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Re: Competition; was Re: [Membership] ICANN: The Issue of Membership---
>From membership-owner@ISI.EDU Sat Feb 6 15:18:40 1999
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To: Michael Sondow <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: email@example.com (Esther Dyson)
Subject: Competition; was Re: [Membership] ICANN: The Issue of
Cc: Kent Crispin <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 14:57:16 -0500
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firstname.lastname@example.org (Esther Dyson) wrote:
>Excuse me. In every market I know where telecom has been privatized and
>rendered competitive, prices have gone down. And generally, service has
Not our service in NYC. And the pay phones in NYC are a disaster.
And even the WSJ has run an article about the corrupt processes
of telecoms in the U.S. transferring people to their services without
the people's permission.
The number of junk phone calles has incrreased many folk.
And in the U.S. we lost Bell Labs which was where Unix was created and
the transistor created because the obligation on the regulated
AT&T was to have the highest level of technology which is
what creates the lowest prices.
My paper distributed at the Jan 23, 1999 Berkman Center meeting
"The Internet: A New Communications Paradigm" documents the
discussion recently on Usenet about this problem in the U.S.
of the U.S. government destroying basic research and attacking
important entities like Bell Labs.
The paper is at
And the discussion about Bell Labs is at
All this is lost in the U.S. with the privatization.
The change at AT&T from mechanical to electronic switching
was what made phone service in the U.S. one of the best
systems. That change required being able to program millions
of lines of code and the work done at AT&T developing UNIX
and UNIX toolsmade this difficult technical challenge doable.
This is documented in the book I co-authored "Netizens: On
the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet" chapter
9. The book is published in a print edition by IEEE Computer
Society Press. And a draft of the book is online at
Chapter 9 is "On the Early History and Impact of Unix:
Tools to Build the Tools for the New Millennium"
The myth that "competition" and "so called market" bring
better telephone service is the grandest myth of the
It is the basic research creating the most advanced
technology that has proven in the U.S. to create the
world class phone system. And basic research is
by government or in the case of AT&T and Bell Labs, was
that the rates were set by the govt to provide for basic
research that went on at Bell Labs.
Private companies don't and won't support such basic
So the myth of the "market" is the myth to keep in place
the old technology and the high prices and to rob the
future by robbing the kind of new technology that will bring
The Internet is another product of the support fby government
for basic research and the Internet continues to need the
protection and support for its development and scaling that
those at DARPA gave it in its birth and early development.
The U.S. government, howevers, seems to be promoting the
spread of the deregulated U.S. phone companies around the world rather
than supporting needed growth and development of the Internet.
It seems that first Bell Labs was sacrificed and now it is to
be the Internet. And ICANN is the mechanism of attacking the
>THe countries I know well are the US, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary,
>Russia...... Which ones are *you* referring to?
I know about the U.S. and particularly NYC and we have much
worse phone service and are paying much more since the deregualtion
of AT&T. But maybe home phone users are not what you are referring
to. Maybe you are only referring to big corporate entities.
I don't know how they have done with the breakup of the U.s.
phone company, but for the home user it is disasterous.
And those hoping to find a working pay phone in often have a
very hard time.
Also the Office of Inspector General's Report for Feb. 7, 1997
about the problem with the DNS said that the Internet needed
to have its scaling overseen by those with the kind of scientific
knowledge (and I would add the scientific methodoloy) that built the
ICANN is exactly what the Internet needs to be protected from
if it is to continue to grow and flourish.
Instead of the U.S. government figuring out how to solve the probleml of
scaling tyhe Internet, they created an entity that welcomed the
commercial and political pressures to fight it out to gain
control and squelch the communication functions of the Internet.
The MoU at the NTIA says there is only to be a design and test
process ongoing, but instead there is a secret time table
that someone in the U.S. govt is carrying out despite any
authority to do so. Also Commerce Committee Bliley's letter
to the U.S. Dept of Commerce asked them to provide the authority by
which they can transfer such valuable and controlling assets
of the Internet to a private entity.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the NTIA in Nov. 1998
didn't provide any authority to transfer any assets. It only
provided auhtority of the Dept of commerce to make contracts.
Thus there is no authority for ICANN or what ICANN is doing.
So who is creating it and for what purpose are questions that
have to be answered.
There are those trying to use the Internet as a cheap way of
their making millions off of telephony, despite the fact that
this will destroy the Internet as a new means of computer-
Thus the old is trying to resurrect itself and take
over the new.
Obviously this is an important battle, and that the forces behind
the creation and development of ICANN hide so carefully shows
the illegitimacy of what they are doing.