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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2007-11-01 10:01
The American Consumer Institute did some more great work on the importance and impact of broadband. Kudos!
- I recommend you take a look at their eye-opening new study: "Broadband Services: Economic and Environmental benefits."
- The premise is that promoting broadband is smart national policy because of the tremendous cumulative productivity and energy savings that more broadband use enables.
The summary table on page 48 encapsulates the study's findings well.
Why is net neutrality not Green?
- The current free market broadband policy is succeeding greatly in rapidly deploying broadband to all Americans and in promoting facilities-based broadband competition.
- Even the serious prospect of net neutrality legislation becoming law would chill investment and discourage continuation of the broadband success that the current free market policy has generated.
- Net neutrality is not Green because it would slow the extremely environmentally beneficial trend of increased broadband use, which creates massive national energy savings as the American Consumer institute study attests.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2007-11-02 08:15
The Moveon.org/FreePress petition to the FCC to declare Comcast's reasonable network management illegal, is a deceptive back-door scheme to reverse FCC deregulation of broadband as an information service and to (de facto) reinstate common carriage for broadband.
- The petition will be found to be a bogus and manufactured scheme to deceive the FCC and the public that necessary, responsible, and "reasonable network management" -- that serves consumers and the Internet public by delivering quality of service and protecting consumers from the harm of viruses, spam etc. -- should be declared illegal "degrading" of an Internet application.
- Upon full FCC airing of this issue, it will be clear that the offending P2P application traffic is the culprit that is in fact harming the overwhelming majority of Internet consumers by "degrading and imparing" the responsiveness and utility of the Internet for the many because of the irresponsible bandwidth hogging of the few.
First, if managing out-of-control p2p traffic that is degrading and impairing the responsiveness and utility of the Internet for the many by the few is not "reasonable network management" then no network management is reasonable.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2007-11-05 10:59
Tim Wu, the "father of net neutrality" because he made up the term a few years back, was surprisingly candid in a CNET article that: "the whole net neutrality issue is really about a power struggle."
- Well we now know net neutrality is not about:
- A supposedly longstanding non-discrimination "principle" of the Internet;
- all bits being equal; or
- freedom of speech.
- It's about "power."
- We knew it all along.
- It's really about the "power struggle" over corporate welfare for the dotcom billionaires at Google and eBay who want the consumer to subsidize their piggish bandwith demands in order to maintain their 90% gross profit margins.
I also found another candid quote by the Moveon.org/FreePress folks that also tells us what they are up to:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2007-11-05 17:27
The FreePress Comcast petition has an unreasonable view of what "reasonable" network management is in the FCC's net neutrality policy.
First, the petitioners ignore the reason the FCC exists in the first place -- the absolute necessity for some network management in order for communications systems to function as needed.
- The predecessor to the FCC, the Federal Radio Commission was created in 1927 because of the chaos of an completely unmanaged network (like the petitioners currently are advocating for) --
- too many stations were broadcasting on too few frequencies making the airwaves a garbled and unworkable "tragedy of the commons."
- The Government brought order to this chaos by granting the FRC/FCC the authority to make spectrum licensed property, grant licenses, and assign frequencies and power levels for each license.
Second, the petitioners ignore that "reasonable network management" of communications is directly analogous to reasonable traffic management of our roadways.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-11-06 16:53
The American Antitrust Institute, an independent non-profit advocacy organization just released its white paper:
Like my Googleopoly analysis from this July and my Senate Judiciary Subcommittee testimony in October, the aai concludes that Google and DoubleClick are indeed direct competitors and that: "the merger presents a relatively straightforward case for challenge under the horizontal and non-horizontal merger guidelines."
- Moreover, the aai stated: "We also see a risk of significant foreclosure effects from Google's control over DoubleClick's publisher and advertiser tools and integration of those tools with Google's dominant search engine and contextual advertising network."
Bottom line: This merger obviously raises serious anti-competitive issues and I continue to believe it should be blocked, but that does not mean that I still think it will be blocked by the FTC -- I no longer do.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-11-07 19:02
I was very impressed with Ohio State law Professor Peter Swire's insightful analysis of why, in the context of the FTC antitrust review of the Google-DoubleClick merger, privacy harms are relevant to the traditional antitrust analysis.
- "In brief, privacy harms can reduce consumer welfare, which is a principal goal of modern antitrust analysis. In addition, privacy harms can lead to a reduction in the quality of a good or service, which is a standard category of harm that results from market power. Where these sorts of harms exist, it is a normal part of antitrust analysis to assess such harms and seek to minimize them."
- "To the extent proponents of the merger seek to justify the merger on efficiency grounds, such as personalization, then privacy harms to consumers should be considered as an offset to the claimed efficiencies."
In my Googleopoly analysis and my Senate Judiciary Subcommittee testimony on the Google-DoubleClick merger, I viewed the massive aggregation of customer clickstream data to be highly anti-competitive as it would create a tipping point and unsurmountable barriers for others to compete.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-11-07 23:28
I most highly commend George Ou and Richard Bennett for bringing some much-needed adult supervision and technical excellence to the issue of Comcast's network management. Please read George's latest blogpost.
- FreePress...read it and weep -- you have laid another high profile net neutrality egg.
George has produced the must read piece on this issue. In "A rational debate on Comcast's Traffic management" George explains, with the assistance of Richard Bennett's exceptional expertise, what is really going on with Comcast's traffic management.
- In a nutshell, they explain the real world design limitations of a shared cable network, especially on the upstream path, and how those limitations practically require network managers to limit how much traffic goes through a particular network point, just like traffic lights must do on highway ramps during rush hour to ensure that the highway does not degrade into a parking lot.
The already low credibility of net neutrality proponents will fall even further as the FCC investigates this allegation and determines Comcast's network management to be well within the bounds of "reasonable."
- While net neutrality proponents and their activist reporter friends may like to play engineers on TV, noone would want to entrust them with operating anything more complicated than a mouse.
The reason we have due process in this country is precisely to protect against this type of spurious allegation.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2007-11-08 13:22
If Professor Tim Wu is the "Father" of net neutrality, since he named the issue in 2002, I guess Gigi Sohn can be called the "Mother" of net neutrality because in 2002 her organization, Public Knowledge, birthed the original political manifesto on this type of thinking: "Saving the Information Commons."
Yesterday Ms. Sohn, the Mother of net neutrality, participated in a conference call for left-leaning bloggers to indoctrinate them into the right and wrong way to blog about FreePress/Public Knowledge's petition to the FCC on Comcast's network management.
- Well when Mom's not happy, nobody's happy.
- In response to questions about what bloggers could do, Mother neutrality effectively called on bloggers to spank Senate Chairman Innouye for not listening to Mom.
- The impertinence of those 83 year-old, seven-term U.S. Senators who won't listen and do as their told!
- Where is the respect anymore?
Ted Hearn of MultiChannel News had a great story on this: "Sohn to bloggers: target Inouye"
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Sun, 2007-11-11 22:50
The FreePress Comcast petition alleging that Comcast's network management has violated the FCC's net neutality policy is based on at least four extreme and unreasonable positions by the petitioners.
First, the "pro-neutrality" petitioners are asking the FCC to actively discriminate in favor of the few p2p users at the expense of the vast majority's quality of service.
- It is extreme and unreasonable to petition that p2p traffic cannot be managed because p2p applications, by design, "efficiency shift."
- They make downloading more efficient for the few who use the p2p application, by taking away the efficiency of the many by hogging other's bandwidth!
- There is nothing neutal at all about p2p!
- p2p users reach out and consume bandwidth designed for the use of others.
- In other words, the petitioners have taken the extreme and unreasonable position that p2p users have the unlimited right to consume everyone else's bandwidth even when that usage harms the rights of everyone else.
- How is that responsible or rational?
The second extreme and unreasonable position is that the petitioners have proposed fines for Comcast that could total $2.3 trillion! Yes that is a "tr" with that illion.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2007-11-12 13:37
I thought you might enjoy the latest evidence that Googlers think of themselves as special, better than the rest of us, a form of American nobility, the elite of the elite.
From the recent Newsweek article: "Google goes globe-trotting":
- "Google is like Fantasy Land," says APM David Hammer, 24, who hails from Newton, Mass. "You're one of the chosen people." (bold added)
- "the chosen people." ...in a Googlers own words. Hmmmm. I thought that moniker was already taken, and as I remember, it was not self-granted.
- The Newsweek article continues: "Actually, it's like being one of the Lost Boys from "Peter Pan.""
- For those of you who didn't remember them like me, the lost boys were immortals who lived in Neverland with Peter Pan... By the way, isn't Michael Jackson's estate called Neverland?
- The article then described: "At headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Google has 17 no-cost dining areas, each focused on a specific cuisine, including Asian fusion vegan and tapas. There are swimming pools, health clinics, beach-volleyball courts and massage rooms."
This Newsweek article preceded the precious front page New York Times story of today: "Google Options Make Masseusse a Multi-Millionaire."