Vint Cert and Net Neutrality

Does Vint Cerf really need to endorse a politician? In this video, that is exactly what he does towards the latter part of the recording. While I think he is articulating extremely well the idea of net neutrality, I think to use that as the starting point to then endorse a politician is not appropriate. He should have done it the other way around. Start by saying that he is endorsing Obama and then state why. I have great respect for Vint, so it is a little disappointing to see this video.

On the issue of Net Neutrality, I think this is a US-centric problem. When there is insufficient competition, this is what happens. If I were to contrast with Singapore, the fact that we have so many ISPs means that the pricing is going to be very, very competitive and it has been the reality. So, it sometimes is puzzling why a country like the US still can’t get their act together with regards to broadband etc.


  1. The US has so many problems with broadband mostly because it’s so huge; heck, we recently had problems just getting *phone service* to rural areas. Of course, in denser areas it does seem silly that we still have monopolistic practices w.r.t. service providers, but up to this point consumers haven’t complained [very loudly] about it.

  2. the puzzle
    “it sometimes is puzzling why a country like the US still can’t get their act together with regards to broadband etc”
    That is puzzling only when one believes that a country like the US is a free-market democracy. In theory it might be but in practice it’s one dollar, one vote. They who’s got the most dollars, get to set the rules, or remove the rules they don’t like. (Mega ISPs tend to have lots of dollars.)
    One can trace the effects of this economic model through to the current devastation in the markets, which now needs to be followed by the sad realisation that an unfettered free-for-all wasn’t such a good idea.

    • Re: the puzzle
      Oh, I understand very much that the US is a large entity and that there are numerous challenges with that fact alone. However, my reckoning is that there should be some form of a minimum standards requirement for broadband access – at least in the big cities – that should be very affordable and sustainable from a business point of view. The start would have to come form the cellular companies who should seriously roll out globally adopted 3G networks that bring forth the mobile broadband where wires fail (or are inconvenient). There is still a lot of work that needs to be done and I think there is no leadership at the FCC nor at the CellCos to do this.

      • Re: the puzzle
        Sure, minimum standards are a must before decent network access becomes a given, like electricity or water. But when the people who scream that government should be as small and inconsequential as possible… get to be the government, then even things that sorta worked before end up not working at all. See Katrina, financial market deregulation, etc.
        Since it’s highly inconvenient for incumbent telcos to have to do something as distasteful as competing with each other, or be forced to provide services that can’t be profit-maximised, they have ensured that the FCC and other government appendages are sufficiently beholden to them to not demand any such inconveniences. This is called laissez-faire or $1V1 (one dollar one vote). Hence, the missing standards (gee, there seems to be some parallel with OOXML but I just can’t figure out what it might be).

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