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F2C: The Freedom to Connect Conference
Jon Lebkowsky, 17 Jan 05

Freedom to Connect may be the most important conference in 2005, based on a critical worldchanging concept: The need to communicate is primary, like the need to breathe, eat, sleep, reproduce, socialize and learn. Throughout the 20th century, we created more and better ways to share communication, culminating in global telecommunications networks with increasingly fat pipes and robust connections, so that now we can share large volumes of data at high speed. Communication technologies are converging; the opportunities for innovation and understanding that such robust communications can bring are just becoming apparent. Who owns the ongoing evolution of the communications environment? Here's the F2C position:

Too often the discussion of telecommunications policy turns on phrases like "overregulation," and "investment incentives." These are critical issues, to be sure, but like the term "last mile," such phrases frame the issues in network-centric terms. As more and more intelligence migrates to the edge of the network, users of the network need to be part of the policy debate. Let's put the user back into the picture. Freedom to Connect provides the frame.

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Freedom to Connect begins with two assumptions. First, if some connectivity is good, then more connectivity is better. Second, if a connection that does one thing is good, then a connection that can do many things is better.

It is written that Freedom of the Press is only for those with presses. But Freedom to Connect is potentially available to everybody; the main economic limit is the need for sustainable networks that will improve as new technology becomes available. How can we best do this? Who will build, operate and govern these networks? Who will decide how we use them? Who will pay? Who will gain? Aha! Let's discuss it at Freedom to Connect.

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