He combined it with other, similar rants by such figures as Bob Frankston and Robert Cringely, then created two important pieces of work.
The first is a Declaration of Independence for Broadband, which sets forth what he calls some Principles for Connectivity Independence.
- 1Complexity v. Simplicity.
- Professional Operators.
- Local involvement.
- Corporate Sponsorships.
- Popular Culture Buy-In.
Then he expanded the work with a Version 2.0 , expanding on this theme:
- A new opportunity for connectivity independence has emerged
- Connectivity is vital to individuals and communities
- Big business and government have been slow to adapt
- The system that would give us ubiquitous broadband is broken
- The system no longer acts in the best interest of the citizen: we need a Plan B
- A national dialogue on connectivity independence is needed
- Political will is necessary to make a paradigm shift
- Collective action is key to changing the paradigm
- Cities, Chambers, and Neighborhoods have roles to play to create a new network
- In a highly dynamic environment, a portfolio of small players is less risky than a handful of large players
- Community cooperatives are a compelling alternative to large corporations
- Natural systems use collaboration and competition to deal with uncertainty, so can we with connectivity
- Infrastructure is only a path to applications, which provide solutions and value
We should start the national discussion with this declaration and these principles for connectivity independence.
This is great as far as it goes. Some thoughts follow:
As you expand your market, you have to refine your message.
Small numbers will spend the time to dig up the details and learn the language of the beat. But for this to become real, we need big numbers. We need the mass market.
This means we need what amounts to a marketing message. It’s something that is understood and found compelling by the target market, in other words by most people.
The trouble with Cooper – as well as Frankston and Cringeley – is they speak to the classes in this debate, not to the masses.
Using Web-based tools, of course, you can lead a mass of users as deep down the rabbit hole as any of them want to go, right into detailed arguments with folks like John Cooper. And we should make that available.
But what we need at this point is the support of tens of millions of people based on simple, easy to understand principles. This is where most of us have failed, except for those in the Netroots who have fought for network neutrality.
The next step, I think, should be educating those folks, engaging them in dialogue, and planning these next steps aimed at the mass market, and the liberation of our bits from the Internet backbone.