Welcoming Google to the blogosphere!

The following is the comment I posted to Google's first "authentic" blog post on net neutrality in Google's new public policy blog:

Welcome to the blogosphere! We congratulate Google for joining the NN debate more openly using your own "authentic" voice and not those of your surrogates. It is also about time for Google to be more specific on the issue of net neutrality.

Why protect the Webopolies with net neutrality corporate welfare?

The New York Times reported a very telling statistic today on one of the prominent Webopolies in the Open Internet Coalition -- eBay.

95% market share! If that's not a Webopoly, what is?

Despite puffery over 700 MHz "3rd pipe" -- the market is solving it

You gotta love how the free market works when left alone by the Government!

Just as Frontline and others are demanding that the government has to intervene in the 700 MHz auction to "create" a third broadband pipe, the free market finds another way to solve these market problems without the Government.

One of the most significant developments in the spectrum world today was not the hot air at the Senate Commerce Committee hearing, but what happened in the free market -- DirecTV and Echostar signing agreements with Clearwire to sell their WiMax broadband service.

WSJ lead article highlights tradeoff of competition vs regulation

The cover story in the Wall Street Journal today "A fight over what you  can do with your cellphone; Handset makers push free features for which carriers pay for" was obviously perfectly-timed and placed by open access/net neutrality proponents trying to influence the Senate Commerce Committee hearing today on the FCC's 700 MHz auction.

  • The article offers a list of complaints for net neutrality supportive Senators to browbeat competitive wireless carriers with.

What the article ignores is the broader and essential context of this issue and debate.

Debunking the economics of Frontline's 700 MHz open access proposal

I was glad to see a heavyweight group of economists systematically debunk Frontline's economic gymnastics to try and justify a sweetheart spectrum deal for Frontline at the expense of the American taxpayer.

Remember, there is nothing "neutral" about trying to shaft the American taxpayer!

NY Times "gets" that Google is "Watching your every move"

It is very rare when I feel compelled to praise the liberal New York Times editorial board for one of its editorial positions, but to be fair, I must when they get an issue dead right.

George Orwell's seminal book "1984" ingrained the totalitarian metaphorical threat of "Big Brother" in the world's thinking and lexicon.

Spin can't magically turn the Maine net neutrality defeat into a win

Public interest groups supportive of net neutrality like Common Cause and The Maine Civil Liberties Union are trying to "spin" the press that the non-binding net neutrality resolution passed by the Maine Senate is somehow an important first for a state.

  • The reality is that supporters of net neutrality thought that the support of net neutrality by Dorgan-Snowe co-sponsor and Maine Senator Olympia Snowe would somehow increase the chances of passing net neutrality legislation for the first time in the state of Maine.
    • They were wrong. 
    • This legislative effort in Maine failed just like it did in Michigan and Maryland, and just like it did in every Federal forum it was raised in.   
    • This Maine Senate "non-binding resolution" is simply hortatory puffery, akin to naming a state insect or a state weed.  
  • The reality is that the Maine legislature did not pass legislation and that it clearly acknowledged in its resolution its understanding that the Internet is exclusively Federal jurisdiction.
    • There is nothing that could be more Federal or "interstate" than the "INTERnet!"

This episode in Maine really is emblematic of the whole net neutrality movement.

Note to Google: Those in glass houses should not throw stones

Google, in making a high-profile complaint to the Justice Department and State Attorney Generals, about Microsoft's latest operating system Vista, appears to be naively unaware of its own antitrust vulnerabilities in its pending Google-DoubleClick antitrust review at the FTC.

It has always been unwise for those in "glass houses to throw stones."

Why Privacy is a competitive issue in FTC's Google-DoubleClick merger review

Just after Google's CEO Eric Schmidt summarily dismissed privacy concerns as an issue in the FTC's review of the Google-DoubleClick merger, a privacy watchdog group said "Google inc.'s privacy practices are the worst among the Internet's top destinations," according to an AP article "Watchdog group slams Google on privacy." 

  • "...London-based Privacy International assigned Google its lowest possible grade. The category is reserved for companies with "comprehensive consumer surveilance and entrenched hostility to privacy."

American privacy groups are petitioning the FTC (EPIC, CDD, and US PIRG) to address the privacy issue in the context of the Google-DoubleClick merger.

  • Privacy groups in the US and in Europe are rallying around this issue, because as the NY State Consumer Protection Board has said: "Google's database...will make up the world's single largest repository of both personally and non-personally identifiable information."
  • Investors and others that dismiss privacy as a competitive concern in the Google-DoubleClick merger -- do so at their own peril.

Why is privacy a competitive issue in the Google-DoubleClick merger?

FCC Commissioner McDowell debunks OECD broadband rankings

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell gave an outstanding speech today at the Broadband Policy Summit in which he did the single best job I have seen totally debunking the OECD rankings that purportedly indicate the US is falling behind on broadband.

Commissioner McDowell explains with example after example -- how skewed the OECD methodology is.

  • My personal favorite line in the speech was on how the OECD methodology is skewed against the US:
    • "...even if every existing broadband subscriber in America had a fiber-fed 100 mbps broadband connection, we would only rank 12th."

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths