Bruce Perens is an Open Code / Open Hardware advocate. He normally focuses on tech issues pretty far removed from radio. I do suspect he wouldn't like the Ibiquity arrangement though. One of these days, I'll have to ask
This story is about the implications of total dependence on centralized control and communications. The Internet is powerful, and supposedly immune to a lot of attacks because of it's distributed nature.
Well, that used to be true back when we had lots of ISP (Internet Service Providers) and routes to and from the Internet, via different networks. Industry consolidation is doing to the Internet something like what we see occuring in radio.
Where bigger and bigger enterprises are controlling traffic, quality of service drops, robustness varies, price increases, and the idea of an open, neutral net is put at risk.
Speaking of risk, consolidation is dramatically increasing risk in communications via the Internet, with the mega ISP's and a few backbone carriers doing it all, essentially.
This city got compartmentalized. Basically, that means they could talk among themselves, but nobody else! Lots of disruption happened, and realistically, it could happen with a coupla angry kids and a pair of cutters.
The answer isn't more authoritarian style security, which is where a lot of people want to go. That's addressing the symptom; namely, consolidation. The real answer is the same as it always was:
Avoid mono-culture in these things. The "sameness" of radio has made it weak, in that the bundling and aggragation of ISP pipes has made Internet communications weak. Home computers are a similar deal, with a very large fraction of them all running the same software. Target city man!
I like how they woke up the local EM Coordinator HAM, and set him up proper to get people talking, and users of those streaming audio computers all got cut off, but for a few local sites that might get above zero traffic that day, on a good day. E-mail and lots of stuff, just gone.
Radio then would be very effective in addressing concerns and letting people know where, how and through who they can communicate and stay informed.
It's not just radio folks. Very large business is a problem in general, when it presents an important service. Too big to fail, means too big to exist!