The dustbin of history

Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy and Steven Rosenfeld of are worried that capitalism is Stealing The Internet:

The Internet’s early promise as a medium where text, audio, video and data can be freely exchanged and the public interest can be served is increasingly being relegated to history’s dustbin. Today, the part of the Net that is public and accessible is shrinking, while the part of the Net tied to round-the-clock billing is poised to grow exponentially.

I’m going to have to hurry up and publish my critique of “The Future of Ideas” because this kind of crap gets more and more common. For the record, and because I don’t have much time today, let me remind my readers that the Internet, at the time TCP/IP was rolled-out in 1982, consisted of a half-dozen computers connected by 56Kbps modems on leased liines, and nobody was exchanging any video or audio over it. It’s become what it is today because capitalist enterprises were willing to invest money in upgrading the infrastructure, which they did on the expectation that they could make some money off it. It already costs more to get a broadband connection than a dialup, and that’s as it should be. As we go to more metered services, the richness of the overall environment will improve, not decline.

So no, the socialist vision of the Internet as something as free as air has never been true, the Internet is not dying, and we don’t need more government regulation of the Net, thank you very much.

I wish these dudes would go and find themselves an issue they can understand.