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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2006-07-11 17:54
Attached is my latest rebuttal to CNET, don't miss my analogy to "CNET netrality" near the bottom of this post.
Rebuttal of point two! Need "CNET neutrality"
At the beginning of your article, where you bashed my NPR commentary as “egregiously false, unbelievably cheap and manipulative, and insultingly void of truth or fact… you also appeared to represent yourself as reluctant to regulate: I quote: “regulation of the Internet in any form seems scary, a bit hasty and potentially dangerous.” However, given your commentary in point two, it appears as if you were not fully candid about your reluctance to regulate. Your commentary in part two shows you have an alarming “hair trigger’ for heavy regulation.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2006-07-12 09:14
I was very pleased to see that USA Today produced an excellent and balanced summary of both sides of the net neutrality debate. It can be done! The article did an outstanding job of summarizing both sides of the argument in the terms that each side uses.
I highlight the USA Today treatment in contrast to the Washington Post's recent coverage which I was highly critical of becuase it did not frame the article in a balanced way. The link to the post article is in my blog commentary.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2006-07-12 10:38
Investors Business Daily reported today www.investors.com that it appears that Google and Yahoo have decided to pass on bidding for the next big FCC auction of wireless airwaves on August 9th.
It is interesting to note that Google may have a back door interest in this wireless auction because they have an investment in Current Technologies, a broadband over powerlines provider owned by privately held Current Group, which does plan to bid on the auction. http://www.intellon.com/pdfs/googlethis.pdf
It is comical that the online giants: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay, and Amazon claim â€œmarket failureâ€? and that broadband market is a dreaded â€œbroadband duopolyâ€? in need of regulation -- and yet when they are given a prime â€œfree and openâ€? competitive opportunity to buy spectrum to offer broadband themselves, they are declining. How can it be a duopoly when they are free and able to buy prime national broadband spectrum? When they can offer WiFi like Google plans in San Fran? When Google can invest in broadband over powerlines? When they could work with wireless broadband competitors? When they could work with Clearwire? (which Intel just invested $600m in, and whose CEO is on Googleâ€™s board.) Stop whining and start competing!
What this is really about is the online giants preferring a free lunch of government regulated bandwidth rather than having to spend money on broadband facilities like their broadband competitors must. Oh but that would lower these companies 80-90% gross profit margins! Canâ€™t have that! It's much cheaper and self serving to regulate your competitors and shift most all your distribution costs to your competitors and the customer.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2006-07-12 11:56
I have been surprised that none of the press I’ve seen covering the telecom legislation and net neutrality have discussed the likelihood of a lame duck congressional session after the mid term elections.
Any old Washington hand will tell you that all of the political conditions are ripe for a lame duck session -- that possibly could go up close to Christmas. First, the congressional leadership wants to recess in early October to allow members to campaign. Second, the annual appropriations process is bogging down meaning that there will likely be a need for a “continuing resolution” for some of 13 appropriations bills by September 30 -- that would then be dealt with after the election. The political likelihood of needing a continuing resolution is increasing, because Democrats see an opportunity to take back the House and maybe the Senate. It is probably not in their political interest to let legislation breeze through the Senate in September which would give the majority party campaign ammunition. Most importantly, in wartime it just doesn’t make any sense for the institution of Congress to adjourn early and take themself out of the game and off the stage. From my experience I would put the probability of a lame duck session at over 90%.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2006-07-12 12:05
For those wanting a more indepth understanding of NN I highly recommend the following PFF book and event. www.pff.org
Academics to Debate Network Neutrality Issues
The event will be held on Tuesday, July 18th at the National Press Club from 8:30am - 10:00am. A continental breakfast will be served. The National Press Club is located at 529 14th St., NW in Washington, DC. Those wishing to attend should register online. Questions should be addressed to Eileen Goulding at 202-289-8928 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Members of the media should direct questions to Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928 or email@example.com.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2006-07-13 10:25
Today is a big day for opponents of NN. The FCC is poised to finally approve the Adelphia transaction with Time Warner and Comcast – without requiring NN conditions -- according to my sources. While the FCC meeting has reportedly been delayed for a few hours to resolve a non-nn issue, it appears very likely that the Republican majority has resisted the minority’s push for NN conditions on this merger similar to those placed on AT&T-SBC and Verizon-MCI.
There are two very good reasons why the cable outcome is different than that of the big telecom mergers.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2006-07-13 11:45
Neutrality-ites continue to misleadingly rail against the problem of a “Broadband Duopoly” and that consumers have no real choice. Saying it is a duopoly and then saying there is no real choice in the same sentence -- is oxymoronic. With all due respect, please see my friend Art’s Brodsky’s Public Knowledge’s commentary http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/518http://www.publicknowledge.org/node/518 as an example of this type of thinking -- that the current successful transition from monopoly markets to duopoly to competition is somehow not happening or is inherently bad. Competition is a process and a dynamic and every indication is that competition is increasing over any time period -- not decreasing -- or not happening as neutrality-ites imply with their somber duopoly rhetoric. (The fatal flaw in their superficial broadband duopoly analysis is that it is static and not dynamic or directional over time.)
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2006-07-13 14:24
This is a reply to Chris Libertelli's comment on CNET trying to defend CNET Executive Editor Molly Woods blast of my commentary on NPR Morning Edition. I tease him for knowing better than he is letting on.
I am still waiting for a response from Molly to have the opportunity to do a guest column on CNET or have a podcast debate... but they don't seem to have the same jounalistic standard of fair play that NPR and most other news organizations do. Equal Time held hostage day 14.
Welcome to the debate
Ah my friend Chris, you too are being literalist. You worked for FCC Chairman Mike Powell at the FCC and know that Reed Hundt crafted UNE-P out of statutory language that did not allow it. It took a decade of court challenges to clean up that mess!
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2006-07-13 16:27
This is a reply to CNET's Molly Wood chiding her for her regulatory "hair trigger."
You ducked my question
I asked you why you are supporting legislation that punishes everyone with preemptive regulation for the sins of an extremely limited few (if we accept your latest examples at face value)? Why support legislation that makes no distinction on whether or not a company, industry or technology has had any NN complaints, whether or not the company, industry or technology enjoys any market power or whether or not the company even has any cusomters yet? And why would you support legislation that has no sunset provision, if people eventually had the number of competitive choices you deem enough? Do you believe that competition can succeed or is it impossible warranting no sunset provision?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2006-07-13 16:34
Found that Molly and I agree that technology is the answer we just continue to disagree on what that means for policy...
This would be much easier if CNET would just agree to do a podcast.
Excellent train of thought to explore!
You may not be aware of it but you are making my point for me. If all the Internet needs is bandwidth, why don't the online giants just invest in the last mile? Intel is doing it with $600m in Clearwire. Google, Microsoft Yahoo and the others could easily afford to bid on the current FCC wireless broadband auction. Or they could co-invest with existing telcos of cable companies to build faster pipes? Oh I forgot. Co-investing, sharing the investment cost burden of upgrading the Internet -- among those that benefit the most -- oh, that wouldn't be neutral -- can't have that.