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SOPA Opponents' Bogus Net Neutrality Comparisons

The only thing proponents of Net neutrality regulation and opponents of online piracy legislation appear to have in common is the boy-crying-wolf "censorship" rhetoric of FreePress' Save The Internet activists.

See my Forbes Tech Capitalist post here, "SOPA Opponents' Bogus Net Neutrality Comparisons."

Net Neutrality Proponents Pyrrhic Senate Victory

The Senate's 52-46 rejection of the Resolution of Disapproval of the FCC's net neutrality regulations (after the House voted differently 240-179 to disapprove last spring), is a classic pyrrhic victory for net neutrality proponents in two big ways.

First, the issue put the FCC on the political radar screen of every Member of Congress, and not in a good way.

For several hours the Senate debated and then officially voted on whether the Constitutionally-authorized Congress should be the entity to effectively establish new Internet law, or whether unelected FCC commissioners with no direct statutory authority from Congress should be able to effectively establish new Internet law and effectively claim boundless unchecked regulatory power whenever they see fit.

Supporters of the FCC were put in the very awkward position of politically having to defend a constitutional/legal position that:

 

  • Is strongly contrary to the Senate's institutional interests; and
  • Involves preemptive regulation of a major swath of the economy without credible evidence of any existing problem -- all in the midst of a weak economy badly struggling to create jobs.

 

The Politics of Regulating the Internet

As the Senate prepares to vote on the fate of the FCC's net neutrality regulations this week, it's instructive to look more closely at the politics of regulating the Internet.

Read my Forbes Tech Capitalist post here.

NYT's Uninformed War on Competition Policy

The New York Times editorial "How to Fix the Wireless Market," is embarrassingly uninformed and totally ignores massive obvious evidence of vibrant American wireless competition.

The NYT's conclusion, that more wireless regulation is needed because of "insufficient competition," results from cherry picking a few isolated facts that superficially support their case, while totally ignoring the overwhelming relevant evidence to the contrary.

The NYT completely ignores widely-available evidence of vibrant wireless competition and substitution:

The Metamorphosis of Communications Competition -- A New Framework

For those seeking to better understand how communications competition has evolved, expanded, and accelerated to cloud communications competition, don't miss my new six-chart powerpoint presentation: "The Metamorphosis of Communications Competition," here.

My bottom line conclusion: The transformation of communications competition requires a transformation in communications law.

  • Specifically, the world has changed with technology, but obsolete technology-specific laws have not.
  • Communications policy obsolescence undermines infrastructure's utility and value and renders property less attractive and competitive.

I presented this new easy-to-understand framework for understanding exploding communications competition at a NetCompetition event today on Capitol Hill, which also featured excellent presentations by Jeff Eisenach, Managing Director of Navigant Economics, and Ev Ehrlich, President of ESC Company.

Implications of DC Circuit Hearing Net Neutrality Appeal

Since the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was selected to hear appeals of the FCC's Open Internet Order -- it is now even more likely that the FCC's net neutrality regulations will be overturned in court as unlawful and/or unconstitutional.

 

  • Regardless of which Appeals Court heard this case, Verizon was highly likely to win in its appeal against the FCC rules on the merits.
  • Now Verizon's chances increase further given that the most knowledgeable, expert, and experienced Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing this case.
    • (See analysis here for why the FCC is highly likely to lose this case.)

 

The D.C. Circuit is the Appeals Court that traditionally hears cases involving independent regulatory agencies like the FCC, so the D.C. Circuit Judges are very familiar with both the limits of the FCC's statutory authority and the FCC's proven penchant for trying to overreach their statutory authority.

In a nutshell, the FCC's legal case stands on two very slippery assumptions.

 

Why Verizon Wins Appeal of FCC's Net Regs

See my Forbes Tech Capitalist post here "Why Verizon Wins Appeal of FCC's Net Regs."

  • It analyzes why the FCC's net neutrality regulations will offend the Court of Appeals and why they are highly likely to be overturned.
  • This is one of the most poorly defended FCC decisions I have reviewed in my twenty years following the FCC.

Why FCC Net Neutrality Regs Are So Vulnerable

See my Forbes Tech Capitalist post on net neutrality here, entitled: Why FCC Net Neutrality Regs Are so Vulnerable.

Opposing "The Verge" of Socialism -- My latest Forbes Tech Capitalist post

Please see my Forbes Tech Capitalist blog "Opposing "The Verge" of Socialism" here, which rebuts Joshua Topolsky's Washington Post column: "Want better wireless service in America? Socialize it."

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths