As the clock continues to tick towards tomorrow's all-hands meeting of the Federal Communications Commission, at which a common-sense solution to preserve the open Internet may finally be agreed upon, some very thoughtful and unexpected voices are weighing in to the debate, urging that we "be done, and move forward."
What is most surprising, and refreshing, is that these voices are coming not only from inside the Beltway, but also from very far outside of it. And they -- rightly -- are urging the FCC to sign-on to the reasonable compromise that has been fashioned by its Chairman, Julius Genachowski, so that our nation and our economy at last can put this vexing (and very Washington, D.C.-focused) debate behind us, and get on with the important work of innovating, creating jobs, and investing in our communications ecosystem.
So, for anybody who cares about this debate, a quick scan through the following short articles, which come from a diverse group including a start-up tech leader in Silicon Valley, progressive political voices in South Carolina, a leader in the American labor movement as well as a leading voice in the U.S. minority community, would be very enlightening.
These voices are among the many that want to stand-up and be counted as supporting the FCC Chairman's common-sense plan to preserve and protect an open Internet. What distinguishes these perspectives is that they include new, passionate but reasonable, and decidedly non-Washington viewpoints. These perspectives, to put it mildly, are needed now more than ever before.
• The Hill, "The Myth of 'Real' Net Neutrality" by Manolo Espinosa, co-founder of hosted website search firm IndexTank
• The State, "Riley, Rivers: Ending net-neutrality debate will spur growth in SC" by Richard Riley, the former governor of South Carolina and former secretary of education under President Bill Clinton; and David Rivers, a Charleston native and board member of the Alliance for Digital Equality.
• "Consensus Today: Broadband Tomorrow" by Larry Cohen, President of the Communications Workers of America; and Marc Morial, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban League.
Jonathan Spalter, chairman of Mobile Future, has been founding CEO of leading technology, media, and research companies, including Public Insight, Snocap, and Atmedica Worldwide. He served as an advisor to and spokesperson for Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration.
Mobile Future is a 501(c)(4) coalition comprised of and supported by technology businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals dedicated to advocating for an environment in which innovations in wireless technology and services are enabled and encouraged. For a full list of members and sponsors and to learn more about the coalition, go to www.mobilefuture.org.