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FCC Chairman's "broadband engine" speech raises big questions
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2010-02-16 18:39
FCC Chairman Genachowski's speech to NARUC: "Broadband: Our Enduring Engine for Prosperity and Opportunity" raises some big open questions.
The biggest open question is whether Chairman Genachowski believes the titular "broadband engine" of his speech should remain a private sector "engine" that is private property and fueled by profit and investment returns, or whether the "broadband engine" should somehow become quasi public property, heavily regulated like a public utility, and more government funded and controlled.
Another big open question arises out of Chairman Genchowski's adoption of electricity as his new guiding metaphor in place of interstate highways.
The open question here is electricity transmission is regulated as a public utility. Is the FCC Chairman's new metaphor intended to extend to how broadband should be regulated?
The irony with the Chairman adopting this new electricity omni-metaphor to explain his policy approach/plan is that the current electrical grid is a dumb network that the Administration and the FCC want to make a "smart grid" via broadband technology, while the current smart broadband network would be forced to become dumb if the FCC's proposed open Internet regulations become formal regulations.
Why is it a good thing for an electrical grid/network to be smart, but its not a good thing for a broadband information services network to be smart?