Dont miss the compelling Wash Post Op Ed opposing NN

Kudos to Dave Farber and Michael Katz on their very persuasive and compelling Op Ed in the Washington Post opposing net neutrality. I strongly endorse their perspective and wisdom.

I feel great kinship with their point of view. There is no problem here. And there is a lot of harm and unintended consequences that can result from preemptively regulating the Internet.

Like David and Mike, I am well aware of the potential problems that market power could have. I have a long and public record of standing up to monopoly behavior that I viewed as out of bounds. But I am also a fact and analysis person. The facts and the analysis show this is a competitive marketplace becoming even more competitive in the future.  

The other "father of the Internet" opposes NN

Robert Kahn, known as the co-father of the Internet along with Google's Vint Cerf, opposes net neutrality becuase it would inhibit necessary experimentation and innovation. Kudos to a great article in the Register on this.

The fact that Network engineers like Robert Kahn and Dave Farber oppose net neutrality make it clear that net neutrality is not this simple benign policy. It is very dangerous preemptive legislation that presumes to perfectly know the future to allow them to lock in for perpetuity one interation of the Internet.

The attempt to intimidate Netcompetition's free speech continues

National Journal's Tech Daily recycled an old factually incorrect charge about Netcompetition.org in its article today on how grassroots groups are lobbying the Senate to omit themselves from the Senate's Ethics and lobbying law.  

I have asked National Journal for a correction for recycling the factually wrong assessment of Common Cause that Netcompetition.org is an "astroturf" grass roots group. 

  • I systematically refuted Common Cause's bogus report in August in my blog on Common Cause's report. It was a blatant attempt to intimidate free speech that backfired.
  • NetCompetition.org has always been fully disclosed that we are a forum representing the views of broadband companies. There is no secret here! No "astro-turfing" here.
  • NetCompetition.org is good old American free speech that Common Cause and its net neutrality supporters don't like and want to stamp out.
  • Its pathetic and unethical when people try and abuse the ethics and disclosure laws to single out people or groups whose speech they want to limit or discredit.

The offending excerpt of the Tech Daily article is below:

New Chairman Markey defends: protecting Google from net neutrality

I just got around to watching  House telecom Subcommittee Chariman Ed Markey address the Memphis media reform conference and was struck that he felt the need to go out of his way to defend Google and only Google at this strongly anti-business forum.

  • About midway through his speech, Chairman Markey noted that opponents of net neutrality last year asked: "Why should we protect Google?" New House Chairman answered his own question and said "this was the wrong question."

With all due respect Mr. Chairman, "Why should we protect Google?" is precisely the right question.

MyDD unabashedly using non-neutral "Googlebombs" to skew search/election

The hypocrisy of net neutrality supporters appears to have no bounds! The influential left wing MyDD blog of Chris Bowers is unabashedly setting out on a broad Internet to manipulate Google search results with their negative political take on John McCain. I need not say more. Just read the link above or see the excerpt I have posted below.

Today, I am proposing a long-term, anti-McCain googlebomb project similar to the Googlebomb the Elections campaign I founded in 2006. Read the extended entry for details.

Google/Youtube not a neutral gatekeeper; the new discriminatory Internet Censor?

The respected National Journal has a very interesting article about YouTube and how it may be choosing sides or is not "neutral." It's an important quick read; kudos to National Journal for focusing on it.

  • The article says critics are complaining that "YouTube's censoring process is too opaque and inconsistent."

Why is this noteworthy?

  1. Google owns and controls YouTube and is leading the charge for net neutrality to keep the Internet open and free of "Internet gatekeepers." 
  2. ComScore just reported that Google's market share of the search business is 47% and rising (and with Yahoo, the "search duopoly" now controls 77% of all searches and rising.) This makes Google an increasingly dominant Internet access technology.

Hypocrisy Watch: Google's search share rising to 47%,Yahoo's to 28% duopolists?

It is the height of hypocrisy that non-neutral Google/Yahoo, with 77% share of the search market and rising, continues to assert that the neutrally-operating phone and cable companies are duopolists that endanger the free and open web.  Google and Yahoo are increasingly dominant search gatekeepers for the Internet. ComScore's latest figures show Google with 47.3%, Yahoo with 28.5%, market share and rising -- and #3 Microsoft 10.5%, and #4 IAC Ask at 5.4% and falling.

Why this is so hypocritical is that:

Seeing through SaveTheInternet's slick new manifesto

I just read SaveTheInternet’s new manifesto – “The Internet Freedom Declaration of 2007� and I'm sure it's going to be the main topic of conversation in Memphis this weekend at the NCMR.

On the surface it, I must commend the improved choice of language and the tone, it is a much more thoughtful and less strident policy statement than this group has produced before. It’s certainly easier on the ears, even if it isn’t to the trained eye.

  • I also welcome their obviously reluctant and pragmatic embrace of some conservative and free market language to try and smooth some of the “Big Governmentâ€? rough edges that were out of step with mainstream America.
  • What will be interesting to learn over time, is if this is just pragmatic spin and positioning, or have these traditional anti-business groups actually seen the light that freedom and market choices aren’t such horrible ideas after all? Hope springs eternal.

That said, lets get down to brass tacks.

NN demoted to second amendment status!

The most interesting part of the new manifesto is that when this group had to rank “net neutrality� relative to its other Internet priorities or “Internet rights�, net neutrality was not first, but was effectively demoted to “second� amendment status. (Forget last years rhetoric.. as just rhetoric.)

What's the problem? 1516 days without a net neutrality mandate

To commemorate the "Seinfeld-ian" aspect of "net neutrality being a show about nothing," NetCompetition.org has introduced a prominent, "What's the Problem?" daily ticker on the NetCompetition.org site.

  • It displays how many days it has been since net neutrality supporters claimed that there was a problem and that there has been no net neutrality mandate.*
  • The point is clear: there is no problem here. The Internet isn't broken and it doesn't need fixing.
    • There is no consumer harm.
      • Prices are falling.
      • Consumer choice and speeds are increasing.
      • Adoption, investment and deployment are healthy.
      • There is an explosion of new products/services and innovation.

It has been 1,516 days or over four years, since the term "net neutrality" was first used publicly and that there has been no net neutrality mandate.

  • In other words, for a long time, net neutrality proponents have been running around like "Chicken Little" screaming the "Internet sky is falling, the Internet sky is falling" and they can't point to a problem or provide any substantive evidence of it.
  • Let me quote FTC Chairman Deborah Majoras:
    • "...thus far proponents of net neutrality have not come to us to explain where the market is failing or what anti-competitive conduct we should challenge; we are open to hearing from them."

*Professor Lawrence Lessig is credited with making up the term "net neutrality". Its a clever, but vacuous term that has caught on.

Why Dorgan-Snowe is all about politics and not real Internet Policy

There are several telling indications that net neutrality remains a political and partisan issue and is not a serious legislative/policy issue or industry problem.

 

First, the only change in the Senate net neutrality bill just introduced, was to change its name from Snowe-Dorgan to Dorgan-Snowe to reflect the new Democratic changeover of Congress. Other than that, the actual bill language is identical to last year’s bill -- according to Senator Dorgan’s spokesperson and my review of the two bills.

Second, isn’t it very telling that the sponsors have learned nothing, let me repeat nothing, since they introduced their bill eight months ago that might have made their bill better or attracted more consensus?

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths