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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2006-12-12 16:19
Ugh. Internet regulation creep continues. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said yesterday that companies that engage in word-of-mouth product endorsements must disclose if recommenders are being paid to recommend the product or service. The Washington Post had a good story on it today.
Since this is all about forthright disclosure, let me reiterate that I openly and regularly disclose that I represent broadband interests in the net neutrality debate. And as a strong believer in law enforcement, I have no sympathy for those engaging in deceptive or fraudulent business practices. That said, I also dread Internet regulation creep, because it will ultimately slow economic growth, job creation and innovation.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2006-12-11 20:43
The feedback has been that it was a well written and thought provoking letter/analysis that got people and investors to think of the net neutrality issue and fight in a much broader, holistic and linked way.
The letter was also an eye opener to investors that Microsoft is not really controlling its own destiny in Washington, but following Google's leadership. Google certainly appreciates the irony of an eight year old company taking the "adult" company to school in Washington.
Given that Google presents the biggest real threat to Microsoft's web services plan in both the marketplace and in Washington, I find it interesting that Microsoft has allowed itself to be so outsmarted and outflanked by Google in Washington. Is Redmond going soft or just distracted?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2006-12-08 18:45
The reality is that net neutrality didn't become an issue and have any traction until pro net neutrality forces attached the issue to a moving legislative vehicle last year -- the video franchise reform bill.
Well now the shoe is on the other foot.Ã‚ Net neutrality proponents now need to build momentum for a bill from scratch,Ã‚ because the companies that pushed it last time are not going to push it this time. They will be able to play defense, which as the net neturality proponents learned this past year, is a lot easier than legislating.
Next year we will see if there is a real there there surrounding net neutrality. Net neutrality proponents will learn for themselves how easy it is to play defense rather than offense in Washington.
It will be interesting to see if net neturality proponentsÃ‚ can turn both theirÃ‚ ragtag coalitionÃ‚ and their ratbag of unsubstantiated allegations into policy consensus and a successful legislative vehicle. It will prove hard. Real hard.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2006-12-07 18:40
Google's attempt to amend the pending franchise bill in Michigan with Net NeutralityÃ‚ looks like it will not succeed. The bill had already passed the House and the Senate Commitee unanimously approved the bill yesterday without Google's last minute net neutrality amendment.Ã‚ Google will probably try to amend it on the Senate floor, but given that it is not in the House or Senate Committee versions, their chance of success of winning an amendment is slim.
They could try and block passage and run out the clock, but I don't think Google is stupid enough to be a spoilerÃ‚ and stop 2000 more jobs for theÃ‚ job-strapped Michigan economy.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2006-12-06 18:59
Very interesting! Yahoo in an ex parte report by James Hedlund, Director of Yahoo! Communications Policy, after its meeting with the advisors of FCC Chairman Martin and the other commissioners, distancedÃ‚ Yahoo from the more radical stance of Google and Moveon.org's Save the Internet.Ã‚
The operative part is:
Yahoo! Yahoo appears to be aware that principles are principle and that mugging a merger and extorting special conditions is a bad way to make public policy. A tip of the hat to Yahoo is deserved. Consider it tipped.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2006-12-04 19:14
Like a mugger whoÃ‚ cries foulÃ‚ whenÃ‚ his victim manages to wriggle free fromÃ‚ their well-planned ambush and pummeling, net neutrality proponents are now crying foul thatÃ‚ Chairman Martin is excercising his legal authority to engageÃ‚ Commissioner McDowell to vote to break the 2-2 impasse and vote on either approving or disapproving the AT&T-Bell South merger.Ã‚
Can you believe the unmitigated gall of net neutrality proponentsÃ‚ playing the "victim" when they were really the muggerÃ‚ here? I guess we should not be surprisedÃ‚ then when theseÃ‚ same folks impugn the integrity andÃ‚ ethicsÃ‚ ofÃ‚ public servants whoÃ‚ have assiduously followed the legal, procedural, and political processes.Ã‚ Any fair-minded person should be disturbed at the "ends justify the means"Ã‚ tactics of many net neutrality proponents in this proceeding.Ã‚ Ã‚ Ã‚
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2006-12-01 18:05
When I learned that Google was rushing in late in the process to demandÃ‚ a net neutrality amendment on theÃ‚ Michigan franchise reform legislation, the image that came to mind was that of a spoiled child seeing people building a sandcastle on the beach and running through the sand castle cackling with glee at the attention they could get from destroying others hard work.
I continue to marvel at the undisciplinedÃ‚ naivete and brat-ishnessÃ‚ of this $150 billion 8 year old company called Google. Like a spolied child that has gotten used to getting everything they scream forÃ‚ because of over-indulgent market parents who never said no, this company truly behaves like they think the world revolves around them and their demands.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2006-11-27 18:30
The call for net neutrality regulation, or banning Internet tiers, runs completely counter to the highly-successful, commercialÃ‚ evolution of the Internet.
A recentÃ‚ Cable World article by Paul Kagan "Paying the Piper" highlights this truth, that the "wave of the future" is bandwidth based billing. Usage-based billing is exactly opposite to one-size-fits-all net neutrality regulation.Ã‚ More usage-based billingÃ‚ better serves users becuase it allows them to buy just what they need.Ã‚ Light users pay lessÃ‚ and heavy usersÃ‚ pay more. As Kagan aptly points out, this is "a marketplace pricing solution that encourages consumers to regulate themselves." Ã‚ Ã‚