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Corporate Welfare

Net Neutrality Has Become an Industrial Policy – My Daily Caller Op-ed

 

Please don’t miss my Daily Caller op-ed here: “Net Neutrality Has Become an Industrial Policy.”

It explains how net neutrality is being exposed to be less about protecting consumers and more about “Trojan horse” political messaging to protect and subsidize Silicon Valley economic interests.

This is Part 70 of my FCC Open Internet Order Series.

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FCC Open Internet Order Series

Part 1: The Many Vulnerabilities of an Open Internet [9-24-09]

Why is Silicon Valley Rebranding/Redefining Net Neutrality?

 

Via their Congresswoman, Silicon Valley is trying to redefine net neutrality for their benefit under the benign guise of “rebranding.”

Their desired re-definition is that net neutrality now should be the principle that “all bits are created equal.”

This is an unreasonable utopian escalation of the net neutrality debate. An “all bits are created equal” or “bit equality” principle would be a radical departure from the current decade-old “network neutrality” principle that the American Internet has long operated under.

Everyone knows that “neutrality” and “equality” are not synonyms and are not honestly used as interchangeable concepts in conversation, policy discourse, branding, or the law.

Exposing Netflix’ Biggest Net Neutrality Deceptions – Part 16 Netflix Research Series

 

If Netflix’ position on net neutrality was justified on the merits, why does Netflix need to say so many deceptive things that are demonstrably untrue, in order to justify its case for its version of net neutrality?

Google’s Title II Utility Regulation Risks – An Open Letter to Investors

Unregulated Google is increasingly pushing for maximal FCC net neutrality and price regulation of its direct broadband competitors, potentially via FCC reclassification of broadband as a Title II telephone utility service.

Open Letter to Internet Association on Broadband Utility Regulation

 

Dear Executives of Internet Association Companies,

Have you thought through the global implications of your businesses’ public lobbying for regulating broadband like a public telephone utility? 

Possibly you are unaware that “The French government said it would push for a new European law later this year to classify Google and other Web giants like public utilities, forcing them to guarantee access to all services like phone operators. … We don’t want to become a digital colony of global Internet giants” said the French Economy Minister, per Wall Street Journal reporting.

As members of the global Internet giant association, and as global companies with large majorities of your current or future revenues coming from overseas, it could be beneficial to better think through the global implications of your high-profile policy support for new broadband utility regulation in the U.S.

The “Aristechracy” Demands Users Subsidize Their Net Neutrality Free Lunch – Part 45 FCC Open Internet Order Series

The Net Neutrality movement has lost its way. It’s now perversely focused on advancing Internet companies’ economic interests at the expense of Internet user interests.

The Net neutrality movement’s main priority used to be about ensuring that Internet users have the freedom to access the legal content of their choice.

Now they have become singularly-focused on securing permanent economic subsidies for edge companies by demanding the FCC set a zero-price for all downstream Internet traffic via reclassifying broadband as a Title II common carrier service.

Essentially, what their latest net neutrality scheme would mean is that Internet users would be forced to shoulder the entire cost burden of maintaining and upgrading America’s expensive Internet infrastructure without a fair-share contribution from the top Internet companies for the infrastructure costs they cause as a result of their dominant consumption of the nation’s daily downstream bandwidth.  

Simply, net neutrality has transmogrified from preserving users’ Internet freedoms to forcing all Internet users to fully subsidize all Internet companies’ bandwidth usage bill no matter if they use a particular edge companies’ services or not.

Net Neutrality’s about Consumer Welfare not Corporate Welfare for Netflix

Billionaire Netflix CEO Reed Hastings objects to Netflix having to pay anything at all for Netflix’ gorging on 30% of the Internet’s North American bandwidth. In a Netflix corporate blogpost billionaire Reed Hastings rails against the perceived injustice of Netflix paying Internet usage-based pricing like consumers do.

At core, Mr. Hastings now derides traditional consumer-defined net neutrality, which ensures consumers the freedom to access the legal content of their choice – as “weak” net neutrality.

Meanwhile, he is attempting to rebrand his new self-serving, corporate-defined net neutrality, which ensures the largest corporate users of the Internet pay nothing for their largest usage of interconnection bandwidth -- as “strong” net neutrality.

Mr. Hastings’ position clearly prioritizes corporate welfare above consumer welfare.

Exposing Netflix’ Extraordinary Net Neutrality Arbitrage

Netflix’ defensive reaction to the Appeals Court Verizon v. FCC decision in its recent shareholder letter speaks volumes about Netflix’s unique and extraordinary net neutrality regulatory arbitrage. It also begs much more scrutiny.

This analysis exposes: how deceptive Netflix has been to its investors about its regulatory risk; how critical Netflix’ misrepresentation of net neutrality to investors has been to its entire economic model; and how relatively wasteful and irresponsible Netflix is in its utilization of the Internet’s bandwidth.

Is Net Neutrality Trying to Mutate into an Economic Entitlement?

Net neutrality activist opposition to AT&T’s new Sponsored Data offering exposes that the purpose of “net neutrality/open Internet” is not just about protecting consumers and free speech, or preventing anti-competitive behavior.

Those calling for an FCC investigation of AT&T’s Sponsored Data are trying to mutate the “net neutrality/open Internet” debate to also be about whether or not there should be permanent economic entitlements, i.e. downstream “zero-price” subsidies, for edge websites and applications – to “subsidize creativity” and start-up innovation via an explicit FCC ban on network termination charges.

Translation:  all websites and applications should be entitled, by “open Internet” network design, to no cost Internet distribution/access to consumers forever, regardless of the costs that their services cause everyone else to pay for.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths