Welcome NextGenWeb.org to the free market blogoshpere

Welcome to Portia Krebs a new blogger at NextGenWeb.org for USTelecom!

I am delighted their will be another blogging voice in the debate promoting the continuation of a free market Internet that remains free of net regulation.

I encourage other people to blog and enter the debate who understand that "Internet freedom" means much more than so called "net neutrality" and free speech, but also means: free market, free enterprise, freedom to be different, freedom of ownership, freedom to choose, freedom of diversity, and freedom of opportunity -- essentially economic freedoms that naturally flow from America's political freedoms!

"National" broadband policy a stalking horse for regulating Internet

Watch out when Big Government advocates call for a "national" anything!

  • House Telecom Chairman Ed Markey is calling for a "national broadband map."
  • Senator Rockefeller (WV) and others are calling for a "national broadband plan."  

Egads! 

A "national broadband plan" is a codeword for a 1970's-style government "industrial policy" where the government decides what technologies consumers get and which companies will succeed of fail. 

  • Industrial policies proved economically disastrous -- and thankfully were abandoned in the US -- allowing our economy to flourish.
    • Look no further than the mess of the current French economy, which is the world's petri dish for "national" industrial policies. 
    • Their economy and employment situation is one of the leading basketcases of Europe.

My first big problem with this "national" thinking is that there is no national broadband problem.

  • The US has more facilites-based broadband deployment, investment and competition nationally than any other country -- by a wide margin.
  • Is deployment perfect nationwide? of course not.
    • If there is a broadband problem it is in some isolated rural areas.
    • We may have a "rural" broadband problem but not a "national" broadband problem!

My second big problem is Senator Rockefeller's call for a new "national" goal of 10Mbps broadband by 2010 and 100 Mbps by 2015.

Can antitrusters keep up with Google? Google now at 65.3% share

USA Today reported today that "Google accounted for 65.3% of all U.S. online searches for the four weeks ended April 28, up from 58.6% in April 2006, according to web tracker Hitwise."

Hitwise has:

  • Google at      65.3%
  • Yahoo at       20.7%
  • Microsoft at    8.5%
  • Ask.com  at     3.7%

To be fair, Hitwise has Google a little higher than ComScore or Neilsen NetRatings in absolute terms, but all three consistently record the same inexorable fact: Google is increasing its dominance of Internet search.

Excellent ACI study proves how net neutrality harms consumers

Kudos to Steve Pociask of the American Consumer Institute on his excellent paper on: "Net Neutrality and the Effects on Consumers."

  • It should be required reading for all consumer groups.
  • It exposes how net neutrality does not benefit the average American consumer, but benefits special interests like high-volume Internet users... like consumer "groups."   

Steve's clear, insightful, and easy-to-read paper explains how net neutrality would harm consumers by:

The Economist's global digital rankings differ from OECD's rankings

If you care about the reality of American competitiveness and innovation be sure to check out the recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) global digital rankings.

  • "The EIU e-readiness rankings for 2007 ranked 69 countries in terms of six criteria. In order of importance, these are: consumer and business adoption; connectivity and technology infrastructure; business environment, social and cultural environment, government policy and vision; and legal and policy environment."

What's most interesting, is that this objective ranking by the respected Economist, does not show the negative broadband outlook or assessment of the US that the OECD ranking does

  • In this EIU overall ranking, the United States ranks #2, not 12th or 15th like in the OECD rankings.
  • The EIU full report also has North America ranked higher than Western Europe in broadband affordability!
  • Listen to this quote from the full report:
    • "The US, with its heavily entrepreneurial culture, penchant for innovation and highly IT-literate workforce and student population, stands clear at the top of the group." 
  • Concerning "Consumer and business adoption: The report says:
    • "In the sheer scale of individual and business Internet use, the US certainly dwarfs all other countries."
    • "There is some concern that the great weight of the US in online activity makes it a sponge for the world's available digital resources, including talent and funding."

So why is this EIU report important? 

Good ClickZ article on pros & cons of Google-DoubleClick

Harry Gold on ClickZ gives a good and balanced review of the "Pros and cons of Google and Doubleclick."

  • As an industry insider, he gives a sophisticated analysis that is worth the read.  
  • This was the most interesting factoid to me:
    • Doubleclick's "DART does have a hold on over 70 percent of the ad-serving marketing, according to a March 2007 CIMA/William Blair study. Also on the paranoia side of the equation: the data Google and DART collectively have on the population at large are already rather Big Brotherish, never mind Google extending its cookies' reach onto DART's network of sites.

Google sued yet again for "rampant" copyright infringement

eGoogle-YouTube was sued yet again for rampant copyright infringement in U.S. District Court in New York.

Plaintiffs, including the English Football Association Premier League and others said in their court filing that Google-YouTube is "pursuing a deliberate strategy of engaging in, permitting, encouraging, and facilitating massive copyright infringement" in order to increase the value of Google by generating more traffic which it could monetize without having to pay for.

Why is this British suit particularly interesting? Remember the fact that Google already has 75% share of the search market in the UK?

Microsoft Ballmer's insights into Google-DoubleClick merger

I always take time to read interviews with CEOs because I always learn something.

What did he say that was relevant to the Google-DoubleClick?

First, he made the case why the Google-DoubleClick merger is a big deal:

  • "I do think that it would be worth the regulators taking time to understand this market, much the way they took the time to understand other parts of the technology business, because the whole future of the media and advertising will move to the Internet. "
  • "What we think of television today, what we think of newspapers, magazines, you name it -- all of these things are going to move to the Internet and be funded by advertising. And so we are talking about a pretty important part of ... people's basic lives." 
    • What this means is that Google-Doubleclick is about the evolution and the future of advertising. 

In response to a question about being third in search -- Ballmer said:

Search is not neutral for the little guy! -- according to the WSJ

I just got around to reading the WSJ small business insert section from April 30, and to my surprise what do I find?

In the WSJ section cover story: "In search of traffic" by Kelly Spors, she notes this in her third paragraph:

  • "Search engines don't disclose their ranking formulas, making it tough for small companies to figure out how to boost their site's results. Even worse, big competitors can afford to pour lots of resources into the same effort putting small companies at a bigger disadvantage."

Very interesting that search is not neutral. It favors big companies!

  • Horrors!
  • How could Google, the champion of all garage entrepreneurs, the corporate guardian of net neutrality, the defender of free content, and the only corporate chieftains organizationally committed to not being evil --how could they, the Googlers, be allowing harm to come to the little guy?
  • Where is their sense of justice? Where is their moral center? Where is their outrage?  
  • Say it ain't so Sergey, Larry and Eric!
    • We so want to believe your billionaire-nesses are true to the cause!  

If Google is the dominant search engine and the main Internet access technology for upwards of a half billion Internet users, and Google itself is not net neutral -- how is that setting a good example for the broadband companies Google demands should be net neutral?

Schwartz' brings adult supervision to Wu's sophomoric NN analysis

It is always a joy to read clear thinking rigorous analysis. I have known and respected Marius Schwartz's mind and work for several years, and I am delighted that he brought the heft of his intellect and  DOJ experience to the question of "wireless net neutrality" in his white paper:

For anyone who cares about the merits or substance of net neutrality as a proposed public policy, it would be hard to find a better debunking of Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu's sophomoric and vacuous work on wireless net neutrality than Marius'.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths