Open Law for Open Access




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Open Access

AT&T v. Cambridge




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Open Law

Openlaw, derived from the open code model, is an experiment in crafting legal argument in an open forum on-line. With your assistance, we will develop arguments, draft pleadings, and edit briefs in public, online. Non-lawyers and lawyers alike are invited to join the process by adding thoughts to the "brainstorm" outlines, drafting and commenting on drafts in progress, and suggesting reference sources. 

We believe that an open development process best harnesses the distributed resources of the Internet community. By using the Internet, we hope to enable
the public interest to speak as loudly as the interests of

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Open Access

Today access to the Internet is obtained primarily over traditional phone lines via dial-up modem service.  Federal regulation has deemed these phone lines  to be "common carriers."  As a result, the owners of such lines are required to sell access to their networks to all companies who wish to utilize that network--including all ISPs--on a non-discriminatory basis.  The result of this system of federal regulation and the resulting competitive marketplace is "open access" to the Internet.

As Internet use expands at an exponential rate, users are beginning to switch to high-speed Internet access, through cable modems, DSLs. The current debate is whether the cable modem providers should provide the same "open access" to the internet through their cable modems as exists now through the phone lines..

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Open Law for Open Access Project
AT&T v. Cambridge

Four Massachusetts communities refused to allow transfer of cable licenses from MediaOne to AT&T unless AT&T agreed to offer Internet Service Providers non-discriminatory access to the broadband network.  These communities are in an ongoing legal battle with AT&T over open access.  They have filed a request with the Commonwealth's Department of Telecommunications and Energy's (DTE) Cable Television Division for full hearings on whether open access is in the public interest.

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In The News

Order on Motions for Summary Decision / Consolidation. Cable Division of DTE, 4/1/00
"Innovation, Regulation, and The Internet" by Lawrence Lessig. The American Prospect, Apr 10, 00

National Press Club briefing on open access, featuring Lawrence Lessig (cybercast archive)


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