the internet is a public good

Internet access will be regulated the same way that gas, electric, water, and phone service are regulated: as a public good. Next up: cell phones, and the wireless carriers.

The FCC approved new openness rules for the broadband and mobile wireless connections to the internet, gratifying President Obama;s grassroots supporters and internet services like Google, while drawing the wrath of large telecoms such as AT&T and the wireless industry.
Back in the 1990s, I was afraid that government regulation of the internet would squash innovation and end the "wild west" era. But the down side of frontier life is that because it's lawless, you're prone to exploitation by bandits and robber barons and such. So then you have to choose whether to put up with it, petition the governor to send the sheriff around, move back east, or move even further west.

(In this extended metatphor bloggers are farmers, ecommerce merchants are general store owners, web programmers are cowboys, prospectors are .com startups. The bandits are spammers, the Indians are the old media companies (music, journalism, print)*, and the oil and railroad barons are the tech companies that move in, take over, and sell access.)

The fat cats won, the infrastructure has been build and it's very profitable. The Indians have been marginalized and their attacks have subsided, they're heading for the reservations. A flood of homesteaders and regular folk is on its way. Now, for the sake of all the families that are trying to settle in, it's time for the fed to move in and civilize the place. That means busting the trusts and taking down the big monopolies.

Civilization means equality of opportunity. That's what these rules are about. The frontiersmen are just going to have to find a new frontier.

*So yeah I feel guilty about what the US did to the Native Americans and I apologize if the metaphor is offensive, but I don't think it's inaccurate. In the story of the wild west this is how it went. The natives were outcompeted, fairly and unfairly. I think it's tragic when progress steamrolls human beings.

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