Here is my dense but concise reply for technical experts:
Subject: Re: Open Internet Order
The decision to separate transmission and generation back under Reagan was based on the fact that bundling them together resulted in so much concentration of power that higher levels of regulation were really unavoidable, with bad side effects. For years before Reagan, it was mostly assumed that this was a textbook example of a sector so far from standard market economic efficiency theorems that a radically different, government type regime was necessary. That in turn was due to all kinds of bad stuff which preceded regulation. But by splitting it up, and working VERY hard on rational market design (through collaboration of economists and engineers, much of it funded by the group I worked in at NSF), the DEGREE of market competition was increased and regulation became less onerous. (More can still be done in that direction, of course.) IEEE standards are a similar paradox: standards sound like violation of market freedom to some, but in practice they allow more market competition and are good for customers, companies and the nations. Net neutrality versus no net neutrality is a similar thing; if net neutrality were replaced by something EVEN MORE like the modern way of managing electric power grids, maybe improvements would be possible, but ham-handed getting rid of it may be more of a disaster than people begin to know as yet. The whole It sector is in flux, and dark ages thinking is not a path to anything workable.
This is actually just one aspect of a complex of issues I've been discussing with a lot of folks lately. New ways of thinking about cybersecurity is also one of the most urgent needs.
For a more coherent discussion for less technical people, see:
I am very glad that Google and ACLU will be fighting to reverse the net neutrality decision.
But as I think about it, I realize how important it is for EVERYONE to truly understand more of what is at stake here.
I hope that a few additional thoughts may be useful to Google, ACLU and the rest of you in that important outreach.
So here are my thoughts, a bit more reflective and serious than the initial reactions: