Bandwidth is the Oil of the New Economy
In the often legally and technologically complicated world of technology policy, metaphor is often the best weapon. My summer rock climbing buddy Tim Wu recently published an op-ed in NYT entitled OPEC 2.0, arguing that "Just as the industrial revolution depended on oil and other energy sources, the information revolution is fueled by bandwidth."
Later Tim writes, "In an information economy, the supply and price of bandwidth matters, in the way that oil prices matter: not just for gas stations, but for the whole economy." I think the comparison of oil and bandwidth is remarkably powerful, especially in the policy battles in Africa, where the essential challenge is actually convincing politicians they have more to gain from promoting innovation through cheaper Internet then from continuing to side with anti-competitive incumbent telecoms.