Editor’s note: Daniel Berninger is the convener of the Tech Innovators, a coalition of individuals who helped build the Internet, including Bob Metcalfe, Bryan Martin, Charlie Giancarlo, Dave Farber, George Gilder, Jeff Pulver, John Gilmore, John Perry Barlow, Les Vadasz, Mark Cuban, Michael Robertson, Ray Ozzie, Tom Evslin and Tim Draper.
April marks the 20th anniversary of the commercialization of the Internet, ironically, the very same month that the FCC’s new Open Internet regulations were officially published, tossing the Internet into a public utility model characterized by stagnation and ambiguity. The rules kill the “permissionless innovation” they purport to protect by inviting the Commission to regulate the Internet via the means created for the 1934 monopoly voice telephone system.
The past two decades of Internet-driven success were set in motion with the passage of the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 from then-Senator Al Gore, which proved to be one of the most successful policy decisions of all time. In recognition of the success of our current Internet reality and how its commercialization transformed daily life, Congress should deem April 30 “Internet Independence Day.”
Officiating Internet Independence Day is an opportunity to initiate bi-partisan legislation preserving the private-sector framework of the Internet.
Americans today enjoy a thousand-fold improvement from dial-up modems 15 million Internet early adopters relied on in the 90s. The Internet today reaches 3 billion people and a proliferation of services push communication options far beyond the long distance phone call of 1995.
I have the utmost respect for the work of Daniel Berninger and the Tech Innovators group, which is trying to highlight the fact that the internet has benefited powerfully from the deregulation of information services