The Internet and Obama

In the previous post I discussed how the Internet influenced the American presidential election. (Okay, okay, how in my opinion it influenced the election.) In this post, I'd like to flip the discussion to how the Internet might be influenced by the newly elected administration.

Network World is already carrying several good articles along these lines. Scott Bradner's is particularly good.

Obama's position paper on technology gives several insights into how his administration might support, further, or change the Internet. Right near the top of the list is strong support for network neutrality, something I agree with. I also like the goal of bringing the governmental definition of "broadband" up to modern expectations (broadband is currently defined as 200kbps and above) and the reformation of the Universal Service Fund.

But the most innovative idea is the creation of a national Chief Technology Officer. Google CEO Eric Schmidt tends to be at the forefront of any article speculating about who will be asked to fill this role. Schmidt campaigned for Obama, but he's also stated that he isn't interested in the position. Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, also is a top candidate. Other names that are discussed frequently are Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer. Larry Ellison of Oracle also is mentioned now and then, but I suspect both Ellison's and Ballmer's spectacular egos will disqualify the two of them.

Noting both Obama's support for network neutrality and the presence on his transition team of Google's Sonal Shah, I think either Schmidt or Cerf will be offered the job.

You might have noticed from one or two of my posts that I'm a promoter of IPv6. For that reason among others, I'm rooting for Vint Cerf. The often-proclaimed "Father of the Internet" has been a continuing influential force behind technological public policy, still plays a strong leadership role in the future of the Internet, and is often viewed more broadly as a futurist.

I've given a few of my opinions, but I'm much more interested in yours:

* What changes to the Internet and the Internet industry, if any, do you see coming under the new administration?

* What directions would you like to see from the Obama administration?

Post your comments, and let's discuss them!


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