Fred Campbell’s latest article in Forbes warns that powerful Internet advertising companies are using consumer privacy concerns as a weapon against smaller and potentially disruptive competitors. The complete article is available HERE.
January 14, 2014
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Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology Launches to Advance Innovation and Excellence in Technology
Washington, D.C., January 14, 2013 – Today, Fred Campbell, formerly Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau at the FCC and a noted communications technology expert, launched the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology (CBIT), a new policy organization focused on advocating for market oriented government policies to advance innovation in technology. Campbell, past founder of the Communications Liberty and Innovation Project, is also the Executive Director of CBIT.
According to Campbell, CBIT’s mission is to support the ingenuity and creative spirit of America’s high-tech entrepreneurs through market-oriented government policies in four key areas:
- Limiting government control of the Internet
- Promoting private investment in high-tech infrastructure and technologies
- Modernizing our approach to spectrum allocation and assignment
- Protecting our Constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and privacy on the Internet
I had an interesting Twitter exchange yesterday with Sam Gustin, a reporter at TIME focused on business, technology, and public policy. He published a favorable article on Susan Crawford’s new book, Captive Audience, which argues that cable companies control the Internet and as a result the U.S. is no longer the global leader in broadband. I saw a link to the article in this tweet by Tim Karr:
Three rings for the broadcast-kings filling the sky,
Seven for the cable-lords in their head-end halls,
Nine for the telco-men doomed to die,
One for the White House to make its calls
On Capitol Hill where the powers lie,
One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them,
One ring to bring them all and without the Court bind them,
On Capitol Hill where the powers lie.
Myths resonate because they illustrate existential truths. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythical tale, the Lord of the Rings, the evil Lord Sauron imbued an otherwise very ordinary ring – the “One Ring”– with an extraordinary power: It could influence thought. When Sauron wore the One Ring, he could control the lords of the free peoples of Middle Earth through lesser “rings of power” he helped create. The extraordinary power of the One Ring was also its weakness: It eventually corrupted all who wore it, even those with good intentions. This duality is the central truth in Tolkien’s tale.
It is also central to current debates about freedom of expression and the Internet.
Google’s first lesson for building affordable, one Gbps fiber networks with private capital is crystal clear: If government wants private companies to build ultra high-speed networks, it should start by waiving regulations, fees, and bureaucracy.
For three years now the Obama Administration and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have been pushing for national broadband connectivity as a way to strengthen our economy, spur innovation, and create new jobs across the country. They know that America requires more private investment to achieve their vision. But, despite their good intentions, their policies haven’t encouraged substantial private investment in communications infrastructure. That’s why the launch of Google Fiber is so critical to policymakers who are seeking to promote investment in next generation networks.
The Google Fiber deployment offers policymakers a rare opportunity to examine policies that successfully spurred new investment in America’s broadband infrastructure. Google’s intent was to “learn how to bring faster and better broadband access to more people.” Over the two years it planned, developed, and built its ultra high-speed fiber network, Google learned a number of valuable lessons for broadband deployment – lessons that policymakers can apply across America to meet our national broadband goals.
To my surprise, however, the policy response to the Google Fiber launch has been tepid. After reviewing Google’s deployment plans, I expected to hear the usual chorus of Rage Against the ISP from Public Knowledge, Free Press, and others from the left-of-center, so-called “public interest” community (PIC) who seek regulation of the Internet as a public utility. Instead, they responded to the launch with deafening silence.
Maybe they were stunned into silence. Google’s deployment is a real-world rejection of the public interest community’s regulatory agenda more powerful than any hypothetical. Google is building fiber in Kansas City because its officials were willing to waive regulatory barriers to entry that have discouraged broadband deployments in other cities. Google’s first lesson for building affordable, one Gbps fiber networks with private capital is crystal clear: If government wants private companies to build ultra high-speed networks, it should start by waiving regulations, fees, and bureaucracy. Read More