If it’s Wednesday, this must be London

The Net Neutrality event went well in Brussels yesterday, and today I’ve set up shop in London for another go-round. I love London. I’m within walking distance of the British Museum, McDonald’s, and Krispy Kreme, and two tube stops from some Kerala food. It rains like Portland, just to discourage the tourists, but not so much as to make a real difference.

16 thoughts on “If it’s Wednesday, this must be London”

  1. You're in London? I'm jealous. Especially about the Indian food. 😉 If you get a chance, try the Motijhell restaurant, at 53 Marchmont Street, south of Cartwright Gardens (Near the Russell Square tube stop and also fairly close to King's Cross/St. Pancras). They make the best Dhansak Curry in London, IMHO. Cybergate, one of the best London cybercafes (they will let you plug in your own laptop; many others will not) is around the corner at 3 Leigh Street, a few doors east of Cartwright Gardens.

  2. I'm back now, it was a short trip. Your restaurant is only one tube stop from my hotel. I landed near the Holburn station, a pretty great location where the Picadilly Line and the Central Line cross. Had DSL in the room, but it wasn't the greatest speed. You should come to the next NN event over there, you'd like it.

  3. I'd love an excuse to get over to Europe. If I can arrange to be invited to such an event, I will go. It will be especially important to speak on this issue once Obama is elected and the “network neuterers” go to work on Internet-crippling legislation.

  4. The regulators are going to be active regardless of who wins, so it's a matter of some importance for both candidates to have sound advice. The McCain tech policy team – Mike Powell, Meg Whitman, and Carly Coverphoto – doesn't impress me a great deal. Obama's is much more diverse, as one would expect.

  5. Both Obama and his team worry me. Obama professed his support for the ill advised Dorgan/Snowe bill two years ago. Lessig is apparently one of his campaign's advisors. And it is of great concern that Gigi Sohn — a lawyer from the DC lobbying group “Public Knowledge,” which was behind the Comcast debacle — is representing his campaign on network issues. See also the following URLs:





  6. All the more reason for responsible people to help Obama see the right side. If this election were being fought over Internet regulation alone, McCain might be the better choice, but he has a tendency to get all mavericky and take irrational position, like he did with campaign finance restrictions. But there are much larger issues at stake, of course. If it happens that we have to kill the Internet to save the global economy, for example, it's not a hard choice to make.

  7. It's very hard to get a politician's attention, Richard. Obama will be surrounded by advisors, and it is clear from his choice of advisors what they are going to say. I'm not normally a single issue voter, but how can I support Obama when he is trying to drive me out of business and my customers off of broadband and back to dialup?

  8. When I lobbied the California Legislature, I had face-to-face meetings with committee chairs, got regular phone calls from the governor's office, and served on boards and commissions where I got lots of attention from politicians. If you play your cards right, you can influence the process.

    But look at the issue in the larger sense: if Sarah Palin becomes the stewardess of the economy, your customers won't have jobs. What does that do to your business?

  9. Alas, the way I see it there is at least some chance that a McCain administration will throw out some of Bush’s foxes in hen houses and reverse some of his more malign policy. So, my customers may keep their jobs. And I know I’ll at least have a fighting chance to keep mine.

    On the other hand, Obama’s campaign is making it quite clear that if he’s elected, I and other independent ISPs are going to lose our livelihoods. We will be regulated right out of business. We won’t be allowed to manage our networks, or to sell services which cost us more to provide for more money. Prove me wrong on this and I’ll consider voting for him, but as of the moment I cannot vote for someone whose stated agenda is to destroy my life’s work and harm the customers whom I’ve sweated blood to connect to the Net.

  10. I don’t see Obama doing anything rash. He’ll make a sensible FCC appointment, replacing Martin, and study the specifics of any legislation his FCC chief tells him he needs. Or maybe he’ll appoint Lessig to head the FCC and the Internet will die. How would I know?

  11. Alas, Richard, no one knows.

    I certainly don’t agree with McCain on everything, but he has his head on straight about the Internet — and Obama should adopt the same stance. Here’s what McCain told C|Net:

    C|Net: Congress has considered Net neutrality legislation, but it never became law. Do you still support the legislation that was re-introduced in 2007 (S 215), which gives the FCC the power to punish “discriminatory” conduct by broadband providers?

    McCain: In general, I believe that we need to move to a different model for enforcing competition on the Internet. Its focus should be on policing clearly anticompetitive behavior and consumer predation. In such a dynamic and innovative setting, it is not desirable for regulators to be required to anticipate market developments, intervene in the market, and try to micromanage American business and innovation.

    In short, McCain is exactly right on this issue.

  12. McCain has said some nice things, but he’s so erratic you have no guarantee that his actions as president, if he hadn’t blown up his campaign by selecting the retard to grace the ticket, would have been consistent with his rhetoric. Obama has pretty much made the same noises as most other Dems on this issue, not what I’d like to hear at all. But as I’ve said, the fact that Obama has taken the wrong position on this one issue, as important as it is, has to be weighed against his general qualifications. He’s superior to McCain on temperament and judgment, and in these uncertain times they’re more important than specific policy claims.

    Now consider what happens if Diebold elects McCain and he dies in office. Palin will listen to the Christian Coalition on this issue, and what do they want? To confiscate your business.

    So you’re screwed either way.

  13. From what I have seen, the Christian Coalition wants to make sure that its own messages are not censored or blocked, but that any material of which they do not approve *can* be blocked. Fortunately, members of Congress have not seemed too impressed with their pitch.

    In any event, we are entering dangerous times for the Internet. If regulations are passed that attempt to turn it into the Bell System of old, it will die. Forget about consumer choice or personalized service. And forget about the original paradigm on which the Internet was based. It won’t be a network of heterogeneous networks (with different ownership, policies, technologies, strengths and weaknesses) anymore. It’ll just be one network monopoly or duopoly.

  14. Well, Brett, I think we agree the Internet is in trouble, whoever wins the election, and probably in a bit more trouble if Obama wins, as he most probably will.

    But as patriotic Americans we sometimes have to put our personal interests aside and do what’s good for the country as a whole, and that’s why I support Obama. Internet regulation, as important as it may be, is one small issue in a whole slew of things that are going to be decided over the next eight years.

    So you don’t need to prove that McCain has a better position on NN than Obama – I conceded that weeks ago. Just do your duty for your country.

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