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Re: HR 1542
From: Jeff Mcadams <jeffm () iglou com>
Date: Sat, 5 May 2001 22:26:43 -0400


Also sprach Steve Sobol
I felt compelled to answer this. You work for a company operating in
another industry that is doing much the same thing! I don't see
Adelphia's cable Internet services in Cleveland being opened to other
ISPs. (Yes, I know that Adelphia just entered the market about a year
ago, and yes, I know that the cablemodem rollout is far from complete.)
Time Warner isn't, either. I heard about them doing it in about a dozen
test markets (Central Ohio being one of them) but haven't heard
anything since then. To the south of my home, RoadRunner is *huge* in
Akron, Canton and Columbus. But it's the same old song and dance...

I've said many times, in many fora...

I'll be the first to stand up for Open Access on cable plants.  Indeed,
we (IgLou) were quite active in trying to get the city of Louisville
Board of Alderman to at least *act* like they have a backbone (even
though natives know they don't have one at all) and try to enforce Open
Access on TKR^WIntermedia^WInsight (I proly missed quite a few there,
and I know there were some that predated TKR), alas, the city decided
that they didn't real care about locally owned and operated businesses,
doing the right thing, or even showing some semblance of intelligence
regarding the cable franchise.  Consequently, they didn't even *attempt*
to push the Open Access issue, and settled for a $5 credit to customers
for *years* of illegally including a property tax fee on cable bills.

Oh man...and my wife is watching the news downstairs and just informed
me that the Louisville Board of Alderman managed to make themselves look
like total idiots yet again.  For those of you (I would assume most)
that aren't familiar with the situation here.  After Derby (I assume
most of you realize that the Kentucky Derby was today), traditionally,
there has been a massive cruising problem on Broadway from downtown
Louisville out to the west end (predominantly african american area of
town).  So the Board decided to hold hip-hop concerts to try to draw
people to the concerts to avoid the cruising.  Apparently, they needed
ot have 23,000 people come to the concerts between the two nights to
break even...they ended up with something like 2800 people there between
the two nights.

So what does this have to do with nanog?  Well...ok...its a stretch, but
cablecos are "regulated" (if you can call it that) by local franchises
almost exclusively.  At least in the state of KY, the PSC does *NO*
regulation over cablecos.  The FCC only does very basic regulation
(primarily content regulation as I understand it).  And the local
franchises are "regulated" by people like the Board of Alderman here in
Louisville that don't have a *clue* about what's going on with stuff
like this, or about what the significance is.  Even worse, though, is
that they don't *care*, even when its pointed out to them!  This makes
the Open Access fight for cable very hard to nigh on impossible.

The good news, however, is that if we fight the fight to get real
openness on telco networks (not the crap that the RBOCs like BellSouth
are trying to pull right now), then the cable networks will be moot
before too long.

Look at the history of computing and computer networking...the more open
solution wins, almost without fail.  Open up the telco networks, and the
cable networks will loose out and will cease to be relevent.

The RBOCs seem to think, however, that two wrongs make a right.  The
prevailing thought being something like, "Sure, openness is good, but if
the cablecos aren't going to be open, then its bad for us to be open."

Uh...huh?

So, in summary, I agree with you that cable networks should be open as
well.  The bad news is that its a fight that we (independent ISPs) won't
win because we don't have legal and regulatory leverage.  The good news
is that we *can* win the fight for real open access on telco networks if
we organize and fight.  The better news is that winning the fight for
real open access on telcos makes the fight for open access on cablecos
moot.

And I don't understand why every single ISP (regardless of size) isn't
doing more to stand up for open access. Ultimately, it will become an
issue of survival.

Check out http://war.iglou.com

Join or start your state ISP Association or one of the national ones
like The American ISP Association (http://www.aispa.org).

-- 
Jeff McAdams                            Email: jeffm () iglou com
Head Network Administrator              Voice: (502) 966-3848
IgLou Internet Services                        (800) 436-4456


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