Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Net Neutrality with Timothy Wu

On Saturday I attended a forum at the University of Chicago presented by The Triple Helix club. The speaker was Columbia Law Professor Timothy Wu, who works in the area of copyright and telecommunications policy, and is currently writing a book about the current state of affairs on the internet related to net neutrality. He spent most of the talk discussing aspects of his book, which basically covered the history of the common carrier; organizations like Western Union and Ma Bell. It was interesting to learn how closely the current debate follows these previous situations. I ask Professor Wu what his thoughts were on the perception that regulation limits innovation. He responded by referring to the fact that we can now plug any device into a phone jack (cheap telephone, modem, anything else) and be connected to the phone network. This was because of regulation and is pretty much why the internet even exists today.

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