07 Nov 2003
MIT economist Arnold Kling has also written an open letter on the broadcast flag issue, his to Jack Valenti. My letter wasn’t to Valenti, because I have no reason to expect him to be anything but self-serving and deceitful, whereas the FCC is supposed to work for the common good.
Kling proposes an interesting idea: civil disobedience against the FCC.
I will not buy any device for the purpose of receiving HDTV. Instead, I will gladly purchase devices that will route packets via the Internet Protocol over that spectrum. In the neighborhood of my house, IP packets will take precedence over HDTV signals. […] I am talking about massive civil disobedience of the FCC. […] By re-allocating spectrum from HDTV to wireless IP, we can kill two legacy birds with one stone. We can hasten the demise of the phone companies—because with a wireless “last mile” the wireless Internet can replace traditional land lines and cell phones; and we can show Jack Valenti, the movie industry, and the television industry what it really means to “score a big victory for consumers.”