My dear friend, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, and I visited Mexico last week to conduct a series of meetings on bilateral and multilateral technology and telecommunications issues. In the process we took the opportunity to visit with a group of young entrepreneurs who were using technology and the open, global Internet as platform for developing new businesses using the assistance and guidance provided to them at Telefonica’s tech accelerator, WAYRA.
As government officials, we were the only people in the room wearing suits (and we raised the mean age somewhat), but we were thrilled to see what was happening. These young Mexican entrepreneurs were working on innovative ways to link parents with teachers, retailers with customers and doctors with patients. The ideas were innovative, the energy was high and the enthusiasm boundless.
As public servants, we work to create a legal and regulatory environment both at home and abroad that enables that kind of optimism and pursuit of happiness. I am not sure that these young people knew it, but underlying their capacity to innovate and reach the world without having to jump through regulatory hoops or ask anyone for permission are two concepts U.S. policymakers work hard with our colleagues in Mexico and others to preserve -- an open and secure Internet, governed by a broad range of decision makers, including industry, government and civil society and free-market competition in telecommunications networks.