F2C: Freedom to Connect

In what is sure to be a big success F2C is happening in Washington. Funny they would schedule the meeting during CTIA.

From the F2C site:

F2C:Freedom to Connect begins with two assumptions. First, if some connectivity is good, then more connectivity is better. Second, if a connection that does one thing is good, then a connection that can do many things is better.

F2C:Freedom to Connect belongs with Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Assembly. Each of these freedoms is related to the others and depends on the others, but stands distinct. Freedom to Connect, too, depends on the other four but carries its own meaning. Unlike the others, it does not yet have a body of law and practice surrounding it. There is no Digital Bill of Rights. Freedom to Connect is the place to start.”

From B2Day:

“Former FCC chairman Michael Powell is up on the stage at the Freedom to Connect conference right now, and he warns the tech elite crowd here not to be naive about the dangers of asking Congress for legislation on Net Neutrality. As he explains:

The legislative process does not work well when it has a weak understanding of innovation and tech policy. You are talking about 535 members who need to to get this. They have a very shallow understanding [of Net Neutrality]. If you go give them a quiz about the seven layers of the Internet, good luck.

You live by the sword, you die by the sword. It is much harder get a law off the books than to get it on. Someone will think it is a good idea to apply the same rules to the other side’s products and services. Be careful because you are playing their game [the telcos’]. We are talking about resources, ability, and 100 years of skill.

So what should those concerned about the Net’s future do? If this group can’t figure it out, how is Congress supposed to? Powell’s answer:

You have to make it financially difficult for providers to act in certain ways because the grassroots consumer base will get angry.”

From Om:

“Powell’s thoughts were matched by Martin Geddes, one of my favorite broadband pundits. “Network neutrality can’t be made to stick. Telcos will evade whatever definition you put up; it’s easier than fighting UNE-P unbundling rules. It’s easy to create atilted playing field,” he said in his speech today. Martin, makes a lot of sense, and offers a very coherent reasons why getting politics involved in NN is going to create one messy situation.”

From Daily Wireless:

Pulvermedia is sponsoring a conference; F2C: Freedom to Connect this week in Washington DC.

The goal is to bring a wide range of thought leaders to Washington, DC to share experience, insight and wisdom with policy makers for a more complete understanding of how technology and policy might evolve together.”


About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

4 Responses to “F2C: Freedom to Connect”

  1. Powell makes a very relevant point when he says that it is easier to draft legislation than it is to remove it. It is also easier to prevent government from regulating an industry than it is to avoid falling down the slippery slope created by such regulation. The Internet has thrived because of the free market, not in spite of it. Here’s hoping this trend will continue.

  2. Another quote from Geddes: “Be careful of inviting the legislative process because the secondary consequences of their [Congress’] actions can be enormous,” he said. “Government has a way of turning on people.” I thought he was right on!

  3. I agree with both of you – it’s been interesting to get all of the different viewpoints, but as someone who’s always been skeptical of government I can’t see how regulation could possibly change things for the better. We’ve kept laws and lobbies out so far, and the results have been great.

  4. My question is this: if Congress starts legislating now, will they ever stop?

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