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Democracy & Technology Blog Net neutrality: A complex thing


Bill Gates

Engadget has a fascinating interview with Bill Gates, including this insightful discussion of net neutrality regulation:

It’s really unfortunate that some of these networks in Europe are not being built because of these regulations and I think a lot of people want to know that Microsoft is on the same side as the consumer and they want to enable networks to be built that are not regulated by net neutrality laws.
Right! But you’re either a network company who don’t want any restrictions, or a content company who doesn’t understand the disincentive to building out the networks. There were tons of things proposed that would have made the US just like Europe. These are complex issues. What the consumer wants, in terms of, hey, my network gives me access to everything but it’s also very high-speed — that’s the ideal for us. And as a big company in the industry, it’s incumbent — it’s a part of our responsibility is to learn these complex issues and not let either the extreme things block what really should happen. The US did have a problem in the 1996 act that it had as an assumption that sub-leasing could do this magic thing, and how did that go? Why is Korea ahead of us? It’s a complex thing. I think we’re doing the right things. Go and look at the AT&T filing; I haven’t looked at it specifically, and see if you think that strikes a good balance.

Hance Haney

Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project
Hance Haney served as Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute, in Washington, D.C. Haney spent ten years as an aide to former Senator Bob Packwood (OR), and advised him in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee during the deliberations leading to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He subsequently held various positions with the United States Telecom Association and Qwest Communications. He earned a B.A. in history from Willamette University and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.