[arin-ppml] Policy Proposal: IPv4 Recovery Fund / history lesson #1

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Nov 24 12:36:44 EST 2008

Well, gee, thanks....I think. I thought I had made my experience with
spectrum policy and spectrum markets clear from the outset of the
debates on this list. I can only be flattered that someone has devoted
so much time to compiling my work on that; on the other hand its
interesting that you think a recounting of that record somehow detracts
from my credibility here. I would conclude the opposite. 

If your message is, Mueller is a liberal who generally favors
competition and decentralized choice over monopoly and centralized
control, then I'm guilty as charged.  

The real point, however, is that I don't just assert these values in a
vacuum, I have done a fairly extensive body of empirical research on how
regulatory and legal institutions affect the allocation of virtual
resources, from domain names to telephone number portability to

So are you trying to contend that someone who has spent 25 years
examining policy around telecom virtual resources such as spectrum and
numbering (which you missed somehow) should be ignored precisely because
he has assembled real empirical evidence and in some cases, taken a
position in policy dialogues?  

I can only ask, have you actually read the stuff you are citing? Would
you like to recount for me the "lessons" I drew from New Zealand's
experiment with radical spectrum privatization? (e.g., why it didn't
work so well in broadcasting?) A good way, perhaps to get you to do your

>From a vanity perspective, I am happy to see someone publicizing my work
on interconnection and universal service, but what exactly is the
relevance to the issues debated here? Do you really think a debate over
the price elasticity of local access vs. long distance usage and how it
affects telephone penetration is relevant to IPv4 address policy? And
the ongoing debate over whether facilities-based vs.
shared-infrastructure competition is the better model relates to address
policy exactly how? Do you consider these positions the equivalent of a
discovery that I am a holocaust-denier? ;-) 

Bottom line: let's engage on the issues. Your method takes on the flavor
of the kind of ad hominem intervention that you've already been warned
about by ARIN. It should be about the issues and not about me.

Milton Mueller
Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies
XS4All Professor, Delft University of Technology
Internet Governance Project:

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