No Politics For Network Neutrality

Freedom 2 Connect conference organized by David Isenberg is proving to be a network neutrality lovefest. I was scheduled to attend, but work commitments prevented me from going. Filling in admirably is my colleague Erick Schonfeld who is blogging up a storm on Business2blog. He writes about Michael Powell’s speech. Former FCC commish was pretty blunt in saying that legislating network neutrality is not going to happen, and it is a bad idea anyway.

“It is too facile to say the Internet belongs to the public. People are married to the metaphor of the public space, but they run into trouble when it comes to who should pay for this stuff. They think it should be the government. That’s not going to happen. The government is broke, It’s going to stay broke.”

Powell’s thoughts were matched by Martin Geddes, one of my favorite broadband pundits. “Network neutrality can’t be made to stick. Telcos will evade whatever definition you put up; it’s easier than fighting UNE-P unbundling rules. It’s easy to create atilted playing field,” he said in his speech today. Martin, makes a lot of sense, and offers a very coherent reasons why getting politics involved in NN is going to create one messy situation.