005: Net Neutrality

March 21st, 2018 · 41 mins 51 secs

About this Episode

00:32 Meet our guest Jonathan Wallace

He is a mentor, speaker, organizer, developer and open source contributor. Married with three kids and a dog. He's also been a Georgia state legislator since January.

01:07 Net neutrality

We start off talking about net neutrality and how it affects our children. How the repeal affects who regulates the infrastructure companies. How does it affect the internet content builders, how might it affect free speech, and how the internet is becoming the civic square. Are rules being put in place ahead of time or coming up and cleaning up after?

6:04 States are stepping in

What effect does having states stepping up to manage net neutrality have on the internet? Is zero rating an unfair practice? How about throttling? QoS is also a useful tool but at what level is it fair? Playing favorites can benefit consumers in some instances, but it could be detrimental to competition and innovation. Monopolistic practices can come into consideration. We don't see the choice of ISPs we would like to see throughout the country. Rural areas in particular are underserved. We've had instances where zero rating has come into play. Everything is online. Government services are online and people need to have adequate access to the internet to function in society.

13:36 Nuances in the discussion over net neutrality

What are some of the nuances we miss regarding the net neutrality discussion when we view it from a distance? Jonathan talks about some of the insights he has about this. Telecom providers were required to lease space to other providers. Multiple ISPs provided DSL but used the same telecom in the background. New technologies can leapfrog existing technologies that have regulatory constraints. Providers may not be able to prioritize service in areas where it is not profitable due to too much regulation.

17:37 Bringing technological expertise to the legislature

Jonathan speaks about how his experience in technology has helped his approach as a legislator. There are so many aspects of law to cover that he points out how he brings his expertise in tech but also ignorance in other areas. Legislators are either rich, retired or broke. There are a lot of retired people in legislation, but there are few that have a tech background. He's been learning what the process and tradition are as a legislator. There are many layers of abstraction and nuance in the legislative process.

20:16 Net Neutrality and basic human rights

The discussion shifts to speaking about net neutrality and how it relates to basic human rights. Free speech is important to be preserved in this new public square. The concentration of power can be abused by the few. It's important to have rules in place to ensure freedom of communication in these private networks. We can't control the passage of time, but we can control where we are paying attention.

25:16 Managing it all

Jonathan is involved in technology and now in the public sphere, so how is he managing all this along with his family? There is a zero sum game when it comes to time available. His son was ready to start advocating for his opponents so he might be home more. With the blessing and support of his family, Jonathan's been able to make significant changes and sacrifices to be able to serve. It's a part-time job wth full-time obligations.

29:48 Jonathan's approach to children and technology

How has Jonathan introduced technology into his children's lives? Jonathan considers it his moment of shame. He's been able to introduce some education games and shown them some programming with Scratch. He sees himself more of a facilitator and a support for his children.

32:55 Genius / Fail moments

Johnny Rae - Still no cable. Their streaming device crashed and it did not get replaced and the kids were fine. #Genius
Josh - Nightly family routine watching a "Just add magic" episode and discussing it with their daughter. #Genius
KWu - Has been introducing solids to her 6.5 month baby, specifically avocados. Since baby will only eat a bit and not wanting the avocado to go bad, KWu has been eating the rest of it. #Genius
JC - Won the tie tying competition at the daddy/daughter dance with his 3rd grader. Took home a giant heart-shaped mylar balloon. #Genius
Jonathan - Both a Fail and a Genius moment.

  • Did not manage his child's anxiety properly knowing he'd be gone during the week and got impatient. #Fail
  • Uses Dragonbox to teach the concepts of algebra to his kids in a sneaky way. #Genius

40:12 Where's Jonathan?

You can find Jonathan on Twitter at @jonathanwallace for personal and @wallacefor119 for his political work.

49:40 Contact us!

We're here ready to answer all your questions with terrible advice!

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Josh Puetz
JC Avena
Johnny Rae Austin
Katherine Wu
Chris Sexton