April 16, 2005

Wrapping up Freedom 2 Connect

So I'm way behind on blogging.. having had four posts in the hopper the past week and no time at all to get my thoughts together to post. It's so bad, I've invited about 30 friends over for dinner tonight, so that we can geek out on wifi and hopefully I'll get some blogging done while socializing. I wouldn't see them if I didn't do something like this.

Freedom to Connect, the conference I attended three weeks ago (time is flying by.. eek) is one of the the topics I wanted to address. I had earlier asked for some constructive actions we all might take to change the situation we were addressing -- the lack of real broadband (not the standard tiny-band stuff we mostly have here in the US), providers attempts to lock-out municipal wireless, and cellphone carriers attempts to keep their oligopoly hold over our services and phone access.

What I heard at the conference that answered my question really only addressed municipal wireless.. we should band together on a local level to fight for it town-by-town before Verizon and the rest of them get a lock-down going, with petitions, attending municipal meetings and local education about how connectivity is like water.. it's a utilitiy and needs to be treated as such.

I don't recall any constructive thoughts for what to do about cellular providers or the lack of broadband.. we just discussed it,getting a little clear on the issues.

What we could do about cellular services:

I had an idea the other night, at the 106 miles meeting, that we should develop applications for cell phones that creatively route around the carriers. And we most definitely should not use their framing of the customer situation: 'consumers' and 'enterprise', to describe the possible user markets. I think what's key to breaking the cellular provider stranglehold is developing cool apps that can sit on phones, but that only require users to download these apps in simple ways (not through carriers but through web access and SMS messages sending them the link to the web download). That way carriers will lose the monopoly they have on users access to applications. Because the phone IS the platform, not PC's.

Related broadband info: just got this from David Farber's IP list: