Sunday, April 19, 2009

Radio Spectrum & the Internet Story made simple

Here is a brilliantly written article, that explains in clear language using powerful metaphors, exactly what makes the internet, openness, and wireless communications so beautiful, so powerful, and so filled with potential. If you are remotely interested in these topics, you should read it – just a couple of pages published in Salon.

Dare I give some highlights? giving you an out from reading the whole piece? They are better in context:

“Here Reed is dogmatically undogmatic: "Attempting to decide what is the best architecture before using it always fails. Always.”…If you want to maximize the utility of a network,… you should move as many services as feasible out of the network itself.”
This is the opportunity we have before us in thinking about how we build out the smart grid, and road user fees. Both huge and ubiquitous wireless networks that will roll out across the US over the next decade.
“Reed and his colleagues argued, keep the network unoptimized for specific services so that it's optimized for enabling innovation by the network's users (the "ends").
That deep architectural principle is at the core of the Internet's value: Anyone with a good idea can implement a service and offer it over the network instead of having to propose it to the "owners" of the network and waiting for them to implement it. If the phone network were like the Internet, we wouldn't have had to wait 10 years to get caller I.D.; it would have been put together in one morning, implemented in the afternoon, and braced for competitive offerings by dinnertime.”
Ok, did I neglect to mention that this article is 6 years old? And that it was written by two friends of mine? No matter. It is a must read. Here is the link again. Hey, I only read it the first time myself this morning.

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