In the Matter of the
AT&T/MediaOne Merger

A long time ago, EFF's co-founder, Mitch Kapor, gave cyberspace the meme, "Architecture is Politics." (EFF has updated the slogan a bit: it is now "Architecture is Policy.")

Mark Lemley and I have applied the idea to the Open Access debate now being considered in the context of the proposed merger of AT&T and MediaOne.

The essence of our argument is that the proposed design for broadband cable puts pressure on a fundamental architectual principle of the net's design — what network architects Jerome H. Saltzer, David P. Reed, and David D. Clark call "end-to-end." We argue that this architectural principle is at least in part responsible for the extraordinary innovation that the Internet has seen. The FCC has ignored this architectural principle in its consideration of the merger. It therefore threatens, we argue, innovation on the net.

The filing is available in a pdf version, and html version.

It is also available in an op-ed version.

For some earlier op-eds making similar points, see this and this and this.

Jerome Saltzer has a very clear essay making the same point.

You can read about the "end-to-end" design principle at either Saltzer's site, or Reed's site.

There are lots of groups pushing for open access.
(Email links to be added.)

FCC Chairman William Kennard might be interested in your views of the matter.

So too might your Congressperson.