Daily Archives: April 6, 2010

Private Infrastructure Fails to Provide Freedom

The United States Court of Appeals ruled today that the FCC does not have authority to require Net Neutrality on privately owned networks like Comcast’s cable Internet or Verizon’s FiOS. A variety of approaches suggest themselves to preserve the essential freedom of the Internet. One is to change the law to provide the FCC the needed authority, however this is likely to lead to protracted legislative and legal battles, where the network owners fight to preserve their control and freedom to manipulate conditions of use. Considering it is their investment, the private owners have some reasonable grounds for that position. Another approach is for the public interest to exert itself through direct investment. That is, for the public to build their own last-mile infrastructure and for that public infrastructure to be operated in their own interests, including freedom to use that infrastructure as they see fit, consistent with the physical limitations and fairness. Fiber optics to the end-user provides the best capacity bang for the buck. Public ownership provides the best freedom bang for the buck.