Give us our airwaves

I have an op-ed in the NY Post today supporting Google’s call to free up the white spaces between TV channels for, in the words of Larry Page, “wi-fi on steroids.” Snippet:

The government shouldn’t be protecting the entrenched interests and faltering business models of legacy industries like broadcast, cable and phone. Instead, the FCC should be encouraging competition in the marketplace and sparking innovation – especially in an arena so critical to the strategic health of the American economy.

And shouldn’t the FCC be standing up for the consumer, helping to get everyone better service at a lower cost? I vote with Google on this.

In fact, why don’t we just hand the government over to Google? It’s already organizing our knowledge and taking charge of whole industries. It’d likely do a better job of governing than all the bureaucrats in Washington.

  • Francis Burdett

    It is always good to hear Mr. Jarvis’s voice in assorted and sundry venues.

    Technology trials into “white spaces” are exciting and promising but it is true that _only_ the deliberative (or plodding if you are so inclined to say) nature of the FCC is holding technology “back”?

    I will note that the Post online lists that “Jeff Jarvis teaches journalism at CUNY, blogs at Buzzma- chine.com,”

    “Buzzma- chine.com” ? is that your Italian blog on Japanese anime (or your Japanese blog on Italian anime) ?

    Also I will note that your ironic (or cheeky) statement at the end of the column:

    “And shouldn’t the FCC be standing up for the consumer, helping to get everyone better service at a lower cost? I vote with Google on this.
    In fact, why don’t we just hand the government over to Google? It’s already organizing our knowledge and taking charge of whole industries. It’d likely do a better job of governing than all the bureaucrats in Washington.”

    is likely to be misrepresented. But then again, no one would seriously suggest that you actually hold that idea.

  • F. Furger

    Mr. Jarvis

    your contempt for government is borderline juvenile. Have you ever given any thoughts on why people prefer to have their countries run by politicians and not businessmen, after all? How many national figures can you think of that have had a real political impact coming to government from business? I’ll tell you one: Mr. Berlusconi. Is that the kind of future you envisage for the US? Remember Ross Perot? Me neither. Steve Forbes may be? Or do you seriously think that Google’s CEO would make for a better President? And what about Congress: do you suggest it should be abolished? And replaced by whom: networked Linux developers? Just curious

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    F.

    It’s a JOKE. Jeesh.

  • http://isoc-ny.org joly
  • F. Furger

    No it’s not. This is not the first time you advocate radically downsizing government and replacing it with … what: networks? The role of networks in government is an interesting one, but implicitly suggesting as you do that you can substitute one with the other is ludicrous. You want to have that discussion? Fine, make a serious argument, offer a new insight. Glib statements dressed up as humor are counterproductive, to put it politely. -Franco

  • http://www.bookdepository.co.uk Mark Thwaite

    Jeff, even it is a joke, I think this is increasingly why people fear Google’s reach. If they are as big as a government, gather and hold as much information on us as a government, organise vital areas of the economy like you might expect a government to … then …

    Of course, there are two arguments inside your joke: handing the reigns of power over to e.g. a Google (who, like other big businesses, are already just going ahead and taking that power anyway); or undermining the power of both governments and businesses with the nascent, latent power of the Network …

    Like Franco says, there is much to discuss here. Your joke has thrown this up, so why not address it at length?

  • Cooler Heads

    Jeff, you raise important points and then minimize them with jokes. It really doesn’t work.

  • http://isoc-ny.org joly

    Jeff’s point is that, while their motives are less than totally altruistic, Google is, particularly in this instance, doing a better job of looking out for the public interest than our elected representatives or their administrative entities.

    As per the two preceding comments above it does raise important points, and does so with the minimum verbiage and a chuckle.

    The use of a rimshot to pound it home to a New York Post reader is surely a valid journalistic device.

    Hopefully we will see more from him in the future.

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  • http://www.rezeptezumabnehmen.org/ Rezepte zum Abnehmen

    I think secretly everyone wishes he could be a little bit ‚Berlusconi‘, especially at his age. Most people would not admit to it, though.