Technology Collaboration: Control Vs. Freedom

Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi
April 2012

It’s clear that the Internet has changed the thoughts and actions of every corporation and consumer over the last decade. This change is the result of the evolution of [network design].

Here’s a top ten list that’s all about studies in contrast. How do the networks of the 21st century differ from the networks of the last century?

It’s all about freedom vs. control.

1. Passivity vs. Activity

In the 20th century, networks were mostly passive, with end users receiving information pushed out from a central source. Today, these networks, especially media/entertainment networks, are robustly active. Networks have evolved feedback loops, receiving information from the end user. We might imagine this sort of end-user empowerment taking media and entertainment in radical new directions — moviegoers, for instance, might decide (or vote en masse) in the theatre itself the ending they want for the film. End users are now active participants — they choose what they want to receive.


2. Limited Content Providers vs. Blogcasts, Personal Studio

In the 20th century, television was limited — the number of channels we received and the information that was available. Today, with Blogcasts and personal studio technologies, everyone is a potential broadcaster. Users are free to create news on the fly — the amount of information and sources of content is potentially limitless.


3. Proprietary Solutions vs. Standards Bodies

Proprietary solutions limit what is available. They offer no flexibility and no freedom. Standards bodies allow the market to grow and expand the standards.


4. Proprietary Software vs. Open Source

Proprietary software boxes us into the limitations of a certain vendor, which limits our flexibility to create services. Today, many important players are collaborating on rich open source solutions. These solutions provide the freedom to pick and choose features. Creating services becomes faster than ever.
5. Closed Control Systems — Open Control Systems

Open APIs are key to freedom in 21st century. The closed APIs of the past limited what programs can accomplish.



6. Licensed Spectrum vs. Open spectrum

Why did God invent FCC? Regulators need to open things up, not to create monopolies.

Compare the limits of broadcast television vs. the freedoms of IPTV. IPTV could boast as many 40,000 channels, video on demand, and access to any channel from anywhere in the world. Compare that to the 20th century cable box.


7. Regulated Access vs. Open Access

Regulations limit what carriers can do. Today only certain carriers can do certain things, which limit the availability of services. Open access needs to replace all this licensing. The industry will resolve itself; businesses will benefit from the flexible services that will be brought to market.