North American Network Operators Group

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Re: What's going on?

  • From: Ben Black
  • Date: Fri Apr 18 03:10:44 1997

> Also, if you think I am too liberal or a democrat I am not. In fact I am an
> Independant voter, and I am actually rather conservative about government.
> I just think this is one place where they could do good. In the end I think
> they will step in anyhow. After all, are ISPs so different than
> long-distance phone companies who lease lines from RBOCs, connect
> residential and business consumers, and take data interstate? Sound
> familiar to anyone? If you think the FCC isn't going to do something to
> regulate ISPs.. think again.. they could get the mandate far easier than
> you would like to belive.

government regulation would do exactly what it has done for radio and 
tv.  it would be almost impossible for startups to play, even if you 
maintain a minimum level of service, simply because it is too 
expensive.  it would drive out small players who may have a lot of good 
to contribute. 

also, there is no way to tell the government how much regulation they are 
allowed.  if they decide they want to come in and violate constitutional 
rights left and right (government controlled encryption for american 
citizens on the government controlled internet, anyone?) then there is 
little that can be done to stop them.  you can't defend yourself against 
the vampire once you have invited him across your doorstep.

so perhaps that is the trade-off.  high-probability of network stability 
vs. freedom.  personally, i think government intervention would only 
serve to stunt on-line activity, but the big 3 are looking at the bottom 
line and i am sure see a different picture.


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