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July 2006

NN's gross misrepresentation of FCC broadband competition data

The way many neutrality-ites take the FCC broadband competition data out of context reminds me of the classic book “How to Lie with Statistics.” The analysis below should be called “How to put the FCC Broadband Competition Report Data in Honest and Fair Context.” Or “Why the Broadband Duopoly Assertion is Superficial Misrepresentation.”

The first important context is the DIRECTION of broadband competition. It is critical to acknowledge that broadband is a new market that is largely replacing the monopoly dial-up market where consumers had virtually no choice. None of the FCC data suggest that this market is trending back to monopoly or getting less competitive than before. On the contrary, most every time series of data that matter show that the broadband market is becoming increasingly competitive. Is there perfect competition now everywhere? Of course not; that’s a red herring. The honest and fair question should be: is the competition policy that replaced monopoly policy working and resulting in increasing competition and consumer choice and deployment of new technologies? (i.e. the purpose of the 1996 Telecom Act) The answer to that fair question is yes! It is working and making steady and impressive progress over time for most all of America.

Where are you Molly? CNET Executive Editor no longer debating...

The following was my latest post on the CNET comment-fest (432 comments ) on CNET Executive Editor Molly Wood's blasting of my NPR Morning Edition commentary. We in the commentariate have not heard from her in a long time. 

It is Day 27 of "CNET holding equal time hostage." I still request t hat we be allowed to have a guest column to balance your staunch pro-NN point of view or that we should do at least do a podcast. 

Now it appears that you are not participating in your own forum. Unless I missed it you have not participated in this lively 400+ comment-fest on NN -- for quite a while. Molly, we have only begun to scratch the surface of why net neutrality is such a monumentally bad idea and misguided public policy.

WOW!! New FCC report shows broadband competition growing fast!

The new FCC report on U.S. broadband competition provides powerful real world evidence that broadband competition is increasing and vibrant -- seriously undermining the assertion of neutrality-ites that a “broadband duopoly” exists and that the broadband market is failing.

 

Let’s look at some powerful new broadband competition facts in the FCC report.

 

There were 2.75 million new mobile wireless new high speed additions in the 2H05, which means mobile wireless, (a DSL/cable competitive alternative) comprised 35% of all new 2H05 high-speed additions in the U.S., compared to 41% for DSL (3.2m) and 20% for cable modems(1.6m). (see table 1, “High Speed Lines” page 3 of FCC report.)

FCC poised to not require NN for broadband over powerlines

Communications Daily's cover story today indicates that the FCC is poised to rule August first, that broadband over powerlines (BPL) is an information service, just like it has already ruled that Cable modems and DSL are an unregulated info service. The FCC has longstanding precedent for treating like services the same, otherwise they could be found being legally arbitrary and capricious by a Federal court.

The effect of a BPL info services ruling would make what is known, that BPL does not have market power in broadband, official and obvious. As a new broadband entrant with miniscule market share, BPL does not warrant common carrier telecom service regulation that includes non-discrimination net neutrality obligations.

FCC poised to not require NN for broadband over powerlines

Communications Daily's cover story today indicates that the FCC is poised to rule August first, that broadband over powerlines (BPL) is an information service, just like it has already ruled that Cable modems and DSL are an unregulated info service. The FCC has longstanding precedent for treating like services the same, otherwise they could be found being legally arbitrary and capricious by a Federal court.

The effect of a BPL info services ruling would make what is known, that BPL does not have market power in broadband, official and obvious. As a new broadband entrant with miniscule market share, BPL does not warrant common carrier telecom service regulation that includes non-discrimination net neutrality obligations.

The "Search-opoly" is opposing mobile search competition

The WSJ article brilliantly exposes a powerful potential motive behind why the online giants want to apply net neutrality regulation to the competitive wireless industry.

 The WSJ article explains that Google and Yahoo could lose out to smaller search competitors in becoming the default search engine on the 2-3 inch screen of mobile handsets, because the much smaller handset screen is such a different animal than the much bigger PC screen where the search-opoly of Google and Yahoo dominate. the story explains that people use their mobile Internet access very differently than stationary PC search over DSL/Cable modem.

Microsoft: "end of PC era" means beginning of the regulated Internet era?

Ray Ozzie Chief Software Architect for Microsoft has declared the end of the PC or desktop era and has heralded in the "new era centered on the Internet." It is fascinating to me that Microsoft, one of the most fiercely competitive companies the planet has ever known, has chosen a public policy path of Net Neutrality, which asks the government to:
-- protect Microsoft from competitive broadband commercial practices;
-- give Microsoft average-pricing so Microsoft's above-average bandwidth usage can be subsidized by others less-than-average bandwidth usage; and

Why NN average-pricing is slop for dotcom bandwidth hogs -- soouie!

What Net neutrality is really about is average-pricing. Neutrality-ites have framed the debate around fairness to Internet websites, not fairness to Internet users. They are not one-in-the-same as neutrality-ites want you to believe.  

Most people subscribe to the old adage "you get what you pay for."

With net neutrality average-pricing for bandwidth:
--low bandwidth users pay more for the less-than-average bandwidth they use; 
-- while high bandwidth users pay less for the above-average bandwidth they use. 

CNET's conflict of interest obligates equal time

This post was the 434th comment to CNET Molly Wood's editorial blasting my NPR Morning edition commentary opposing Net neutrality. I appropriately bring to CNET's attention that they are not entirely disinterested corporate parties to the NN debate and should be more upfront about fully disclosing their potential financial conllict of interest. By the way, I have testified as an expert witness before both the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Financial Services Committee on the issue of conflicts of interest. I generally can spot a conflict of interest when I see one.

Special Interests get VA Sen. Candidate backing NN

VA Senate Democratic candidate, Jim Webb, recently endorsed NN. The text of his statement, which could easily have been drafted verbatim by moveon.org --  is included below.  

I ask Mr. Webb whether anyone has explained to him the "Reverse Robin Hood" effect of NN before he endorsed NN? Does Mr. Webb understand that NN is average-pricing and one-size fits- all offerings?
 
Average pricing means that lower-than-average bandwidth users, like pensioners on fixed incomes, must pay above-average prices for bandwidth to subsidize more well -off high-end bandwidth users? How does such a special interest gift, corporate welfare for the online giants, square with traditional Democratic values of really looking out for the "little guy?" 

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths