29 November 2005

The future of the Internet

In addition to the article referred to earlier on New Zealand, here are two articles that discuss some issues facing the Internet in the future. The first addresses potential abuses by the owners of the so-called "bottleneck facilities" -- the facilities we use to gain access to the content and applications that are provided on the Internet. These "bottleneck facilities" have almost always been the access network. The article goes on to address questions about the proposed legislation that is being discussed in Congress.

The second article points out some possible futures of the Internet and their consequences. In particular, Doc Searles paints three scenarios, one in which the carriers (i.e. Verizon and AT&T) win, one in which municipal networks emerge to form an alternative, and a third in which the Internet community moves toward a future that is outside the context of the traditional content/carrier framework.

To what extent should these concerns and arguments be reflected in a new telecommunications act? Can/should regulations exist that restrict the behavior of the owners of "bottleneck facilities"? If you think so, why do you believe that setting guidelines today would not create regulatory difficulties like those that stimulated the Telecommunications Act of 1996?

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1 comment:

Martin Weiss said...

David Isenberg has written this post that weighs in on some of the questions I posed above.