Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Historic Reflection

On this momentous day, it's worth reflecting that one of the saving points of the Internet is that politicians have largely left it alone. I still give credit to Al Gore for enabling its unfettered development (which were unfortunately inflated in his subsequent presidential campaign). And the Internet is perhaps unique as possibly the single thing that George W Bush didn't screw up - most probably since he had no idea what it was.

Today, President Obama, in his inaugural speech, made an overt reference to his approach to infrastructure: "We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together."

It is clear that the the first President to truly leverage the Internet for his election will also make it an integral part of his ongoing policies. The US has its first Internet President.

The implications of this are not yet clear; the US already has good bandwidth provision, but this will, hopefully, become universal. The 'white space' will become an interesting place. But will the hegemony of big media be broken ? Even as we go to sleep tonight with a new hope, maybe that is a step too far... But on a day liek this, when the impossible seems possible, who knows...?

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