Issues2004 Communications

Issues2004 Communications

: This might sound like a special-interest issue: Internet exec and blogger wants to hear the candidates encourage the development of technology and communications. But it’s more that, of course. Technology is a strategic issue that affects our economy, our jobs, our children’s education, our health, our foreign relations.

Communications creates opportunity.

My basic message is simple: Deregulate the hell out of techology and communication. Let them grow on their own.

Start with spectrum. I recently suggested, only half-jokingly, that we should buy the 11 percent of Americans who still have rabbit ears cable boxes so we can free up all that sprectrum to do great new things. David Isenberg made an impassioned plea at Susan Crawford’s Nethead-v-Bellhead conference for a kind of trickle-down-come-flood economics of technology deregulation: While FCCheads were nitpicking tortured details of tariffs to pay for universal service, David said that if they’d just tear the regulation away, there would be more bandwidth, more service, more of everything for everybody.

So shoot the FCC.

Doc had a great post lately (which I can’t find in his archives) arguing to get the FCC out of regulation of spectrum and speech. Amen.

If we did that, imagine what would grow. Look at the huge and now-lucrative industries that have sprung up around the internet and cellular and now wi-fi. The media industry will explode in great new ways — and don’t forget that media and entertainment are a top export for America. Education will improve with greater resources and connectivity. Even foreign relations will improve as citizens talk with citizens around the world; you want better understanding of the world, just hook us up (and forget that extra half-hour of Dan Rather, Andy Rooney).

Communications creates opportunity.

We need to make it a priority to connect everyone on high-speed. If we don’t, we will fall behind so many nations that are now ahead of us in connectivity. We’l fall behind in innovation next. And then in economics.

Rather than appointing more regulators over the internet, communications, and technology, I’d like to see a President appoint a Chief Deregulator, whose job it is to cut through the kudzu of regulation on behalf of these industries: expose the stupid rules, get rules killed, lobby for our future from within government rather than from without.

I leave it to far wiser and more experienced minds than mine — start with Isenberg … and all of you — to get down to specifics.

I cannot find an internet policy on either candidate’s site. It may be there, but it’s clearly a low priority.

Other Issues2004 posts here. Also see the list on the main page blogroll.

: Here’s Dan Gillmor’s good column on these and other technology issues.