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Why are these questions not being asked in the hallways of Congress? Suffice it to say, I remain completely unsold by the rhetoric being echoed in state capitals and Washington these days by the special interest groups that don’t need your input and will dictate your Internet.

There will probably be a few who say I am “against” the special interests, or AT&T, or Verizon, or whomever. For these people, I point to the network described earlier, which I conceived, lobbied for, and built on behalf of two of the largest ILECs in the U.S. The network was built with the input (and the blessings) of state regulators pondering the same question we are still wrestling with today. “How do we strike the right balance in telecommunications policy between growth, jobs, national competitiveness, and a fair return for all telecommunications providers large and small?” The answer is not to simply deregulate the largest two or three providers.

Ultimately, that scenario will only result in an oligopoly of exactly those three providers. Those providers will control the Internet, what goes over it, how efficiently that traffic is delivered, and what people should pay for it. What's more, we are perilously close to that happening. Combine all that with the whole issue of media control and consolidation of news, programming, and content providers, and the picture really gets chilling. I will get into some of that in the next article.

In the following two articles, I will also present some alternatives that can benefit us all, and earn even the big guys a fair return, without a return to the monopolies of the past.

Please join me again for the next two articles and share your thoughts. That’s how consensus is achieved and sound national policy is made.

See you next time.

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