New Media, New Networks

I’m doing an event at the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management in Washington, DC, on the 29th, and I expect you all to attend. It’s called New Media, New Networks: The Evolution of Content on the Internet:

In wake of the FCC Broadband NOI, broadband workshops on broadband, content and cybersecurity – as well as Genachowski’s recent announcement on net neutrality – several well-respected experts will gather to talk about their viewpoints on network policy – problems, opportunities and common ground. These are the most important string of events centered around this topic in over a year, and we encourage you to take part in the discussion.

My panel features Dave Farber, Harold Feld, and Robb Topolski. We’ll be discussing “Network Management and Delivering for the Consumer – The evolving role of the networks – better, smarter, faster.”

I think this should be a lively panel and a morning well-spent.

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14 thoughts on “New Media, New Networks”

  1. Harold Feld and Robb Topolski? Both have one thing in common: substantial portions of every paycheck that each one receives come from Google. And Google, of course, is lobbying for regulations regarding network management that would benefit it at the expense of ISPs and consumers. It would be much more interesting, in my opinion, to see panelists whose opinions have not been bought.

  2. A saint or two might have been interesting. But so would at least one panelist who was actually involved in the day-to-day work of building and operating a network. As someone who does that, it distresses me to see so many “policy discussions” which contain no one who actually does what is proposed to be regulated for a living.

  3. By your standard, network operators are just as heavily compromised as anybody else in this debate, Brett, so the ad hominem attacks can go both ways; bear in mind that these fellows were expressing similar opinions long before they landed in their current positions, so it’s a bit naive to ascribe their views to The “Don’t be Evil” G.

  4. Richard, network operators are PARTIES to the debate. Any forum which discusses regulating them, but excludes them, is simply not legitimate.

    It appears, by the way, that GMU’s “Graduate School of Political Management” is a school for lobbyists. Perhaps this is the real reason that people with actual experience in providing broadband service were excluded from the event. The purpose of the event appears not to have a fair discussion but rather to have the lobbyists show off their chops: how well they can deceive the public and policy makers and spew misinformation. They can obviously do this best if the people whom they are attacking are not present.

  5. ISPs must be represented in EVERY legitimate discussion of this topic. It’s a basic tenet of justice in this country that we do not try people in absentia; they have the right to confront their accusers (an especially apt way to put it in this case, because the lobbyists for “network neutrality” regulation are accusing ISPs of every conceivable evil motive and activity). Google is obviously very well represented; three of its lobbyists will be there, all misrepresenting themselves as acting in the “public interest.” I and my colleagues deserve a voice, and no forum on this topic is legitimate unless we have one. Period.

  6. You seem to be confusing a panel discussion with a court of law, Brett. We’ve heard too much over-heated rhetoric from both sides of this issue already, and it really doesn’t help.

    All voices deserve to be heard, whether you agree with them or not; and if you disagree, express your concerns without descending into ad hominem. We don’t need two David Reeds in this discussion, one is more than enough.

  7. The standards of fairness used in a court of law are certainly a good start. Especially when what we are talking about here is the court of public opinion and policy.

    In any event, since you concede above that all voices deserve to be heard, why do you not think there’s something wrong when the voices of those most likely to be harmed by the regulation being contemplated have been excluded?

  8. Thanks, but I don’t accept the premise. In the course of the debate, all voices will be heard, but that doesn’t imply that every *single* person is going to asked to take part in every *single* panel.

    I think this is going to be an interesting event, and I’m looking forward to it.

  9. I’m not suggesting that every person be on every panel; that’s silly. But the panels on which you are speaking contain no representatives at all — not one — from the ISP industry or in particular from small ISPs or WISPs, who constitute the majority of ISPs in this country. Again, we are being judged in absentia. Not a legitimate way to run a forum.

    Bottom line: you may disagree, but I will continue to maintain that no policy forum which discusses regulating my industry, but does not include a representative of my industry, is legitimate. Enjoy your day.

  10. Frankly, Brett, that’s utter bullshit. The questions about regulation encompass areas of law and engineering and the future of networking in which operational people have no particular expertise.

    Folks in your industry are too busy fighting alligators to know how to drain the swamp. I realize you personally have an interest in policy and a background in engineering, and those things qualify you to speak on policy, not the fact that you climb up on roofs on a regular basis.

  11. Richard, with all due respect, this is absolutely not correct. The proposed regulations concern the OPERATION of networks, and therefore the operators of networks are very much parties to this debate.

    Yes, engineers are useful participants as well, especially when they engineer the networks that the operators will run. But the operators understand not only the day-to-day logistics and exigencies of running the network; they also understand the financial aspects, which are vitally important to keeping networks sustainable. Engineers who are purely engineers may not.

    By the way, experience in climbing on roofs and getting links running for customers is particularly vital to discussions of the currently proposed set of regulations. The proposed regulations say that consumers should be allowed to connect “any device” to the network. Anyone who actually installs wireless networking equipment knows how badly the wrong equipment, or improperly configured equipment, can impact both the customer’s connection and other users’ connections.

    Likewise, it is network operators who see the congestion caused by P2P, and have to deal with the support calls it generates.

    In short, both network operators and network engineers deserve and MUST HAVE a seat at the table. The lobbyists, who are merely representatives of greedy corporations and are in the business of dispensing falsehoods and FUD (as you yourself have observed), need not be there.

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