The Battle to Win "LOCALnet Neutrality"

Malcolm Matson, Founder/Entrepreneur, OPLAN Foundation

Date: Tuesday, March 3

Time: 8:45 - 9:15 AM

Location: Salon E

Malcolm is leading a project that is well advanced and could result in the first local telecoms incumbent in the world to abandon the vertically integrated 'service provider' business model! Depending on the status of the commercially sensitive project at the time of eComm, Malcolm will either provide a specific update on this politically sensitive 'world first' or at least outline the underlying principles and goals.

The project will demonstrate that the greatest local socio-economic benefit from 'abundant bandwidth' in the access infrastructure comes from letting it remain with those who use it, rather than today where primary value is extracted by absent third-party owners. It will demonstrate the transformational benefits of true open access and net neutrality in the local loop. The incumbent telco will be replaced by an open access local 'bit-pipe' (owned and operated through a dedicated local 'non-profit' corporate vehicle) which will not itself provide any services but will be open for every and any content or service provider - wherever they are located. This will be in marked contrast to today, where access to the Internet remains firmly under the control of the telco and cable sectors around a vertically integrated service provider business model (network infrastructure + network operation + services/content). Currently, no city in the world enjoys a ubiquitous local 'net neutral' fiber infrastructure operating on an open access business model as its prime means of connectivity. Rather, end users (private, business and public) are held slave to the local exchange carriers and their 'me-too' ISP competitors (of whatever technology) - all operating like toll booths, and in one way or another, seeking to dictate the terms on which they allow traffic to pass (in either direction).

As with disruptive technologies in earlier ages, it is only a real life 'exemplar' that changes the world and repositions conventional thinking. Without such a radical exemplar in the communications world, we will continue to see public policy around the world supporting the continuation of local exchange carriers wedded to an obsolete business model. The goal of ubiquitous high bandwidth P2P local connectivity will never be realized.

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