Exclusive: Big Name Industry Pioneers & Experts Push FCC for Open Internet

A group of industry pioneers and leaders have come together to advance the Open Internet and computer business.

The group filed a statement with the FCC as a response to a notice of proposed rulemaking entitled Further Inquiry into Two Under-developed Issues in the Open Internet Proceeding.

Seth Johnson mobilized and collaborated with prominent technical and business leaders in the computer, networking, and Internet industry.  The Internet continues to drive new innovations and enabling a new global economy.  The future Internet needs to remain open in order to preserve entrepreneurship and innovation.

Leaders such as Steve Wozniak cofounder of Apple Computer, Bob Frankston, inventor of the electronic spreadsheet, and many more including me (John Furrier, founder SiliconANGLE)  are getting behind the Open Internet.

Other leaders include Clay Shirky, David Isenberg Ph.D, David Reed Ph.D, Tim Pozar, John T. Michell, Sascha Meinrath, Michael Maranda, Andrew Lippman, Paul Jones, Gordon Cook, Robin Chase, Kenneth Carter, Dave Burstein, Scott Bradner, Bill St. Arnaud, Gene Gaines, Dewayne Hendricks, Paul Hyland, and Jay Sulzberger.

Dr. David Reed writes a great post to share why he’s on board.

Here is the official statement
On Advancing the Open Internet by Distinguishing it from Specialized Services

David Reed adds some color and insight to the statement and the motivations behind it in his post.

Open Internet is not “owned” by anyone, but is instead collectively created by many innovators at the edges, contributing services, content, communicating among themselves, and sharing a common culture across traditional jurisdictions, language boundaries, etc. In other words, the Open Internet is not a closed “service platform” or a “walled garden”, but an open interchange that crosses cultures, languages, and other traditional barriers. It would be sad if ATT, Verizon, Comcast, Google, or any other corporation were deemed to have the right to “own” your participation in the Internet, or to decide which tiny subset of content, which tiny part of the world you are paying to communicate with.

What would have happened if to use the “English language”, to read books in English, you would have to get an account with the corporate owner of the English language? When you say that ATT’s “culture” is distinct from Verizon’s “culture” – as if a “culture” is a “bookstore” that chooses which books to carry, that is the result. And until now, that is what the FCC has said the Internet was – whatever ATT offers to its customers over its pipes may not be whatever Verizon offers to its customers over its pipes. The Internet is not a private bookstore, but until this proceeding, the FCC had not acknowledged that the Internet was anything more than a minor service type.

This statement to the FCC doesn’t say this quite so explicitly. But it celebrates the spark that the FCC has ignited. Let’s keep that spark burning, kindle it, and recognize the gift of fire that is the Open Internet.


GET INVOLVED – Sign the Statement

Please leave a comment and sign the statement by indicating your intentions in the comments below.  Include your name and affiliation.

About John Furrier

John Furrier is founder, co-CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of SiliconANGLE, a new media company covering the intersection of computer science and social science. Furrier is also the co-founder and CEO of CrowdChat a social media platform for large-scale group conversations over hashtags. In addition to SiliconANGLE John runs Broadband Developments a private incubator and investment firm for creating new startups. Furrier lives in Palo Alto, California with his wife and four children.