Friday, February 27, 2004 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

What's In a Name?

An ice storm in the Carolinas has delayed my reading of today's papers. No matter, the papers were chock full of good stuff yesterday. The Washington Post had a story on the race to name computer viruses. It takes readers through the process of naming the MyDoom virus. In all, some 77,000 pieces of malicious code have been identified. Usually, the names result from accepted and informal standards that have emerged in the anti-virus community. A move is afoot to formalize the process.

Master telecom polemicist Peter Huber wrote about the Attack of the 'Cuisinart' Regulators on the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal. (Registration required.) While we typically think of wireless as the "unregulated" segment of the telecom marketplace, Huber dispels the notion by recounting the reasons how and why spectrum has been patiently re-combined by national providers. His bottom line: "Every rationale for chopping up the stuff of networks has thus been repudiated by the market. The Cingular merger should be approved forthwith, and without conditions."

He clings to the unfashionable idea that networks have value because they combine various assets. If only regulation on the wireline side of things would recognize this obvious truth. More networks, and more investment in network facilities, are rewarded by innovation and increased consumer demand. I for one would not want to be a "Cuisinart" anything...and Huber's piece is a fine argument against using the government to "chop up" telecom networks.

posted by @ 1:32 PM | General