Frankston on net neutrality: our crowded sidewalks
The co-inventor of the spreadsheet -- Bob Frankston -- has weighed in on net neutrality. His analogy is excellent:
|I stepped out to take my stroll and was immediately accosted (in the nicest way, of course) by a gaggle of TSP (Transportation Service Provider) agents vying to sell me the use of their sidewalks. Actually, they called it a Transportation Service -- I didn't have to worry about the details of the sidewalk itself. They realized that I was confused by the ability and the need to choose my sidewalk provider. They reacted as if they were speaking to a dunce and explained that competition was necessary in order to keep the prices down. If they had to share one sidewalk they couldn't guarantee the Quality of Stroll and QoS is very important. Imagine if I started to go to the grocery and had to slow down because someone was walking too slowly. I was about to ask why I couldn't just walk around them when I saw the big "do not walk on the Astroturf signs". I had to limit myself to the QoS provided by the TSPs. Sidewalks are scarce and they had to limit the quality in order to assure that everyone gets "fair" use of the scarce supply of sidewalks -- you can only run three or four sidewalks from the town center to each house -- any more and you'd lose the remaining 10% of the land...|
In a separate article, Frankston also takes the FCC to task:
|...the FCC was chartered in 1934 to assure that we had a viable telecommunications industry which would provide us with services like telephone calls and radio broadcasting. There was no need for giving us access to the transport itself...|
The FCC is acting as if it is 1934 and is treating the Internet as just another service as if it were a TV station. It cannot come to terms with the idea that Internet connectivity is fundamental and that we can create services ourselves. It insists we must limit our choices to the carriers’ offerings...