Saturday, February 28, 2009

Freedom to Network

Looks like it's a steady diet of Bob Frankston posts here lately, but this one's on his usual topic of breaking out of the "telecom" model. A model that I agree is preventing the Internet from realizing the potential to be the equivalent "economic force multiplier" that the railroad and Interstate Highway System and shipping containers of yesteryear bequeathed on us. Which is why I favor "stimulus" spending on network capacity with "strings attached".

I really like some of his turns of phrase:

"They have created a Byzantine system of complex billing systems that have sucked hundreds of billions of dollars out of the economy in billable events"


"They have given us a funding model which is purposefully designed to create scarcity and have made us pay for very expensive redundant facilities just to have a physical embodiments of the accounting abstractions."

Of course "purposefully designed scarcity" comes close to being a best practice in the "free market" economy, not just telecom. Still it's good to think about all of this in structural terms instead of "good" versus "evil".

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