Internet access is now recognized as a fundamental human right for the 21st century. To ensure the wealth of people, the wealth of communities, the wealth of a 21st century social-political-economy, the wealth of nations requires a ubiquitous digital infrastructure as a public commons. Only in this way can all the spill-over benefits and network effects be nourished and harnessed. Infrastructure is best managed and governed as a commons.
The most salient costs in the 21st century are increasingly 'opportunity costs' the costs involved in generating and seizing opportunity. In an age of accelerating change -the key to sustainable social conditions is the scaling of learning - life-long learning. Only a digital infrastructure that is not held hostage to 'rent-seeking' incumbents can provide the neutrality and access for unparalleled, unprecedented connectivity.
The social-political economy of the 21st century will involve exponential growth in virtual goods, services, innovation - because information is not scarce nor is it a 'rival' good. Our future economy and society must provide the infrastructure and commons that enable inclusive, ubiquitous, and unpredictable participation.