Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Beltway Schmeltway

First of all, I didn't realize Kevin Werbach was at the FCC before his current position as Editor of Release 1.0 w/Esther Dyson at Edventure. That came as a shock. I guess I didn't assume people make it out alive, once they enter such a "regulatorium" as Bob Frankston calls it, much less with the ability to write fresh prose and actually get things done. His talk was really interesting. David, per usual, has blogged majorly about it. Better than I can. It's also on Kevin's site at the link above.

I can sum up today's conference pretty quickly, and this is MY opinion, not the speakers — the FCC is one major Leviathan, an unruly monster with all the wrong ways of thinking about the Net, all the wrong classifications (Per Kevin's great presentation: they think of the whole thing in four buckets -- the wrong four buckets: telecom, broadcast, cable, internet. They should look at it in a whole new "vertical" layered fashion: content, applications/services, logical, physical. )

I still think the FCC's a big stinky monster in Washington, DC ready to eat any comers and I'm glad some people think it can change, doesn't sound like it to me. I think Kevin is right to say we need to dig in and change the regulatory laws over the next decade since this will affect building the infrastructure of the next century, but honestly, does the average Joe really want to spend the next 8 to 10 years pressing congress to draft new telecom law? Our man Joe is just trying to get a six-pack of beer in time to catch the game and figure out how to pay his alimony payments at the end of the month.

It's a perfect monster this FCC, because any normal person would rather run for their life when they see it, than enter the belly of the beast. It speaks to the big conversation — who runs his country (as it has always been) — lawyers, guns and money.