cr> re: ordinary utilities (?!)


Richard Moore

Arun wrote:
>While they all are unable to make much sense of the Internet, I think the
>Internet will survive and thrive precisely because the telcos will not be
>able to agree on an alternative. Nor could their alternative have the
>dynamism of the net. They will be reduced to the level of ordinary
>utilities, such as water or electricity, useful , but no big deal.
>I'd love to see more discussion on this topic and other opinions.

Actually, there's been considerable discussion here (and on roundtable and
other lists) about how the telcos plan to have a thriving cyber future.

Far from limiting their horizons to protecting voice tariffs, the telcos
(& cables) are grabbing the future with both hands.  With their Reform Act,
they are setting down ground rules for the development of cyberspace which
will allow them to control and exploit the media revolution.  And far from
being reduced to ordinary utilities, they are very specifically insuring
that they can use their immense capital reserves to secure vertical
monopolies encompassing content, transport, and distribution.

These guys know what they're doing, and they have a good grasp of the
dynamics and potential economics of networked media.  Their multi-pronged
robber-baron agenda incorporates these points:
        o  unregulated vertical monopolies
        o  strong copyright language and enforcement
        o  selective government censorship (aimed at independents)
        o  all-the-traffic-will-bear pricing
        o  privatization of electromagnetic spectrum
        o  rapid depreciation of cyber investments

The handwriting is on the wall -- indeed it's nearing Presidential
signature -- that the Internet culture and non-economics is to be plowed
under to make room for a shiny new McCyberMall pay-per-view (the
commercials are free!) info-tainment television clone.  No, it won't have
the dynamism of the net -- not in terms of the democratization of public
dialog -- but that's one of the primary intended consequences of the new


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 Materials may be reposted in their entirety for non-commercial use.