You are here

Congress

Microsoft's Double Standard

Microsoft is announcing today a new big initiative to enter the broadband business phone market to offer unified voice-data communications in competition with broadband providers. Reporters should ask if this means net neutrality would apply to them as new broadband competitors? Their answer should be an entertaining dance on the head of a pin.   

It is important to remember that Microsoft successfully lobbied the FCC a couple of years ago for de-regulatory decisions to let them enter traditional communications on an un-regulated basis.  

Had a Great debate with Amazon's Meisner on PBS' Newshour

For those of you interested in what I think is the best and most succinct debate yet on NN, I suggest you listen to the audio of the 10 minute debate between Paul Meisner of Amazon and I  last night on the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer. They fairly set up the debate and then let Paul and I very freely and openly debate.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/jan-june06/netneutrality_06-22.html

One thing that was new, was that I was able to debunk one of Paul's key points, that since it is the customer that would order video over the Internet, it isn't Amazon's fault or cost to pay for any of the delivery. I explained why that was a spurious argument. It would be like saying, Amazon has a huge parking lot holding a large fleet of very heavy trucks and equipment and because it was the customer that called and asked for Amazon to dispatch the trucks and heavy equipment to drive on the road, Amazon had no role or responsibility for the wear and tear that the heavy trucks had on the road -- just because they didn't dispatch the truck!  Puuuuhleeeeez!

That is just one of many NN arguments that doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

NN Presidential Politics?

I really enjoyed this New York sun article on Clinton, Other Hopefuls Reach For Netroots
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/34792 .  It appears that NN is the politically expedient position for democratic political candidates who want and need to raise beaucoup bucks from the Internet. The old adage is true, if you want honey don't kick the beehive.

NN clearly is not a "New Democrat" position. Sad the Democratic Presidential candidates are going back to Old Democrat ways, but that is typical of the pre-primary cycle.

Munis in NN Crosshairs?

Today's WSJ had a very interesting article on how municipalities are seeking to offer free city-wide WiFi broandband servce to their residents paid for by advertising. Hello? It appears as if municipalities around the country have not connected-the-dots of the Snowe-Dorgan NN bill could effectively outlaw that business model in serving consumers becuase it would be discriminatory. Municipalities might consider weighing in on Snowe-Dorgan so the hand of BIG GOVERNMENT does not ban their nascent innovative efforts.

The Snowe-Dorgan bill is so breath-takingly indiscriminate and sweepingly hyper-regulatory that it regulates anything remotely broadband. First, in a fit of hubris, Snowe-Dorgan, even legally defines the word "user" for the first time, which even the hyper-regulatory House Markey Bill did not deem necessary! Why are they defining "users" unless they want to regulate them too? 

Eleven years of legal uncertainty!

One of the biggest reasons NN would be a disaster to implement is that no one can define it --meaning it would be left to the courts to do so -- which can take eleven years! Late last week the DC Court of Appeals finally upheld for the first time the FCC's unbundling rules stemming from the 1996 Telecom Act. It took the FCC four attempts over eleven years to craft rules implementing the 1996 Telecom Act's unbundling rules.

Why is this a big issue for NN? First the House Markey and Snowe-Dorgan bills were drafted very similarly to the section 251 of the Telecom Act, which created so much legal uncertainty.

New Senate NN Draft

I am encouraged Chairman Stevens new third draft has focused on a consumer-oriented net neutrality compromise more in line with the light touch in the House approach. The ecommerce giants have consistently pushed for a producer-oriented approach which is designed to protect themselves from more competition while doing little for the consumer. Chairman Stevens gets it.

My view continues to be that the legislation should not mention net nuetrality at all becuase any mention of it leaves future heavy handed regulators an opening for Big Govenment regulation and micromanagment of the Internet.

This is the opposition?

"I don't know anything" 
"These people are bad people"
"I like winning" 
"Vilifying Mike McCurry is really important"

These quotes are taken straight from Matt Stoller's speech on net neutrality at this past weekend's Yearly Kos convention in Vegas. Don't believe me? Check out the video.

So Matt's has been blogging nearly every day on an issue that he openly admits he doesn't understand all in the hopes of scoring political points and mobilizing the Democratic base. Why even bother with a debate focused on the issues, when the other side just wants to "vilify" and "win".

NPR Debate Today!

I will be debating net neutrality for two hours today on Pacifica radio an NPR affiliate. www.pacifica.org. about 100 stations nationally.

In DC, it will be on WPFW 89.3 FM from 10-12

During the first hour I will be chatting with Gigi Sohn of Public Knowledge, and the second hour Anthony Riddle will join the debate.

I invite everyone to listen in.

 

 

Pages

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths