You are here

February 2008

NetCompetition press release on Markey Net Neutrality Bill -- wolf in sheeps clothing

  

For Immediate Release                                                                    

Contact:  Scott Cleland

February 13, 2008                                                                                              

202-828-7800  Markey Net Neutrality Bill is “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” 

WASHINGTONScott Cleland, chairman of NetCompetition.org, today released the following statement regarding Representative Ed Markey’s proposed net neutrality bill:

 

Net Neutrality vs. Reasonable Network Management -- new one-pager

Given the flurry of comments to the FCC on the FreePress petition on Comcast's network management due yesterday, I produced a new NetCompetition one-pager on Net Neutrality vs. Reasonable Network Management. I find the one-page format is useful to crystalize my thinking and boil my thoughts down most succinctly.

The primary conclusions in the one pager are:

  • Net neutrality has an inherent bias against network management.
  • Network Neutrality defines network management as discrimination.
  • Net neutrality is not a "practical' principle; the word "reasonable" exists for a reason. 

For those who don't want to use the one-page format or link above, I have copied the full text below:

Net Neutrality vs. Reasonable Network Management   Net Neutrality has an inherent bias against network management.   

The Google Welfare Act of 2008

Chairman Markey's newly introduced net neutrality bill should more aptly be called "The Google Welfare Act of 2008." 

  • Google was quick to applaud introduction of the Markey bill on its blog and in a fawning call with reporters. 
  • Google's standard line was that "this bill is not about Google but about the next Google."
    • When anyone says something is not about "me" but about the next incarnation of "me" you can be pretty sure it really is about the "me."

Let us cut through all the platitudes, spin, fluff and distractions in this bill of which there are many. Let us also remember the useful phrase: "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

  • Proponents of the Markey bill are indeed telling the truth that the bill does not formally or explicitly mandate FCC net neutrality regulations.
  • Unfortunately they are not telling "the whole truth and nothing but the truth," because the real world impact of the crux of this bill would be to trigger a cascade of new regulations of the Internet in order to comply with the U.S. policy change in this bill.

Why would the Markey bill trigger a cascade of new Internet regulations?

The comical spin-fest of Markey net neutrality bill supporters

The frantic spin-fest by supporters of House Telecom Chairman Ed Markey's new net neutrality bill was truly comical to watch. Let me share some of the more precious "spin" moments from last week.

Gigi Sohn, Founder of Public Knowledge, said in Comm Daily"The new net neutrality bill has a better chance of passing than previous ones. What's different this year is the momentum leading up to it."

  • Hmmmm. The new Markey bill, HR5353, which has been in the works for 13 months of this session has two co-sponsors, lets count them again, one...two..., and one of these two is retiring from Congress this year.
  • In the Senate, the Dorgan-Snowe bill, an exact replica of the failed 2006 version, was introduced 13 months ago and has had near zero Senate consideration or attention, not even a hearing.
  • Meanwhile back at the ranch... net neutrality regulation has been opposed by the FCC, FTC, the DOJ Antitrust Divsion and the three states that examined it: Michigan, Maryland, and Maine.
  • Gigi may be technically correct that the issue indeed has "momentum," however, Gigi remains mum on the DIRECTION of that "momentum" -- as that would be unnecessary buzz-kill to share with people.

Ben Scott, the policy director of Moveon.org's FreePress arm, and Gigi Sohn were obviously speaking from the exact same approved talking points:

National Broadband Strategy Proponent has blindspot for mobile broadband

I was very surprised at the answer I got when I asked Bob Atkinson, the ITIF author of "Framing a National Broadband Policy" a question at the Alliance for Public Technology panel discussion last Friday on the topic of: "Framing a National Broadband Policy."

Google caught censoring free speech... again -- where's the indignance from net neutrality supporters?

Fox News reported that Google quietly reinstated an Inner City Press news service that specializes in UN corruption news, that Google had previously censored from its search engine and from Google news.

  • Per Fox News: "The reaction to the de-listing, however temporary, had been furious. The non-profit Government Accountability Project lambasted the company, calling Inner City Press "the most effective and important media organization for U.N. whistleblowers.""

Important Questions:

Connected Nation broadband legislation would stimulate economy; Markey legislation would stifle it

Connected Nation's new report on the economic impact of pending broadband mapping bills shows how public/private partnerships could accelerate broadband deployment to all Americans and provide an estimated $134b direct economic stimulus per year for the nation.

  • The pending broadband mapping legislation adopts a bipartisan consensus approach of public/private partnerships to discover where broadband gaps are and how to stimulate actual broadband deployment to those underserved areas.
    • This mainstream approach is focused on a consensus mainstream goal that has bipartisan mainstream support -- encouraging broadband deployment to all Americans.

Contrast this mainstream legislation to promote universal broadband, with the new fringe net neutrality legislation proposed by House Telecom Chairman Ed Markey.

EU poised to approve Google-DoubleClick; Google's increasing dominance now on EU regulatory radar

(Investors: don't miss the last part of this post.) 

Sources indicate that the EU is poised to approve the pending Google-DoubleClick merger soon in what insiders described as a "close call."

Why ultimate FCC decision on Comcast network management is expected to be unanimous

(See end of this post for bottom line on why there will be a unanimous FCC decision on Comcast's network management practices.)  

It's obvious that there is much more that is uncertain than certain after listening to the five-hour FCC En Banc hearing at Harvard on the FreePress and Vuze petitions on Comcast's network management practices.

Professor Tim Wu, who coined the term net neutrality and who was a panelist framed the Harvard spectacle in CNET as a "...trial of the Internet." "Comcast is in the docket accused of crimes against the public interest."  

  • Well if this was a trial, Wu/FreePress et al did not prove their case, and certainly did not prove it "beyond a reasonable doubt."
  • Only in the "make-it-up-as-you-go-along world of net neutrality is it an alleged "crime against the public interest" for an ISP to protect the quality of service for many users by imperceptively delaying the packet delivery of non-time sensitive applications for a few users.  

FCC Commissioner Tate got all the first panelists to agree that there was a baseline need for "reasonable network management." Even Professor Wu conceded that there was "good discrimination and bad discrimination," just like there is "good cholestorol and bad cholestorol."

Pages

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths