With friends like this…

One of the strangest of strange bedfollows in the net neutrality debate is the Discovery Institute. Best known for promoting the question-begging Intelligent Design construct (a critique of Darwinian descent-with-modification intended to restore moral rectitude in America by lying about biology), Disco has a sideline in telecom regulation. Their chief telecom regulator sees Bill Gates as an ally, and seeks to praise him:

Right! But you’re either a network company who don’t [sic] want any restrictions, or a content company who doesn’t understand the disincentive to building out the networks. There were tons of things proposed that would have made the US just like Europe. These are complex issues. What the consumer wants, in terms of, hey, my network gives me access to everything but it’s also very high-speed [sic] — that’s the ideal for us. And as a big company in the industry, it’s incumbent — it’s a part of our responsibility is [sic] to learn these complex issues and not let either [sic] the extreme things block what really should happen. The US did have a problem in the 1996 act that it had as an assumption that sub-leasing could do this magic thing, and how did that go? Why is Korea ahead of us? It’s a complex thing. I think we’re doing the right things. Go and look at the AT&T filing; I haven’t looked at it specifically, and see if you think that strikes a good balance.

Go and look at the AT&T filing; I haven’t looked at it specifically but you should do as I say, not as I do. This guy is not helping to save the Internet from over-regulation and I’d like for him to stop trying.

UPDATE: If you want a decent account of the Gates interview, go see Matt Sherman’s selective quotes. Note that Gates also said he thinks the AT&T merger agreement “strikes the right balance,” but that’s another story for another day, Matt never said he was going to be all fair and balanced.

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