Results from F2C: Freedom to Connect 2008 last update 18Apr08

The latest results (18Apr08) from F2C include:

Alex Goldman's third and fourth articles on F2C in Enterprise IT Planet , entitled, respectively, Cisco at F2C: Broadband is the Fourth Utility and F2C: Back to Reality.

Adam Peake's notes [.pdf] on the Japanese Broadband Miracle, which back up his F2C presentation on that topic.

Not a direct result, but directly relevant: article in The Economist, entitled Delivering the Bits on Isenberg and The Stupid Network twelve years later (and the FCC and Comcast and . . . ) .

Rob Atkinson's review of F2C, entitled Which Broadband and IT Vision for America? (in which he confuses "free" as in speech with "free" as in beer and sees more communists in Washington than anybody since Joseph McCarthy . . . does the F2C logo in the upper left corner of this page look like a Hammer and Sickle to you? It does to him.)

(from 8Apr)

Alex Goldman has written two worth-reading articles about F2C. The first one, in ISP Planet, is At Freedom to Connect, Isenberg Asks Tech Industry to Save the World. The second is in Enterprise IT Planet. It is called Verizon and the Carbon Negative Internet. Alex promises more soon . . . watch this space. Kudos, Alex!

The chat logs are up! They're a source of links to be followed, with rich information, counterpoint, contradiction and general feistiness, redolent with the wisdom and stupidity of crowds.

Heath Row is a super live-blogger. If I didn't know so much about the representation of speech and language in the brain, I'd think there must be about one synapse between Heath's ears and his fingers. We are so lucky to have him back at F2C: Freedom to Connect! Here's Heath's account of F2C:

Suw Charman-Anderson also did some excellent live-blogging! Here's

Isen's introductory remarks (as prepared)

Brett Glass put his F2C presentation on line.

Scott Cleland's two posts from F2C on Japan and Donna Edwards for Congress

Not a direct result of F2C, but directly relevant: Andrew Odlyzko's new paper, The Internet's role in aggravating and alleviating the energy crises.

John Windhausen's Educause paper, A Blueprint for Big Broadband [.pdf] -- not a result of F2C, but directly relevant!

A reading list on ICT and the Climate/Energy problem from Kevin Moss:

[Please tell me about (or send) other stuff you know about -- David I]

Schedule and Speakers update 29Mar08

The schedule below is now stable, but please check for last minute detail changes:

Monday March 31, 2008

  • 8:00 AM -- Registration, breakfast
  • 8:30 - 10:00 AM -- Intro by David I, keynotes: Susan Crawford, Brad Templeton
  • 10:00 - 10:30 AM -- Break
  • 10:30 - Noon -- Politics, Democracy, Internet: Alec Ross, Donna Edwards, Matt Stoller, moderated by Micah Sifry
  • Noon - 1:00 PM -- Lunch
  • 1:00 - 2:45 PM -- Open Fiber: Dirk van der Woude, John St. Julien, Adam Peake, Tim Nulty, moderated by Jim Baller
  • 2:45 - 3:30 PM -- Break
  • 3:30 - 4:55 PM -- Open Wireless: Rich Miner, Michael Calabrese, Brett Glass, Rick Whitt, Glenn Strachan
  • 4:55 - 5:00 PM -- Gregory Miller
  • 5:30 - 8:30 PM -- Reception at nearby restaurant to be announced.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

  • 8:00 AM -- Registration, breakfast
  • 8:30 - 10:00 AM -- Our Rights On Line: Bruce Schneier, Suw Charman, Danny O'Brien. Jerry Nelson will introduce Bruce Schneier. Gigi Sohn will moderate.
  • 10:00 - 10:30 AM -- Break
  • 10:30 - Noon -- The State of the Internet: Drew Clark & John Horrigan, Katrin Verclas, Ron Sege.
  • Noon - 1:00 PM -- Lunch
  • 1:00 - 2:30 -- Carbon Negtive Internet: Kathy Brown, Kevin Moss, Bas Boorsma
  • 2: 30 - 3:00 PM -- Break
  • 3:00 - 4:15 PM -- Carbon Negative Internet II: Bill St. Arnaud, Robin Chase
  • 4:15 to 5:00 PM -- Closing Keynote: Clay Shirky
  • 5:00 PM -- Adjourn

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About the speakers:

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The Big Idea of F2C: Freedom to Connect updated 29Mar08

WHO: F2C is a meeting of people engaged with Internet connectivity and all that it enables, including vendors, customers, regulators, legislators, analysts, financiers, citizens and co-creators. F2C is shaped by universal connectivity and the plunging capital requirements of information production, which, in turn, are changing many of our fundamental economic and social assumptions. (F2C is produced by David S. Isenberg of, LLC.)

WHAT: F2C is a two-day meeting inside the beltway where the creators of the future of the Internet meet to engage in mutual learning and exploration.

WHEN: 8:00 AM on March 31 through 5:00 PM on April 1, 2008. Program here.

WHERE: AFI Silver Theatre, Silver Spring MD. More travel, lodging and venue details here.


It is written that Freedom of the Press is only for those with presses. Internet technology now makes Freedom of the Press available to about 1,000,000,000 people, one sixth of Earth's inhabitants. How does this change the fundamental operating assumptions of society?

Join us!

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The Latest on F2C updated 29Mar08

29Mar08: Final door prices are in effect but you can still register.

There won't be a reception speaker -- I could not find anybody who'd be an improvement over eating, drinking and talking with each other. Yes, we as a group are that good!

F2C participant Aleecia McDonald writes, "Never mind groundhogs, Spring is coming when F2C is here!"

24Mar08: Prices will be much higher after this Friday March 28 . . . a word to the SMART, register now.

Government, Press and all other special offers end on Friday, March 28.

Please Register by Friday!

F2C: Freedom to Connect is proud to announce that Alec Ross, Tech Advisor to the Obama Campaign, will speak in the Democracy, Politics, Internet Session on Monday morning. F2C is not backing any candidate for President, but we note that Obama's technology policy is quite elaborate and specific; for this reason, we're delighted to have Alec Ross with us!

In addition to Alec, there are two late additions to the program:

5March08: Reasonably Stable Schedule, New Speakers!

There's now a stable, reasonably detailed schedule, so if you want to catch, say, Bruce Schneier or Clay Shirky or Suw Charman, you can get some idea (subject to change, watch this space) of when they're likely to speak.

New Speakers added to program 5Mar08:

Rich Miner, Google's "Group Manager, Open Platforms," the guy responsible for Google's Android Program.

Donna Edwards, the dynamic, net-savvy challenger for Congress from Montgomery County, Maryland. She will be introduced by OpenLeft blogger Matt Stoller (see F2C schedule). While F2C does not support any Congressional candidates, we've invited Ms. Edwards because we're very impressed with the use of the Internet in her campaign.

John Horrigan, Associate Director, Research, Pew Internet and American Life Program, and Drew Clark, founder of BroadbandCensus.Com

Ron Sege, former CEO, Tropos Networks.

More News:

Mary Godwin, of Purdue University, is bringing five bright, enthusiastic Purdue students to be F2C Student Interns.

F2C's newest sponsor is MagicJack, a clever little device that lets you use any plain old phone as a VOIP phone with no software . . . one of the conference freebies will be a MagicJack plus one year of service.

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6Feb08 F2C: Freedom to Connect announces more speakers, sponsors, wiki, hotel deal, agenda taking shape:

Jonas Birgersson, the Swedish founder of Bredbandsbolaget (The Broadband Factory, one of the first truly broadband, symmetrical residential access services, SMART Letter writeup here) and more recent entrepreneurial Internet ventures, has joined the F2C roster!

Verizon has agreed to be an intermediate-level sponsor of F2C: Fredom to Connect. This is big news because the major carriers usually run the other way when produces an event. Kathy Brown, Verizon SVP, Public Policy Development and Corporate Responsibility, will open the Carbon-Negative Internet session on Tuesday afternoon. Making the Internet Carbon-Negative is critical to BellHead and Nethead alike, regardless of business model, incumbency or locus of control. But Verizon seems to be going further; recently Tom Tauke, Kathy Brown's boss, just explicitly rejected AT&T-style network policing, and seems to be embracing a separation between carriage and services. And then there's FIOS; without FIOS, FTTH in the U.S. would be a pinprick of light at the end of a very long guide. Bring your hardest questions and deepest insights -- this could be a learning experience for everybody.

The New America Foundation will be a sponsor too. They're sponsorship is almost certainly bigger, relative to their budget, than Verizon's. Michael Calabrese, Director of New America's Wireless Future Program, will be an F2C speaker.

The complete, up-to-date speaker roster, and the emerging agenda are here.

37Signals will be joining F2C's technical support sponsors again this year for its help with F2C's Campfirenow Group Chat.

The F2C Wiki is up. You can use it for ride-sharing, lodging-sharing, and whatever substantive contributions you think might be useful or interesting to other F2C participants.

Hotel deal for F2C: $226 a night includes tax, etc. at Crowne Plaza, one of three hotels within walking distance of the F2C venue. This may seem expensive, but compare the other hotels near by. (Also, no extra Wi-Fi charges!) This rate is not available on line, to book it call Leslie at 301-563-3712, mention F2C.

Admission rates are rising! F2C's Early Bird Rate expires February 15 -- so register now.

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23Jan08 Praise for F2C: Freedom to Connect -- I'm so proud when my friends -- and sometimes even people I don't know -- wax a shine on F2C!

Cluetrain coauthor Doc Searls blogs that F2C is, "one of my favorite events. I'll be going. If you care about the future of the Net, and how it is regulated (and de-regulated) in the U.S., I highly recommend it."

Reverend AKMA, an Episcopal priest, as well as a theologian, author, technologist and blogger, says that F2C is, "a pivotal meeting at a pivotal moment in the trajectory of U.S. participation in cultivating the digital dimension of our common life, and I hope some legislative types (maybe even some candidates) pay attention to what develops there."

Alex Goldman, Managing Editor of ISP Planet, devotes an entire ISP Politics column to "Why I'm Attending the Freedom to Connect Conference." He writes, in part,

In some ways, it's a minimalist conference . . . In other ways, it's 21st century chaos. The conference uses the movie theater screen to project a live IM discussion that occurs behind the speaker while the event is happening . . . Important points are debated and even footnoted, with key sources listed, all in real time.

Tech deep-thinker Frank Paynter writes, "David's spring conclaves actually create some shared understanding of our networked information infrastructure and some political momentum toward addressing threats and challenges we face . . . see you there . . . "

Bill St. Arnaud, the research guru of the all-optical Internet and a speaker at this year's F2C, writes, "I encourage all those who are interested in the issues of global warming and how the Internet call help mitigate against the greatest challenge of our lifetime to attend the upcoming Freedom to Connect Conference in Washington DC."

If you know of other recent substantive comments about this year's F2C, even negative ones, send them my way!

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22Jan08: Three announcements today:

1) We've added two speakers to our already-illustrious program:

Clay Shirky, author of the soon-to-appear book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, who was recently described as "maybe the finest thinker we have on the Internet revolution," and

Suw Charman, co-founder of the Open Rights Group in the UK, advocates for civil liberties in the digital world, social software expert and blogger. [Suw's presence at F2C is supported by
The Mozilla Foundation.]

2) Howard Levy will return to the F2C stage as Musician in Residence joined by guitar monster Chris Siebold. These guys are beyond amazing. More here.

[Musicians at a tech policy conference? Fair question. No easy answer, but it works. Come see . . . ]

3) Discount for NATOA Seminar Registrants: NATOA, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, is holding its 2008 Policy and Legal Seminar April 2 - 4 in the Washigton DC area, right after F2C. The program will be of great interest to many F2C participants. If you are registered for F2C, you can register for the NATOA seminar for $125 off the regular-price! And if you're registered for the NATOA Seminar, you can get the same discount for F2C! Write to for specifics.

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3Jan08: Announcing more great speakers for F2C: Freedom to Connect!

These join an already-announced list of distinguished speakers, see complete list below.

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15Dec07: Announcing F2C: Freedom to Connect 2008!
The theme of F2C: Freedom to Connect 2008 is The NetHeads Come to Washington.

Conventional wisdom is that NetHeads have sharply different interests than telephone companies and cable companies. This is mostly true, yet both need a robust, sustainable Internet. It is in the long-term interests of neither to kill the 'Net's success factors. Further, conventional wisdom is that NetHeads are represented by public advocacy groups like Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the New America Foundation and aligned with Internet companies like Google, Amazon, and eBay. Again this is directionally correct, but the diversity of the NetHead community ensures divergence on key issues.

Biology teaches that diversity is good. Most business practices teach the opposite. Washington hears much from the telcos and cablecos, and much from the Internet companies and the public advocacy groups, but way too little from the NetHeads themselves. F2C 2008 will provide a platform for NetHead voices and a forum for dialog among all parties with a stake in the future of an open, sustainable, state-of-the-art Internet.

This year there will be a second theme at F2C, "A Carbon-Negative Internet." We will devote at least one session, and perhaps a half day, to exploring the impacts of applications like user monitored edge-based control of energy usage, cloud routing of compute-intensive operations to geographical locations with renewable energy, peer-to-peer automobile traffic optimization, and the putative trade-off between physical presence and virtual presence.

So far (this is changing rapidly so check back here often) F2C speakers include:

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What folks say about F2C: Freedom to Connect

Freedom to Connect [is] based on a critical worldchanging concept: The need to communicate is primary, like the need to breathe, eat, sleep, reproduce, socialize and learn.

Jon Lebkowsky in Worldchanging

Every event David runs that I've been to is a bit like taking a red pill and seeing the world rather differently. Unmissable. See you there.

Martin Geddes in Telepocalypse

"F2C is the absolutely unbuttoned-down deep thought conference of telecommunications. You'll find movers and shakers here (some ducked down in hiding); you'll find thinkers; and you'll find those who have been and those who will be the guiding forces in telecommunications. There's no way you'll agree with everything that's said and plenty of ways to make your opinion known whether you're on the formal program or not."

Tom Evslin, speaker at F2C 2007, in Fractals of Change.

"Don't miss F2C . . . F2C aims not to lobby or position or spin or score political brownie points. It aims to illuminate and educate. . . admittedly quirky . . . and free-spirited . . . if folks really want to know where broadband policy is headed, they should start with F2C."

Cynthia Brumfield, F2C 2006 participant, in IP Democracy.

". . . although I and [F2C producer David Isenberg] probably have quite divergent political beliefs, we're on common ground when it comes to "What is 'the network' for?" . . . [F2C] is unique in that it's not beholden to anyone's commercial interest, and comes nearest to being the forum for discussing the public interest."

Martin Geddes, F2C 2006 speaker in Telepocalypse

"The press was surprised by the net neutrality storm that struck Congress last Spring . . . F2C 2006 was a catalyst . . . there's no better venue to explore the issues."

Steve Crandall, F2C2006 participant, in Tingilinde

"David is a world-class human networker . . . If you're in the telecom business or you're an active telecom investor, you'll get a lot out of this meeting."

Porter Stansberry, F2C2006 participant, in Stansberry & Associates Digest, 2/13/07

"I had never before experienced a conversation taking place on this level or at this pace . . . most participants were actively contributing. It was exciting; it was overwhelming; it was nearly pure energy. I loved it!"

Mary Godwin, F2C 2006 participant, in her Body Electric blog

More participant observations here and here.

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Register Here 29Mar08

The Door Price is $1195. Register here.

For employees of companies with market caps bigger than $50 Billion, and who are attending F2C as their company's representative, the BigCo price is $1995. Register here.

No more refunds or substitutions, sorry.

Credit Cards Accepted: VISA, MasterCard, American Express
If you prefer to pay by check or bank transfer please write to
No refunds after February 29, substitutions OK with written approval through 11:59 PM EDT March 27.

Notes on F2C Admission Policy:

All special offers below end on Friday, March 28 at 11:59PM.

  • If you work for government in telecom or Internet policy, write to for special government rate.
  • Registered for NATOA Policy & Legal Seminar? Get $125 off your F2C admission! Write to
  • If you're a full-time reporter for the working press, write to for press attendance info.
  • If you'd really like to come but the price of admission would prevent your attendance, please write to and make your case.

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Venue, Travel & Lodging updated 6Feb08

VENUE & LOCAL: F2C will convene at the AFI Silver Theatre, a short walk from the Silver Spring Metro station. The Silver Spring Metro is six stops from Washington, D.C., Union Station on the Red Line. Interactive Map of Washington Metro here. See driving and parking directions here. AFI Silver is the newly restored theatre complex of the American Film Institute.

GETTING THERE: Washington DC has Amtrak and three major airports. National (DCA) is the most convenient, and it is right on the Metro. Dulles (IAD) and Baltimore Washington (BWI) are each about 32 miles away, and less expensive to fly into because they are served by discounters like Ted (IAD) and Southwest (BWI). Dulles is best for international flights. There's a Hertz local office about four blocks from the F2C venue, and I've had good luck with one way rentals.

LODGING NEARBY: There are three hotels within walking distance of the F2C venue, a Hilton, a Crowne Plaza. and a Marriott Courtyard.

The Crowne Plaza is offering a deal at $226 a night, includes everything. This may seem expensive, but compare the other hotels near by. (Also, no extra Wi-Fi charges!) This rate is not available on line, to book it call Leslie at 301-563-3712, mention F2C. Unfortunately "conference rates" don't seem to be any better than using on-line discount services, or the hotels' own Web sites, so there is no negotiated rate at any of these.

If you're after "budget," about 1.5 miles away there's a little cluster with a Day's Inn, a Ramada, and a Quality Inn. You can use or similar to reserve a specific hotel. (I have had good luck using Priceline and Hotwire in the Washington DC area. These yield good accomodations at very deep discounts, but they do not let you choose specific hotels. In my experience hotwire/priceline hotels are often an easy walk from a Metro stop, and so is the F2C venue.)

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Musicians in Residence: Howard Levy & Chris Siebold updated 22Jan08

The amazing Howard Levy returns to the F2C stage, joined by jazz guitar monster Chris Siebold. Howard is a founding member of Bela Fleck's Flecktones, and he's played the National Anthem for the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bulls. He is a player of idioms from latin to gypsy jazz, from klezmer and Jewish liturgical music to classical, as fluent in 19/8 as he is in 4/4. Howard is joined by Chris Siebold, a Levy band-mate in Acoustic Express. Together they're beyond amazing.

Music is perhaps the oldest form of communications technology. Past F2C musicians include:

  • 2005: Andy Stein, a regular on Prairie Home Companion, founding member of Commander Cody's Lost Planet Airmen,
  • 2006: Joe Craven, the "utility infielder" of Jerry Garcia and David Grisman's acoustic band, and
  • 2007: Howard Levy, founding member of The Flecktones and a regular on Prairie Home Companion.

Sponsors: updated 6Feb08

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Program sponsors:

Organizational Partners:

Technical Support Sponsors:

Live Webcast of F2C: Freedom to Connect updated 31March08

Will not work with Real Player!


1. Copy URL: rtsp://

2. Open Quicktime,

3. FILE menu, Open URL. Paste.

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Special Thanks to . . . updated 30March08

Dewayne Hendricks, Judi Clark, Tiffany Graham-Golden, John Summers, Ed Fineran, Tom Collins, Gary Arlen, Kim J. Ambler, Sebastian Diaz and Colin Maclay, Steph M (doing business as lykospira), and to Mary Godwin of Purdue University, mentor of F2C's Student Intern Program, with 2008 interns Matthew R. Turk, Kase A. DeWitt, Ryan M. McHugh, Katy S. Schmidt and Susan Seifert.

CMA, the fine print: While all of the above is presented in good faith, please take all of it as a best effort attempt rather than a guarantee. Everything here is subject to change without notice. Of course, if things change, I'll do my very best to let all interested parties know asap. All I'm saying is let's be reasonable; if you don't demand that I do the impossible, I will, in exchange, attempt it. David Isenberg

F2C is a production of, LLC

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