It's bigger than the Star Wars kid. Bigger than the prairie dog looking funny at the camera. We're talking Macaca big.
It's the 300 page iPhone bill, in a box that cost $10 to ship, and nothing could better illustrate the need for open spectrum as we head into an election year.
The bill listed every text message, and every file the woman downloaded. That's how the phone companies roll. Everything you do is an event. Make a call and it's an event, send a message and it's a event, look at a web page and it's an event, watch a TV show and it's an event.
Every event is chargeable, separately.
The Internet runs differently. You are charged a monthly fee for your Internet access, depending on the maximum speed. You are promised a "best effort" to reach that speed, but the monthly charge remains the same whether you use it an hour or all day.
When the cell companies rush to the FCC and demand their rules for the coming auction of TV spectrum, this is the model they are trying to protect. The event model.
This is why the phone companies want to get into cable, and why they are trying to kill VOIP. This is why they are actively fighting net neutrality and censoring the Internet.
It is in their best interest to do all this, to claim that without controls over what's done and what equipment runs on wireless spectrum they won't bid high for newly licensed frequencies.
But that just makes the government complicit. If the government cares only for the money it gets from selling spectrum licenses, and is willing to let you endure monopolistic practices like the iPhone bill, whose fault is that?
It's yours. Because the government belongs to you. The spectrum should belong to all of us.
With the 300 page iPhone bill, we finally have a clear symbol of what we're talking about.