Brad Feld

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Some Useful Articles on Net Neutrality

Oct 22, 2009

Yesterday I mentioned my strong support of Net Neutrality.  As part of this, I signed on to a letter from a bunch of VC’s and entrepreneurs to Julies Genachowski, the chairman of the FCC.  Fred Wilson reprinted the letter (he also signed it along with his partners at Union Square Ventures) in his post Net Neutrality.

Not surprisingly I received some emails and had a few conversations with folks that amounted to “I don’t really know anything about this Net Neutrality thing – can you explain it.”  I did my best but after the third time decided to pull together a few public posts that might provide some perspective on the debate.

First, Ivan Seidenberg, the Verizon CEO slamming Net Neutrality.  I have trouble reading this stuff (and am glad I wasn’t at the Supercomm speech) as I just violently disagree with his perspective.  But – it’s useful context.  One thing you’ll notice if you read across a bunch of this is that it’s pretty consistent language from the CEO’s of broadband providers, which is usually a clue as to how politicized this stuff is.

Next, you get a very interesting post from Eric Schmidt (Google CEO) and Lowell McAdam (Verizon Wireless CEO) titled Finding common ground on an open Internet. I’m not sure this post actually resolves anything, but it does a useful job of setting up the conversation and reinforcing the key principles being discussed and debated. It’s also ironic (or perplexing) given McAdam’s statements given the position that Seidenberg takes.

The best article is My chat with Google’s Vint Cerf in the Washington Post.  If you don’t know Vint Cerf, he’s also commonly referred to as “the father of the Internet”  It’s a great, clear interview that expresses the position I support.

I expect there will be an incredible amount of rhetoric around this over the coming months.  Buckle up.