You are here

Web creator's parochial bias for horizontal innovation only

Web creator Sir Timothy Berners-Lee predictably testified before the House Telecom Subcommittee yesterday.  According to Comm Daily today, he said that "the key to web growth is "separation of layers" between browser and server, requiring engineers and legislators "get out of the way" and let others devleop innovative Web Protocols." (Sir Berners-Lee quotes in italics)

  • I wholeheartedly agree legislators should get out of the way, but why engineers?
  • Don't engineers innovate and invent?

What troubles me with the net regulation proponent view is this presumption that innovation can only come from software people or code writers not engineers of people involved in networking or infrastructure.

  • This "separation of layers" approach, also championed by France, (keeping transport, application and content separate and distinct) presumes that there is a bright line that can separate them and that drawing a line between them is also a good idea.

The best way to encourage innovation is not to limit it. 

  • Prohibiting inter-layer competition and integration essentially freezes the Internet and puts limits on how it can evolve in the future.
  • Interlayer competition and integration is essentially how you can tailor services to meet niche needs, which is what market forces and competition are all about.
    • Interlayer competition allows personalization and customization. 

While I have enormous respect for Sir Timothy Berners-Lee World Wide Web invention, and thank him for it, his view is naturally very parochial.

  • He's basically talking about restricting the Internet from evolving away from his seventeen year old invention of the Web.
  • Who is to say that his 1990 concept to access information universally is the only way it can be done forever and that there may not be an even more innovative solution invented in the future?
  • Why limit future innovation to only one segment of the industry and only one point of view?