Net Neutrality, conversation and art in Santa Barbara

In a more perfect world, where my many passions and obligations would be jobbed out to team of scattered clones, one of me would be in Santa Barbara, at the Super Santa Barbara exhibition on Net Neutrality at 653 Paseo Nuevo where a reception will take place 6:30pm-9pm on Thursday (that’s today) January 6th.

In my stead will be friends, most notably Joe Andrieu — who will give a talk on Net Neutrality with a Q&A — and Warren Schultheis of City2.0, who organized the event and the exhibition, which will run Jan 7th – Jan 23rd. Tues-Sun 12pm -5pm.

In their page on Net Neutrality, there’s a link to this piece I wrote for Linux Journal in 2006. It holds up pretty well, actually.

Again, wish I could be there. But if you are, please come by. There are many arguments to be had on the topic — art to appreciate as well (such as the Julia Ford item above). But the fact that matters most for Santa Barbara is that the city is still under-served by its sources of Internet connectivity. That alone should give everybody plenty to talk about.

Bonus link.

6 comments

  1. Warren’s avatar

    Thanks so much Doc. We wish you were here too. We may conspire to steal you back.

  2. Seth Finkelstein’s avatar

    “Specifically, by provisioning big bandwidth downstream and narrow
    bandwidth upstream, while blocking ports 25 and 80–in crass violation
    of the Net’s UNIX-derived network model, in addition to the end-to-end
    principle–the carriers prevent customers from running their own mail
    and Web servers and whatever server-based businesses might be possible.”

    For server-based businesses, there’s business-grade connection. Most people – the vast, vast, majority – WANT big bandwidth downstream. In the above, you make it sound like some sort of an imposition. If there is a constraint – i.e. if a choice has to be made – are you really advocating that people must by mandate have half their connection reserved for upstream they don’t want to to use, again, per assumption, in contrast for what they do want? That would be like saying all books must have half their pages blank, in case readers want to write their own book (reading a book is so passive – we might be writers instead!)

    I’m on Google’s side of NN on economic grounds. But the above sort of utopian social vision supposedly manifested via low-level network configuration strikes me as almost literal voodoo politics.

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Warren. Conspire away. And let me know how it goes this evening.

    Seth, I wouldn’t write that passage the same way today, and the situation has changed. Where I live, for example, Verizon FiOS not only offers symmetrical speeds (at least at their Tier 2, which is what I have), but also offer much lower business-grade plan prices than they had in the past, and offer static IP addresses as well. Meanwhile Comcast at least the last time I heard from them doesn’t think that market is significant. In any case, it’s better than it was, at least in some areas.

    Meanwhile, fwiw, I didn’t say in the first place that people don’t want big downstream bandwidth, nor was I proposing a mandate for anything. Also fwiw, I think NN is a fine guiding principle, but I also think it has never been defined well enough to put, loophole-free, in legislation or regulation. I haven’t liked any of the proposed legislation I’ve seen (from Markey, et. al.), and remain too flummoxed by the recent FCC proposal to have anything constructive to say about it.

    Were I to give the talk at today’s thing in Santa Barbara, I’d say the biggest issue is opportunity rather than neutrality, and that Business As Usual shortchanges both. Which is pretty much what I said back in 2006, and why I also said I though it held up pretty well.

  4. Seth Finkelstein’s avatar

    Doc, yes, there’s been advancement from several years ago. But my main point is that you seemed to be taking a particular product that was engineered for a specific market – consumer download – and reading too many implications into the fact that product was not some other product, for server businesses.

    Think of the FCC proposal as a negotiated treaty between three rival powers (Google, Verizon, AT&T). Like any treaty, sometimes it’s deliberately ambiguous.

  5. The Best’s avatar

    Nice! Just read your Net Neutrality vs. Net Neutering article from 2006. Amazing how little has changed!

Comments are now closed.