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A friend wrote:

I see the source of the problem as the present system.  This is because of continual attempts to hold together a statute and regulatory corpus that has more stitches than Frankenstein and more twists, curves and double back loops than all the roller coasters in America.  All of this twisting and morphing resulted in a single mobius strip.  So while it appears to have 2 sides, in reality, once pulled taunt, the Act is nothing more than a strip of paper twisted once and taped at the ends. 

Think about it. You can be anything you want to be in such a world so long as you have enough ink.  Just keep the pens moving. 

Case in point:  any given day the same physical network can support regulated and unregulated traffic in multiple jurisdictions with mutually exclusive results based not upon technology, economics, or rational application of principles, but upon perception, bias, and an inability to let go of concepts that no longer have application to the first three.  Thus, in a single transaction - wireless telephone surfing the internet, sees a telephone number, clicks it thinking its skype-in number that’s within the U.S. but turns he roamed internationally b/c it terminated cross border to traditional landline.  Within that sentence are fact patterns that can touch every silo, implicate every local, state and federal jurisdiction in the U.S. and jurisdictions internationally, cross WTB, WCB, Cable, International, Enforcement, OET, and implicate the ITU, ICAAN and just about everything else, while setting off a chain reaction of regulations and court decisions, that, if printed and laid end to end, would likely cover the surface of this planet.  But to what end?  I can no longer say.  Its non-orientable b/c the assumptions underlying the 1934 Act are no longer valid.  Thus: Mobius strip.  More paper; no clarity. 

So without comprehensive reform - and I mean uproot the entire aged and overgrown vine and all its tributary vines, shake all the nourishing dirt from all its roots and throw that vegetable empire to the sun’s hot sidewalk mercy - at the very least, there’s a 50/50 chance (and in a mobius world, that’s 100%) that the cure you seek will infect the innovation you’d like to protect with the same logic that led to the end of Computer II, Computer III, and the sorts of magic box tautologies that let regulators bless incumbent affiliates attempts to convert facilities-based competitors into customers with the sanctity of “public interest”.  In other words, the strip gets longer, but in essence you end exactly where you began.  The only real difference is the amount of ink and money devoted to the effort.  In other words, you cannot solve the problem on the same level of thinking that created it.

So don’t assume that new regulation will occur on your terms.  (That, I think, is one of the big lessons of TA96.  Everyone looked at a tapestry woven with what appeared to be equal parts old thread and new thread.  Each saw the picture of their desires.  Neither were correct, but one side was more correct than the other.  One side bet that the old thread was more durable than the new.)

Thus, (and apologizing in advance for an overabundance of images this evening but strong coffee, correctly roasted,  can work wonders on the human spirit - or result in verbosity … YMMV), when reaching for the blindfolded lady’s sword, Pause.  Look long.  Look carefully.  And be sure lest you mistake the blade for the handle.  Or worse yet, yank the scabbard away from one held by your opponent.  In either case, the collision between expectations and reality will not be pleasant, and may not be long lasting either.

So fashion a new sword.  Then have at it.  (Or at the very least, as I instructed someone recently, deconstruct it: “By the time the ____ are done reading ____ , they should experience vertigo.  We’ll give them one shiny handhold, one safe point in space to hang onto lest the gravitational force of the collapsing star once known as telecommunication regulation in ___ sucks them into nameless black oblivion.”) 

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