Originally published: May 2, 2010
Last updated: May 2, 2010 - 4:14pm
Now here's an interesting claim: had network neutrality been the law of the land several years back, we might not have the iPhone. It's an idea buried in Bret "Exacloud" Swanson's recent comments to the Federal Communications Commission on net neutrality.
"The Apple iPhone may never have emerged if we had blocked or discouraged the type of 'exclusive,' 'discriminatory' deals like the one Apple (a new entrant to the mobile market) struck with AT&T," writes Swanson. "Apple's entry was a move fraught with uncertainty, and the partnership with AT&T allowed both sides to make the investments of time and money necessary to execute a monumental project. The iPhone unleashed wave after wave of innovation in the mobile arena -- like 'app stores' -- thus pushing all competitors at many layers of the wireless value chain towards more dynamism and openness than ever before." What does this mean? We're not sure, Swanson doesn't spell out his concern. It might be about the third plank of the Internet Policy Statement, which says that "consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network." Under the new FCC rulemaking, this principle could be extended to wireless networks.
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