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[fccboston08] FCC hearing: Panel 1 part a [Benkler rocks the house]

Marvin Ammori, General Counsel, Free Press, is first up on this panel. The panel is as long as a march of penguins. This is not about tech, he says. It’s about the future of the Net. Door #1: Open, fast broadband, innovative, etc. Door : Providers choose your sites for you [whoops, overstatement], etc. How can there even be a hearing to choose between these two doors, he asks. It’s because big companies are pushing open that door in DC.

Yochai Benkler of the Berkman Center. Two different issues. 1. Net is abut users connected to one another. 2. We need a restructuring of the basic decision to support a duopoly. [Go Yochai!]

1. The Net is about people connected to one another, at least once you stop looking throgh 20th Century business models. The carriers are based around delivering content and services. Only genuine competition will keep the Net open.

2. It was a mistake to enable the ISP consolidation. Net neutrality is important but it is only a partial solution to the failures of the market that is at beast only weakly competitive. We need to make the Net competitive all the way through.

BitTorrent brings together both points, he says. It is a decentralized structure to enable users to support one another, engage in peer collaborative. By myopia or malice, the last-mile firms are preventing competition. The way to ensure real competition is probably some form of unbundling and open access. This is a very American approach. But we abandoned them, instead handing access to two incumbent industries.

[Putting this in terms of the structural changes we need is, imo, exactly right.]

David Cohen [Tags: ]

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