Lessig: Broadband is Infrastructure

Prompted by Jonathan Zittrain’s recent “Without a Net” paper, I’ve been pondering the future of Internet regulation and management.

Lessig adds to my stew of thoughts with this post:

So while it is true that we have had both:

(a) common carrier like regulation applied to the Internet, and
(b) basically no effective regulation applied to the Internet

and it is true that we have had both:

(c) fast, fierce competition to provide Internet service and
(d) just about the worst broadband service of the developed world

it is not true that we had (c) when we had (b).

We had (c) when we had (a), and we have (d) now that we have (b).

But in the world where the President has the inherent authority to wiretap telephones, who would be surprised if facts didn’t matter much.

Broadband is infrastructure — like highways, if not railroads. If you rely upon “markets? alone to provide infrastructure, you’ll get less of it, and at a higher price. (See, e.g., the United States, today.)
(Zittrain’s On the Media interview can be heard here.)

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