Obama's tech guy, and net neutrality
In the summer of 2006, Deven Parekh, a VC at New York-based Insight Venture Partners, got a call from Genachowski inviting him to meet the senator.
At a meeting with other technology investors in Washington, Obama covered a range of issues, including ``net neutrality,'' a principle that holds that Web surfers should control the content and applications they use. Obama said the Internet should remain open and unfettered.
``His understanding of this and other issues was at a granular level,'' says Parekh, 39.
And verily, they all became bundlers. Obama at Google almost a year ago, in 2007:
Speaking to a room full of Google employees gathered at the organization's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters last week, Barack Obama delivered a series of promises sure to make their tech-savvy hearts go pitter-patter. ...
"I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality," Obama told the Google staffers. "The Internet is perhaps the most open network in history. We have to keep it that way."
Of course, the devil is in the details determined by "compromise" and "consensus." The iconoclast at C-NET writes:
Obama's statements were general and not specific enough to figure out what his administration would actually do. Some once-vocal Democratic proponents of Net neutrality, like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, seem to have lost interest in the topic in the last few years. And everyone in Washington officialdom is waiting to see what happens with Comcast's court challenge to the FCC's order before drafting new laws or regulations.
Of course, there are also Obama's ties to Big Media and the telcosMY SUBLIMINAL FISA to pull him the other way.
If I had to guess, the fight on net neutrality comes down to the correlation of forces between Silicon Valley, who want it, the telcos, who don't, and Hollywood which does. FWIW (what you paid for it), my guess is the telcos will get to charge for excessive bandwidth use by a small percentage of users -- in effect, they'll charge for porn -- and if that impacts Hollywood in any way, some sort of "preferred provider" status will be invented where excessive users of non-porn bandwidth aren't charged so much, or the telcos get a kickback from Hollywood for downloaded or streaming movies, or whatever. That kind of thing takes lawyers to work out, which is why Obama's tech team is full of lawyers. Such a solution will leave the technical architecture of the web intact, which should make Silicon Valley happy.
Meanwhile, see the website. My guess on Big Media consolidation is that a little breakup will happen, with some licenses going to Obama backers as spoils ("diversity"). In other words, Jack Welch was over-reacting.