June 25th, 2007

The Debate on Right of Way


Bob Frankston saw my entry on Supernova and email me to ask if I have seen his latest blog entry. It was posted Dave Farber’s Interesting People list before so I have.

But I posted a longer rant to Bob that I would like to share here:

The core of the problem is the administration continues to believe in the myth of “universal service” and “minimal Quality of Service”, and thus lead to the only logical conclusion, an incumbent operator.

They have yet to accept the concept that a group of people to build their community network for their 100 homes, or a small operator servicing just this 1000 homes (and not interested anywhere else). And to do so means they must be willing to give right-of-way to lay infrastructure, be it fiber or wireless, to anyone big or small.

Until they do so, they will continue to believe in big and rich incumbent. To introduce “competition”, they issue a few more licenses to more big and rich incumbents and then to make them play nice with each another by regulating them. Its a never ending cycle.

At the same time, they would doing the opposite of what is needed to be done (de-regulations, opening up spectrum, giving right-of-ways). Sad but thats the reality today.

ps: Bob is the creator of the fame VisiCalc. We met several years ago at O’Reilly E-Tech.

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