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Moveon/FreePress are now whining about US postal rates too!

I stumbled upon some more powerful evidence that the SaveTheInternet coalition of 800+ organizations who back net neutrality -- are just special interests looking for a self-serving subsidy handout from the government.

I previously blogged on my theory that the 800+ organizations backing SaveTheInternet cynically know that their members are not really at risk on the Internet from "blocking" etc., but that their organization's cost structures are at risk because they have become addicted to subsidized cheap blast emails.

  •  Put more simply, Moveon.org doesn't want to pay anymore than anyone else, even though they consume tons more Internet bandwidth than the people they supposedly serve.
  • Think about it. How many average users blast emails regularly to 3 MILLION people! Only spammers blast out emails to that wide of a distribution.
    • Then think about how much more bandwidth is required to send out 3 million blast video emails to the Moveon.org email list than is required to send 3 million text emails.

I suspect the other 800+ organizations in SaveTheInternet coalition have made the same self serving calculus, but love to hide behind the populist "human shield" of supposedly looking out for the American consumer.   

Like any other special interest, these SaveTheInternet organizational supporters are lobbying for net neutrality for self-serving reasons, i.e. a law/regulation that would ensure their cost of email distribution would never go up. What a deal!

NAACP official slams net neutrality effect on low-income consumers

I wanted to be sure folks saw what Greg Moore, Executive Director of the National NAACP Voter Fund said recently on net neutrality in a commentary piece in the Asbury Park Press

  • "Given the proven impact of broadband prices on its adoption, policies that increase the cost to users should be forbidden. Now, some well-intentioned online activists are pushing regulations called "net neutrality," which would keep costs low for the large Internet content companies but shift the costs of network expansion mostly to consumers."
  • "The effects could be disastrous for low-income and minority communities, pricing them out of the broadband market by guaranteeing a free ride to companies such as Google and eBay while shifting costs for broadband expansion back to consumers. Although net neutrality activists claim to be protecting free speech, net neutrality regulations would effectively silence many minority voices, as low-income communities drop off the online landscape because they can't afford the price of admission."

Extremely well said!

"National" broadband policy a stalking horse for regulating Internet

Watch out when Big Government advocates call for a "national" anything!

  • House Telecom Chairman Ed Markey is calling for a "national broadband map."
  • Senator Rockefeller (WV) and others are calling for a "national broadband plan."  

Egads! 

A "national broadband plan" is a codeword for a 1970's-style government "industrial policy" where the government decides what technologies consumers get and which companies will succeed of fail. 

  • Industrial policies proved economically disastrous -- and thankfully were abandoned in the US -- allowing our economy to flourish.
    • Look no further than the mess of the current French economy, which is the world's petri dish for "national" industrial policies. 
    • Their economy and employment situation is one of the leading basketcases of Europe.

My first big problem with this "national" thinking is that there is no national broadband problem.

  • The US has more facilites-based broadband deployment, investment and competition nationally than any other country -- by a wide margin.
  • Is deployment perfect nationwide? of course not.
    • If there is a broadband problem it is in some isolated rural areas.
    • We may have a "rural" broadband problem but not a "national" broadband problem!

My second big problem is Senator Rockefeller's call for a new "national" goal of 10Mbps broadband by 2010 and 100 Mbps by 2015.

Excellent ACI study proves how net neutrality harms consumers

Kudos to Steve Pociask of the American Consumer Institute on his excellent paper on: "Net Neutrality and the Effects on Consumers."

  • It should be required reading for all consumer groups.
  • It exposes how net neutrality does not benefit the average American consumer, but benefits special interests like high-volume Internet users... like consumer "groups."   

Steve's clear, insightful, and easy-to-read paper explains how net neutrality would harm consumers by:

The Economist's global digital rankings differ from OECD's rankings

If you care about the reality of American competitiveness and innovation be sure to check out the recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) global digital rankings.

  • "The EIU e-readiness rankings for 2007 ranked 69 countries in terms of six criteria. In order of importance, these are: consumer and business adoption; connectivity and technology infrastructure; business environment, social and cultural environment, government policy and vision; and legal and policy environment."

What's most interesting, is that this objective ranking by the respected Economist, does not show the negative broadband outlook or assessment of the US that the OECD ranking does

  • In this EIU overall ranking, the United States ranks #2, not 12th or 15th like in the OECD rankings.
  • The EIU full report also has North America ranked higher than Western Europe in broadband affordability!
  • Listen to this quote from the full report:
    • "The US, with its heavily entrepreneurial culture, penchant for innovation and highly IT-literate workforce and student population, stands clear at the top of the group." 
  • Concerning "Consumer and business adoption: The report says:
    • "In the sheer scale of individual and business Internet use, the US certainly dwarfs all other countries."
    • "There is some concern that the great weight of the US in online activity makes it a sponge for the world's available digital resources, including talent and funding."

So why is this EIU report important? 

Good ClickZ article on pros & cons of Google-DoubleClick

Harry Gold on ClickZ gives a good and balanced review of the "Pros and cons of Google and Doubleclick."

  • As an industry insider, he gives a sophisticated analysis that is worth the read.  
  • This was the most interesting factoid to me:
    • Doubleclick's "DART does have a hold on over 70 percent of the ad-serving marketing, according to a March 2007 CIMA/William Blair study. Also on the paranoia side of the equation: the data Google and DART collectively have on the population at large are already rather Big Brotherish, never mind Google extending its cookies' reach onto DART's network of sites.

Schwartz' brings adult supervision to Wu's sophomoric NN analysis

It is always a joy to read clear thinking rigorous analysis. I have known and respected Marius Schwartz's mind and work for several years, and I am delighted that he brought the heft of his intellect and  DOJ experience to the question of "wireless net neutrality" in his white paper:

For anyone who cares about the merits or substance of net neutrality as a proposed public policy, it would be hard to find a better debunking of Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu's sophomoric and vacuous work on wireless net neutrality than Marius'.

Exposing DoubleClick's misdirection on Google-Doubleclick merger

The WSJ yesterday had an illuminating interview with David Rosenblatt CEO of DoubleClick about its acquisition by Google.  

Mr. Rosenblatt engaged in some pretty effective "spin" so I thought it would be helpful to shine a brighter light on some of his pat answers that were... how should I say it... less than forthcoming.

In response to a question about whether he could reassure web publishers that Google did not have too much market power, he said: "Google shares revenues with publishers so it makes sense that their interests are pretty much aligned." 

listen to Larry Irving's podcast on America's broadband challenges

I recommend listening to Larry Irving's, (President of the Internet Innovation Alliance) keynote at the Killer App expo that can be heard by podcast.

  •  On one point near to my heart, not taxing the Internet, Irving asked, "Why is telecommunications such a highly taxed product (3rd behind alcohol and gambling) when it's such an important tool for growth and competition?" Two of those products can hurt people, but better communications access can only help the economy.

He makes a great point. It makes no sense to tax an engine of economic growth as mucha s we do.  

Translating Google's real meaning in the Viacom Copyright suit

Google blasted Viacom today in the press for suing Google in court for "building a business on a library of copyrighted video clips without permission," according to the NYT today.

Let's have some fun and dissect some of the Google quotes and translate what they are really thinking behind their PR spin...

  • "We are not going to let the lawsuit distract us." Michael Kwan Google lawyer.
    • We are very worried we can't buy off this company like we bought off all the others.
    • We are in deep do-do if Viacom is smart enough to gain access -- through the discovery process -- to the many internal emails that show Google senior management was supportive or complicit in their systematic copyright heist.

Google's filing said:

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths