you deregulate the Internet? I know lots of folks (myself included, in some ways) who would like to see the Net’s virtues (openness, neutrality, whatever) protected one way or another. My question here is about what we’d get rid of. And not just at the federal level. I mean at the state, county and municipal level as well. What I’d like to see is a wide open field where anybody can get into building out the Net’s physical and wireless infrastructure in any way that does not make our varioius commons tragic.|
My short answer to that one is to get rid of the whole concept of “telecom services” and “information services” — and even of “services”, in the laws that govern how we connect.
Which brings me to Freedom to Connect next month in Washington. I’ve been to most of them, and I wouldn’t miss it. The theme this year is “The Emerging Internet Economy”. I submit that more will emerge with less regulation than with more of it — especially if “more” is done inside the old telecom regime.
Bonus link. Comments included.