THE charm of Tim Berners Lees invention we call the internet is how it emerged at such speed unencumbered by rules and regulations. If you exclude the Chinese authorities, who have invested vast resources to censoring e-traffic within their territories, no nation states have been quick-witted or quick-footed to suppress or distort, or even tax, this new form of communication.
Governments wanted to intervene but lacked a platform from which to control the service providers.
Our familiar and much-loved broadcasting is at the opposite end of this spectrum. The BBC and other platforms as the jargon has it, are all creatures of regulation. Although bureaucracy had little clue how to cope with the digital revolution, it knew well how to contain radio and television to channel them into public sector agencies and block competition. It seemed reasonable to argue that the electro-magnetic spectrum was a limited resource leaving no room for the chaos of competition.
Now that we know that there are no limits to digital signalling, the shortage arguments do not apply. Some would argue this is too simplistic. The problem is not just the spectrum but interference. Of course you can create a property right in a given wavelength but it is not satisfactory to then have to c