THE BLOG

Whither Internet 2.0?

05/03/2006 10:52 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

OK, lots of comments including Ms. Huffington her own self. On the vocabulary, Arianna, let's settle on this: the debate is about how to define network neutrality: some want "regulated net neutrality" (that would be the net neuts who are having great sport with me at the moment) they want the government to regulate the way content is provided on the Internet so that no network provider can introduce ways to speed some content faster than it would otherwise go on an Internet the government regulates. Everyone gets the same service (everyone gets the Postal Service and the UPS and Fed Ex innovators do not get to charge for the service).

Others (me) say that we made a good decision in the 1990s during the Clinton years to keep this unregulated by the FCC and the government and let the market produce robust solutions. I think we made the right call. Had we introduced telephony regulation to the 'net in 1996 we would still be debating stupid stuff like how long-distance rules apply to broadband. Go figure.

But I am worried about this. This is not and cannot be a partisan issue. Some bloggers have acknowledged this. You can be a good Democrat or progressive and believe that we will be better off if the market decides who gets to control content on the web instead of the FCC deciding who are the winners and losers. (And before you jump and say, yeah but the big telcos will decide, take a look at their balance sheets, share prices and what the Wall Street analysts are saying about whether they are smart to invest billions that it will take to bring the Internet up to snuff. We Clintonistas believed we could make it smart for business to do the right thing. That's what we are trying to get the network operators to do now.)

One other worry: I work on lots of stuff and this issue is about 10% of my time. I work on lots of stuff that none of the blogosphere knows about, although many of them care about it deeply. Geez, many of you are young enough you don't know who I am in the first place.

Lets try a little dialogue before we declare people to be be shills and crazy and liars and so-forth. Do we want the web to be a place where you only get attention if you call people names first?