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Consumer survey exposes wireless open access as tech industrial policy

Network World has a great piece: "Open Access not as important to wireless consumers as QoS, pricing, survey finds" which exposes the Google-led tech industry's push for open access as a not-so-subtle tech-industrial policy.

  • The survey by Compete, Inc. found:
    • Only 9% of wireless users did not believe they had enough options for handsets;
    • Only 11% of wireless users believe that their carrier offered them too little content and services to meet their needs;
    • In stark contrast, 93% of wireless users believe getting a phone at a reasonable price was either important or very important.

This survey is important evidence exposing the tech industry's attempt to pass net neutrality/open access legislation/regulation as an thinly-guised tech industrial policy.

  • This tech industrial policy is asking the government to intervene and mandate engineering design and pass price-related regulations that would de facto choose tech companies as market winners and communications companies as market losers.

The tech industry has done a good job of cloaking their openness campaign as what consumers want most -- because that serves their Washington industrial policy agenda.

Google's Regulatory Outlook 2008

The big question for investors is why?

  • Why has Google felt the need to rapidly build up a new lobbying operation in D.C. (rivaling Microsoft's in size) and why did Google just unveil, with great fanfare, its new cutting-edge office space in DC with a party that attracted 650 people and many VIPs?
    • What does Google know that investors may not?

Google's Regulatory Outlook:

Federal Trade Commission

Antitrust:

Kudos to AP for straightforward coverage of FTC Chairman's comments on net neutrality

While I have been critical of the AP's coverage of net neutrality issues when I believe it was warranted, to be fair I have to acknowledge and highlight AP coverage of net neutrality that's straightforward and fair.

  • Today, the AP reported: "Agency Urges Caution on Net Neutrality"  
    • "Federal Trade Commission Chairman "Deborah Platt Majoras said policymakers should proceed cautiously on the issue of "net neutrality," which is the notion that all online traffic should be treated equally by Internet service providers... In separate remarks before a lawyers' group Wednesday, Majoras said the agency was unaware of any market failure or consumer harm in the high-speed Internet market, according to a written copy of her speech.""

The AP is a fine and widely respected news organization that best serves its readers and reputation when it fulfills its mission.

  • "AP's mission is to be the essential global news network, providing distinctive news services of the highest quality, reliability and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed."

Google co-founder's professor warns of Google's "technical arrogance: The system cannot fail"

Ken Auletta of the New Yorker discovered one of those rare window-into-the-soul insights about Google in his excellent in-depth expose on Google: "The Search Party -- Google squares off with its Capitol Hill Critics." I strongly recommend reading the full article but it's critical not to miss this insightful gem in Auletta's article quoted below:

The Common Sense Case Why Network Management Trumps Net Neutrality

Common sense dictates that the FCC will rule in favor of the critical necessity of broadband network management and against the FreePress and Vuze petitions which claim that prioritizing p2p traffic is an unlawful violation of the FCC's network neutrality principles. 

  • No one should mistake the FCC doing its job in investigating significant allegations (by issuing public notices for comments), for an FCC predilection against reasonable network management in favor of net neutrality supremacy.

The common sense case why network management trumps net neutrality:

First, the petitions violate common sense because the petitions are based on a false predicate and presumption. The petitions assume that the FCC's policy of network neutrality principles have the legal and binding effect of formal FCC rules or law and that they trump all existing law and rules. This is preposterous. Just because the petitioners make an impassioned and PR-manipulative plea for that view -- does not mean their petition holds any water.

Frustrated net neutrality zealots are lashing out at a universal broadband success story

An obviously frustrated Art Brodsky of Public Knowlege, trashes the Nation's leading and successful pilot effort to promote universal broadband in the country -- Connect Kentucky -- in a voluminous post that's best described as a glass-half-empty, life-is-so-terrible-because-the-world-is-not-perfect, whine-fest.  

These two are so tunnel-visioned against anything private sector and so zealous for government nationalization of broadband infrastructure -- that they fail to see that there is a strong bipartisan and practical consensus around promoting universal broadband deployment to all Americans quickly and that Connect Kentucky has proven to be quite successful in achieving that bipartisan goal.   

Why net neutrality would block cloud computing innovation; computers must prioritize/schedule apps

It's becoming increasingly obvious that net neutrality proponents have not thought through the logical and practical implications of their call for mandating net neutrality. 

  • Practically, net neutrality is about codifying Internet architecture design rules for the first time, which would have the real world effect of blocking, degrading and impairing innovation to allow the Internet to support "cloud computing" -- the future of computing according to Google, IBM and many others.

Why does net neutrality theory not work in practice?

First, net neutrality is really backward-looking, trying to take the Internet back to the dial-up/pre broadband days when there was monopoly telecom regulation and not inter-modal broadband competition like there is today.

Second, consider net neutrality's definition by its primary proponents:

CNET political article provides dose of reality for net neutrality supporters

CNET has a great article: New Hampshire voters: Net Neutrality? Huh? that exposes what we all know -- that net neutrality is a niche special interest issue that is not at all on the minds of average Americans.

It's not surprising because:

  • The term "net neutrality" was only coined in 2002 by Columbia law Professor Tim Wu, and no one outside the FCC community heard about the issue until early 2006 when Google funded a big Moveon.org effort to make net neutrality an issue; and
  • There is no real problem only largely manufactured incidents or admitted mistakes that the Moveon.org folks are trying to staple together into a broader pattern or problem.

Not only has every governmental body that has reviewed this issue rejected the call for net neutrality regulation/legisation, the American people aren't aware of the issue or the term. 

Kudos CNET for bringing another dose of the real world to this bogus issue.    

Wikipedia entry into search exposes Google's non-"open" search

Wikipedia's late entry into the search business is reportedly motivated by concern that Google's search is not "open" and that too few players will control access to the world's information as "gatekeepers." 

As the New York Times reports in "Wiki citizens taking on a new area: search," Jimmy Wales, founder of the collaborative Wikipedia, is concerned about how closed and concentrated the search business has become.

  • Wales: “I think it is unhealthy for the citizens of the world that so much of our information is controlled by such a small number of players, behind closed doors,” he said. “We really have no ability to understand and influence that process.”

  • "As more people rely on search engines, companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have become the gatekeepers of the world’s information, Mr. Wales said. Yet little is known about how they select certain sites over others, he added." 

It is ironic that Google, which purports to be the high priest of openness, is considered closed by the leading open and collaborative brand and phenomenon in the world -- wikipedia.

Google jet's special NASA parking privileges -- Where's NASA's Inspector General on this?

NBC11.com of San Jose posted an interesting reminder about Google's unique, highly suspect, and special deal with NASA, in which Google's founders get special parking privileges for their 767 "party plane" at NASA's Moffet Field, which is conveniently located just seven miles from Google's Silicon Valley headquarters.

Where is NASA's Inspector General on this?

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths