Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
Commentary
1/17/2014
12:55 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Net Neutrality: Regulation Makes Evil Empire Giggle

Want a faster, better, cheaper, more available Internet? Painful Net neutrality regulations won't help. Competition will.

When I weighed in on Tuesday's court ruling reining in Net neutrality rules, I argued that more competition, not misguided regulation, is the best way to keep the Internet open and promote innovation. I stand by that argument, and I want to further explain why an FCC-gone-wild will only make the carrier duopoloy that you hate even stronger. If you want to destroy that duopoly, you must be open to other ideas.

We all hate the lack of broadband choice. But that's what we have as a result of our history, going back to when AT&T (Ma Bell) was the government-regulated monopoly. If you translate that into Internet terms, it was as if one entity operated 98% of all Internet connections and made 90% of all computer equipment.

An antitrust lawsuit resulted in the breakup of Ma Bell in 1984 into separate, for-profit Baby Bell telcos. Then the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act, ostensibly enacted to enable competition, introduced complex regulation surrounding what are still called CLECs, or competitive local exchange carriers. The broken-up phone companies were called ILECs, or incumbent local exchange carriers.

If these confusing acronyms make you think that the governing regulations were also confusing, you're darned right. The experiment of regulating our way to competition was, by any measure, a failure. CLECs had their boom day but have since petered out, as the telecom market collapsed back to a far less competitive one, whereby SBC, a child of the broken-up AT&T, merged three of the Baby Bells into one in 2005 and acquired AT&T (and took on its name).

Regulation did not make the market more competitive. It did not make the market more attractive. And so we stayed, mostly, with the local telecom incumbents in one business and the local cable company in a different business, prior to the great Internet boom.

Prioritize or overbuild
Now, let's talk about the need for traffic prioritization, because this is also important when we talk about why Net neutrality will have the reverse effect of what is intended.

I was amused that some InformationWeek readers think that no provider should ever have to prioritize the traffic it delivers. Really? C'mon, guys. All you would have to do is run a truly large network but have no authority over all of the end users for more than 35 seconds, and you'd know that the ability to prioritize or block traffic is absolutely necessary in order to serve the many when the few are acting up. In my long-ago work as an infrastructure and security consultant, I helped universities and large companies configure equipment to either drop or deprioritize peer-to-peer or ridiculously high users.

Traffic prioritization is not a monstrous thing to implement. The alternative is to over-provision 5:1 so that the many aren't affected when the few act up. That's expensive. Who's going to pay for it? Those of you who are in love with the idea of Net neutrality? Because I sure don't want to pay for it. And the carriers aren't going to pay for it either. They're going to pass those costs on to you. And that state of affairs won't have the intended effect of a faster, better, cheaper, more available Internet.

Regulate others?
Now back to regulation. Regulation is to the masses a bit like workstation lockdown is to IT pros: Nobody cares when it's happening to someone else.

As someone who cut his teeth on infrastructure and has moved between private sector and government jobs, I've watched both regulation and IT lockdown for 20-plus years. The law of unintended consequences doesn't just apply to traffic prioritization and overbuilding costs. It also applies to competition.

Like the mythical energy monster that only gets stronger when you shoot it with a laser gun, the incumbents that you hate so much have no problem dealing with regulation -- it's far better than having to compete with market entrants. When I was in business school, some of my classmates were in telecom, and one of them who worked for an ILEC would laugh at the notion of new CLECs dealing with the regulatory environment. You see, the ILECs are used to dealing with bureaucracy, and have lawyered up and passed the expense to you, the consumer. Market entrants see lots of regulations as a threat, not a way to level the playing field. Because they don't level it.

Regulation, like medicine, should be used only when there's no alternative. The chief reason cited for Net neutrality is to prevent monopoly and antitrust types of behavior. My question for you is this: If we don't believe antitrust laws will be enforced on the Internet, why do we think that Net neutrality laws will be? And if we do think those antitrust laws will be enforced, there's no need for Net neutrality.

Moving forward
Piling on regulations with all of their delicious unintended consequences isn't the answer. So what is?

Let's focus on the actual problems and not what we imagine the problem could be in the future. Let's not focus on imagined anticompetitive traffic-shaping (which is illegal from an antitrust perspective). Let's not, as some readers have, focus on the imagined problems of redundant infrastructure -- that it's "wasteful" to build new fiber paths when incumbent backbones already exist. Your brain has redundant pathways, too. It's not a bad thing. Incumbent network operators have been exceedingly jealous about sharing their infrastructure with competitors, so new infrastructure gets built. Don't worry about it.

Let's focus instead on how to get broadband to the many rural readers who wrote in to bemoan their lack of choice. Let's focus, again, on incentivizing competition. That's an OK thing for government to do.

And government has done that, with reasonable success lately. The NTIA's BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunities Program) has done a remarkable job of extending broadband coverage in many states over the last several years. You can see a map here. The program is no panacea, but it's an example of what can happen when we apply incentives instead of crushing regulations.

So-called "white spaces" in newly freed-up radio spectrum offer a fantastic opportunity for some enterprising young libertarian engineers who want to create a peer-to-peer "Radio Free Internet." But I guarantee you that traffic management would be a necessary evil of even that network.

If we insist upon the government having a role making the Internet open and accessible, it's possible that "unbundling," the practice of forbidding carriers from being both middle and last-mile providers, could also create competition and reduce anticompetitive behavior. It has worked in Europe, but we're not Europe. And we would do well to consider the law of unintended consequences if we choose that route.

Bottom line, there are competitive broadband success stories across the US. Let's replicate them, preferably without government assistance but with that assistance if it's needed. One local-to-me example is SkyRunner, a wireless ISP that has served western North Carolina since 1997. It provides excellent Internet service to both municipal and rural clients over WiFi.

In this case -- and, I would submit, many others -- no crushing regulation was needed, just hard work and great customer service.

Jonathan Feldman writes for InformationWeek on the topics of leadership, innovation, IT people skills, and running large organizations "like a startup." He is CIO for the City of Asheville, N.C., where he encourages innovation through better business technology and process.

Can the trendy tech strategy of DevOps really bring peace between developers and IT operations -- and deliver faster, more reliable app creation and delivery? Also in the DevOps Challenge issue of InformationWeek: Execs charting digital business strategies can't afford to take Internet connectivity for granted.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
RobPreston
100%
0%
RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 1:54:28 PM
Antitrust
Although I agree with the thrust of Jonathan's argument, it COULD be argued that the antirust authorities were too hands off when they let SBC consolidate much of the telco market and then buy AT&T. That said, the cable companies emerged as natural competitors in local markets, and with continued technology innovation, let's see if satellite and wireless (and power?) companies as well will give the telco/cable duopolies a run for their money.
anon8151121903
50%
50%
anon8151121903,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 2:12:32 PM
Re: Antitrust
The problem with Jonathan's argument is when is the last time competition has ever lowered prices when it comes to the communications industries?  More competition doesn't necessarily mean lower prices.
RobPreston
100%
0%
RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 2:27:28 PM
Re: Antitrust
When has competition in the communication industry lowered prices? We're all paying much lower prices for local, long distance and international telephone service because of competition. From MCI and Sprint in the old days to Vonage, Skype and MagicJack today--competition almost always lowers prices. My Cablevision cable TV, local phone and Internet access bill would be much higher if Verizon FIOS wasn't in the wings.
anon8151121903
100%
0%
anon8151121903,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 6:33:55 PM
Re: Antitrust
I don't consider what I'm paying for my AT&T phone services "lower prices."  The fact is, the entire communications industry is one big RACKET. And the American taxpayer gets REAMED because of a LACK of government regulation. PERIOD.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2014 | 7:23:49 AM
Re: Antitrust
Most probably you are not paying the lowest possible price. However, you might be paying relatively lower than what you would be paying if a monopoly had existed rather than a duopoly. Both situations are bad, it's kind of like choosing between being in the frying pan or in the fire.

We have an ecosystem that is quite diverse i.e. phone service, broadband service, VOIP, wireless communication and so many other types of networks, given my way I would like to see a half dozen providers in every segment, in other words, more competition.

Globally, only 2 billion people are connected to the internet and 5 billion people are not connected. In a competitive environment businesses tend to seek out new sources of revenue, if competition is already at a high level in the US market then why do I see more EU and Asian service providers trying to expand?
RobPreston
50%
50%
RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
1/21/2014 | 9:17:22 AM
Re: Antitrust
Whether you consider the prices AT&T is charging you to be lower or not, the fact of the matter is that prices of local, domestic and international phone service are much lower than they were 20 years ago because of competition. Cable-, wireless-, satellite-, Internet-based competition. No market is perfect, however.
anon0349970690
100%
0%
anon0349970690,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 2:39:32 PM
Re: Antitrust
Tell me how this will encourage any form of competition?

Cable - In my area we have 1 cable company, and they will not allow any others in the area. And that is Cable One, and the only way im sure that will change is if someone like Comcast buys them out. And this will still leave us with only 1 option.

DSL - On the other end of that the only other internet option we have is AT&T which has absolutly terrible service in our area.

So we are stuck with Cable One in our area which has a terribly over priced service that has extreme packet loss and constant drops from the network. 

Leased -Now if I was a business I could pay out for an extremely expenssive leased line from another carrier, which is not affordable.

SAT -Satelite is not even an option with the increased Ping times that the technology creates.

Cell- still not viable or cost effective for a daily internet user/ gamer

There will not be any new competition, the only viable options are DSL/ Cable for broadband and in most areas only 1 of the services are acceptable. They do not have to compete they have monopolies on the area they supply the service to.
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2014 | 7:47:55 AM
Re: Antitrust
Yes, I agree the current situation is lacking competition. As a consumer not all of my traffic is of equal importance, if I am gaming I need low ping and low bandwidth (I consider this leisure or entertainment), if I am watching a documentary or better yet an important video lecture then I need high bandwidth and ping is not so important (this traffic is more important because fees are being paid elsewhere as well).

If more competition exists then it would be feasible for a consumer to put together a redundant system based on their needs and then pay accordingly. 
BrianAnes
50%
50%
BrianAnes,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 3:09:49 PM
Re: Net Neutrality
Offering different bandwidth and trhoughput options to those receivng internet services very well may be a decision related to competition - IF such competition really exists.

Decisions of different bandwidth and throughput opton to those providing content dependant on what they pay (or most other criteria) is not free market enterprise. It is CENSORSHIP.
daryel
100%
0%
daryel,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 2:29:18 PM
Splitting does not mean competition
The author has confused "compeition" and the splitting of the Ma-Bells.  Splitting the Ma-Bell did nothing to allow any competition.  After the split, 99%+ of consumers still had one choice to get their teleservices from. Southwest Bell never competed with Pacific Bell, and so on.  The split never promoted ANY competition.  Just like most cable subsribers are limited to a handful of options for high speed internet, having limited options only drives the prices higher.

 
RobPreston
100%
0%
RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 2:48:55 PM
Re: Splitting does not mean competition
The author does NOT say the splitting of Ma Bell created competition, though it did create competition for telecom long distance and equipment manufacturing. The author says that the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act created local competition, but that the upstart CLECs choked on the regulations put in place at that time while the established ILECs brushed those regulations off.
Thomas Claburn
100%
0%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 4:18:32 PM
Re: Splitting does not mean competition
Can I have Google Fiber yet?
JustWorld
IW Pick
100%
0%
JustWorld,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 2:35:16 PM
Net neutrality
The need to prioritize trafic does not exclude the need to provide net neutrality. Net neutrality does not mean that there is no prioritization of network traffic. It is about WHAT can be prioritized or what can't. If my trafic for Netflix streaming was slowed down, while traffic for Comcast pay per view, for example would be allowed full throttle, just because I am on comcast internet end, I would be very upset. I imagine lots of people would be very upset. This is what I DO want FCC to regulate and not allow this to ever happen.
milliamp
100%
0%
milliamp,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 3:03:48 PM
Re: Net neutrality
The problem is this is not easy to regulate. You say "Net neutrality does not mean that there is no prioritization of network traffic" but the example you give of something that should be outlawed is prioritization of network traffic. 

Its harder than you think to outlaw the bad practices without harming the ones that aren't. QoS is in use on most major networks and being used in ways that are not mailicious but how do you outlaw bad traffic prioritization without outlawing good traffic prioritization?

Everyone working on a network would need a team of technology trained lawyers rubber stamping every change they make. What could possibly go wrong? 

Run into a problem and have to take quick action to mitigate impact? Nope, its pending approval from legal. Could take 4-6 months to fix something that should take minutes. 

Maybe the government will install a bunch of nodes to intercept and monitor traffic on ISP networks to ensure compliance with NN laws and ahem, promise not to let the NSA use data from them.

The government is the orginization you should trust the absolute least with making sure you are getting good return for your dollar.
moonwatcher
67%
33%
moonwatcher,
User Rank: Strategist
1/19/2014 | 11:51:07 AM
Re: Net neutrality
Comcast, which everyone loves to hate in the North as much as everyone in the South hates Timewarner, has a RIGHT and even a DUTY to limit Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon traffic compared to their own streaming services because THEY built their own infrastructure to carry their own services first and foremost as a way of making a profit by offering those services. If I built a road to serve my own customers, but then noticed a large trucking company hogging that road, I could either slow down the trucks of the large trucking company, charge it more money for access to my road, or I'd have to charge ALL my customers more money to build a bigger, wider road. Why should MY customers have to pay more so the trucking company can more or less "steal" the use of my road? Why shouldn't Netflix and its subscribers have to contribute more to building the infrastructure? What if you were a Comcast subscriber and your streaming service was suffering because they were attempting to carry the Netflix traffic? Wouldn't you be mad? How about if you were a Comcast shareholder expecting return on your investment?
J.w.S852
100%
0%
J.w.S852,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 3:00:21 PM
Wrong problem
The author is confusing or conflating traffic prioritization with traffic discrimination. ISPs will prioritize not in order to facilitate traffic rationalization for efficiency but for exploitation and monetization. The two, prioritization and monetized discrimination, are two distinct motives with different results. Perhaps there is a better way to acheive net neutrality than regulation but not the way the author is suggesting which does not address the real problem at hand.
milliamp
50%
50%
milliamp,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 3:11:39 PM
Re: Wrong problem
You make it sound like traffic prioritization and traffic discrimination are different when they aren't. "Discrimination" is just giving traffic the lowest priority in prioritization. Telling someone prioritization is ok as long as nobody is lower priority than anyone else doesn't even make sense. 

There is a need to correctly define what would actually be outlawed before writing it into law and that specific part has proven to be more difficult than most expect at face value. I've read several of the proposed documents and there are a lot of problems with the proposal. 

The real problem is we all want to outlaw being evil with no clear way to define just what "evil" really is.
RobPreston
100%
0%
RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
1/17/2014 | 3:22:38 PM
Re: Wrong problem
Doesn't anyone think consumers will punish operators that engage in traffic discrimination in order to hurt their competitors? Going way back to 2006, a local phone company called Madison River Communications was found to be blocking Vonage VoIP traffic. After the public hue and cry, it quickly shaped up. Consumers won't stand for it;  they'll vote with their feet or, if viable provider alternatives are lacking, will take to social media to rip the offending operator a new one. Meantime, as the author states, there are competition laws already in place that prohibit such discrimination
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
1/18/2014 | 8:06:09 AM
Re: Wrong problem
Yes excellent points and consumers are becoming extremely good at encrypting their traffic so that the provider does not even know the type of traffic that it is handling. Consumers are never going to allow any practice that makes them pay more or limits them.
jfeldman
50%
50%
jfeldman,
User Rank: Strategist
1/19/2014 | 9:32:27 AM
Re: Wrong problem
Precisely, Rob. It would be extremely unlikely for any carrier to substantially rate limit in an anticompetitive manner and not get held accountable in some way for it. Again, many of the arguments against competition are purely fear based.
anon7766509461
100%
0%
anon7766509461,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2014 | 3:00:30 PM
Regulation and Competition
I believe it's mistaken to assume that lack of regulation = competition.  That's true in perfect markets.

What we're talking about with telcos is natural monopoly.   They're not evil.   The telco delivery infrastructure, in thise case, just has natural properties that discourage competition. E.g. high barriers to entry after the first 1-2 market entrants.    How many people have more than 2-3 broadband options?  That's not a perfect market.   Giving them additional power over content just adds to their market power. 

Defining net neutrality gives consumers a lever over that market power.  

Dogmatically assuming that regulation reduces competition may be true in Econ 10 Widget World.   However reality often astounds theory.  
anon0114985622
50%
50%
anon0114985622,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/18/2014 | 10:16:58 AM
Re: Regulation and Competition
I wholeheartedly agree that it is quite naive to assume that an ideally competitive and free marketplace is attainable simply by limiting government regulatory influence.

But it is also naive to assume that government regulation is, in any way, egalitarian. just, and uncorruptable.

Neither ideal marketplances nor ideal governments are possible in the real world, and least of all in the imaginary "free world".  Money is power and money trumps all, (including both adequate infrastructure and adequate competition).  Politicians and judiciaries can be bought and sold just as easily as less powerful competitors can.

In the real world, consumers are destined to be eventaully consumed - the Darwinian food chain is never truer than in the world of finance and economics.

 

 
nolivier100
0%
100%
nolivier100,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/18/2014 | 8:29:06 AM
Lets get real
To pretend net neutrality is a bad thing - it is carpet bagging - pure and simple.
builder7
50%
50%
builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/18/2014 | 9:41:37 AM
Dark bandwidth
Although all of these arguments hold weight, there is no reason to throttle bandwidth or control anybody, except for network equipment in the central office's.  90% of the bandwidth of the available internet pipes are not used because companies are throttling it because they believe in this business practice of optimal return as to the amount of traffic and at what point they make the most money.  Unfortunately, their business model is flawed because by restricting network bandwidth the only thing that they restrict is the economy, which will make them much more gold if allowed to flourish rather than to wither on the vine with somebody trying to squeeze out the nector of it.  We need an open society that has freedom without corporations controlling our lives and making things more expensive.  The example about 'bad players' who use lots of bandwidth does not make a lot of sense because the bandwidth on the network is a gross amount of bandwith and it goes through the pipes just fine and is restricted at the infrastructure of the network.  Instead of throttling everything they need to open up the dark Internet pipes and lower the prices so that we can be competitive with the rest of the world.  At the rate this country is going, with these pig headed, greedy people running things, the US will be way down the list on everything pretty soon and we have actually been going downhill since the 1960's.  Give me a break AT&T and other American corporations and actually start competing globally, rather than paying global wages and charging old time American prices that drives everybody further down.  If we want to be a true global competitor these companies will open up more bandwidth, suck it up and buy the necessary equipment, and lower the prices like other countries so that we can let innovation flourish in this country once again.  Capitalism does not have any right to shut down free enterprise for 99% of the people in this country!
stevew928
50%
50%
stevew928,
User Rank: Strategist
1/18/2014 | 3:59:26 PM
Economics 101
First, and in general, you are missing a couple of very basic things about economics. Due to our nature as humans, competition alone isn't the magic ingredient of economics. This is a basic misconception I run into all the time. To have, what would properly be termed a free market, there needs to be adaquate regulation AND cometition. Or, to put this another way, no regulation equals anarchy, not freedom.

Second, there are reasons we have things like utilities. Notice that our roads, our water and sewer systems, the power grid, basic communications systems (*caugh, caugh* a key here), etc. have been designed as utilities. This doesn't mean that they can't be private, but they need proper oversight and regulation, to ensure certain aspects remain intact for the best public interest.

Third, I think you've missed one of the key points behind Net Neutrality. It isn't a particular regulation, but a PRINCIPAL which is absolutely crucual, however we choose to implement and regulate it. While we can argue over what, if any level of traffic shaping is necessary (say, for emergency communications, or core reliability, etc.), what we don't want is an ISP partnering with a government or content provider to favor or censor content for financial benefit or political interests. There is a 'cloud' of data end users want to access, and the 'pipe' to that 'cloud' should be a 'dumb' as possible, while *maybe* making certain exceptions, only for very important reasons (but, even that opens a potential can of worms, unless done with great public transparency and consideration).

Fourth, sure more competition would be great. However, I'm failing to see how a few powerful telcoms partnering up with content providers to draw customers to their partular flavor of the Internet is going to do this. I see nothing but bad for the end users coming from such an arrangement, if not downright evil... ie: the end of free-speech via the Internet. If you don't think that could happen, you're simply naive. At least keeping that possibility illegal, increases our chances of not going there.

Fifth, you speak about the cost of over-provision. While you're technically accurate, I think the problem is in scales of magnitude. Wasn't it the Comcast CEO who recently made the daft statement that they have so much bandwidth they could unleash, but their customers wouldn't even know what to do with it? Really? Cellular data aside, the Internet end-mile is SO far behind in the USA (despite $200B in tax-breaks we've seen little benefit from), that what you're speaking of isn't even an issue. I think I read that we're talking like $0.02 per/GB of data as the cost... and many say that's high these days. What does the average user consume? 20 GB? 50 GB? That's like $0.40 to $1. Maybe the *big* user uses $10 or $20? Big woppie! They are charging $60+ for crying out loud! This whole push (and why telcos are so adamently opposed to Net Neutrality) is over their want to add another layer of profits onto their business model, and shape the Internet to their financial benefit to win customers from the competiton. If, say AT&T, provided the best access to Netflix and Google, who's going to go with Comcast if they enjoy those services? So, it's exactly anti-competition which is the goal here.

If they have no problem dealing with regulation, as you say, why are they so opposed to it? Why is it telcos vs nearly everyone else? Heck, when the Christian Coalition and the ACLU agree, along with most of the tech industry innovation leaders, shouldn't we, maybe, pay attention? (How often does that happen!) Especially when it's just one group of monopolistic businesses on the opposing side of things?
moarsauce123
50%
50%
moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
1/19/2014 | 8:12:34 AM
Who runs the network
It all comes down to who runs the network. The network is the biggest expense and that is why those places who can count themselves lucky have two networks, the one from the cable company and the one from the phone company. I hardly call that competition.

We all know the pesty ESCOs that all rely on the local power company's distribution network. This is skewed competition because the local power company also sells electricity and is likely to give its own customers preferred treatment. Real competition would be if there is one network provider open to everyone charging the same fee per customer. Now we have a level playing field!

Same is needed for broadband, the ones running the network cannot be ISP at the same time. The network is open for every competitor for the same fee per customer. With that the days of preferred content are over because there is no extra money to be made by the network operator. At that point content providers would be all in favor of network neutrality, because they don't want to be at the mercy of the network operator deciding which content or service gets throttled.

Switiching services should also be easier because then the providers do not have to install any hardware. Yes, that may mean consumers have to pay two bills, one for the sevrice provider and one for the network operator, but that is a small price to pay for net neutrality.

So, I disagree with the "we are not Europe" idea. What is happening in Europe is that consumers and companies there enjoy much faster Internet access for a fraction of the price with a much bigger competition. True, the major networks are still operated by the former telecom monopolies, but even that is seeing competition. Quite a few companies build their own networks running fiber along railroad corridors (in a closed channel on the ground, not nailed to poles). There is plenty of stuff that is working great in Europe that would also work great in the US. Why not go with that for lack of a better alternative? At least better than the "not invented here" syndrome.
jfeldman
50%
50%
jfeldman,
User Rank: Strategist
1/19/2014 | 9:35:24 AM
Re: Who runs the network
I don't disagree that unbundling has proven effective in Europe. I'm not dismissing it, I'm actually sort of a fan, I just think we need to move cautiously if we go down this road. One other note: if we want to treat broadband as a national asset and utility, and go the way of Amtrak (which consolidated many independent private railroad companies into one not for profit/gov entity back in the 70s), that's possible, too, we just need to be willing to pay for it.
missmouser33
50%
50%
missmouser33,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/20/2014 | 12:21:48 PM
Internet Must Go
Net neutrality is an issue that hasn't been sqashed yet. It's more important than ever to learn the issues, so here's a great short mockumentary if anyone wants a refresher: www.theinternetmustgo.com/
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - September 10, 2014
A high-scale relational database? NoSQL database? Hadoop? Event-processing technology? When it comes to big data, one size doesn't fit all. Here's how to decide.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A look at the top stories from InformationWeek.com for the week of September 7, 2014.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.