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A hair-trigger standard for Net regulation? Rebutting the Business Week column

With all due respect to all the folks I read often at Business Week, I have to challenge the thinking behind Stephen Wildstrom's column in Business Week where he shares that he switched his year-long position opposing new net regulation, largely because of Verizon's admitted mistake in delaying by one-day a text messaging approval code to NARAL. 

After Verizon and the rest of the industry have handled literally billions upon billions of communications for years without significant similar incidents, one company makes an admitted mistake, takes full responsibility, immediately fixes it, changes its procedures so it won't happen again, -- and Mr Wildstrom's answer is to now throw the common-carrier regulatory book at Verizon and the whole industry? 

Should Broadband Networks Be Managed?

The recent AP story "Comcast blocks some Internet traffic" has refocused many on the real question at the core of the net neutrality debate -- "should broadband networks be managed?"

  • This is a debate we are more than happy to have because it is obvious to most all who truly think about this question that broadband networks must be managed to preserve quality of service and to protect users.  

The pro-net neutrality point of view, which the AP reporter ably represented in his article, is essentially making the standard net neutrality movement case that:

WSJ's Mossberg's opinion piece inflames but doesn't inform -- a perverted view of "free" markets

I normally consider myself a big fan of Walter Mossberg's technology reviews in the Wall Street Journal, but for today I am a big critic of Mr. Mossberg's woefully uniformed and one-sided opinion piece on public policy "Free my Phone."

Obviously frustrated at the technical reality that the bandwidth availability of telecommunications devices has not kept pace with the faster growth in computer processing, Mr. Mossberg lashes out at public policy as the cause in an emotional diatribe that illogically concludes that "if the government...breaks the crippling power that the wireless carriers exert today, the free market will deliver a... happy ending."

Connecting more dots in the Googlegate cover-up

Why does Google continue to cover-up its real political and financial relationship with Moveon.org?

  • Why won't Google be "open" about this?
  • What is the Google "black box" hiding?

Lets connect-some-dots chronologically of this close political and finanical Google-Moveon.org relationship.

Yet another official rejection of net neutrality -- by US Court of Appeals

It's important to highlight yet another official/legal repudiation of the net neutrality movement's common carrier regulation agenda.

  • As reported by Comm Daily yesterday, but largely ignored by the mainstream press, the U.S. Appeals Court 3rd circuit, upheld the FCC's decision to classify DSL as a competitive "information service" and not a common carrier telecom service potentially subject to net neutrality regulations.

Why is this important?

  • It was this very FCC decision made in August 2005 that net neutrality supporters made their rallying cry for new net neutrality legislation!
  • This August 2005 FCC decision implemented the Supreme Court's earlier "Brand X" decision, which affirmed that cable modems were appropriately classified by the FCC as an un-regulated competitive "information service."
  • In addition to applying the "Brand X" cable modem info services classification on DSL, the FCC has also applied it consistently to other functionally-equivalent broadband technologies: wireless broadband service and Broadband over power line service.

The significance of this appeals court affirmation of the legitimacy of the FCC's highly-market-successful broadband deregulation policy is that the legal precedents for maintaining broadband as an unregulated competitive service are piling up and becoming extremely difficult to reverse in the future.

Sen. Clinton's innovation agenda encouragingly excludes net neutrality

While I doubt I'll ever be accused of being a supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton, I must commend her and her campaign for sound political judgement when it's due.

Unsolicited advice for Frontline Wireless' new Open Access Advisory council

Reed Hundt's Frontline Wireless,  is reportedly forming a high-profile "Open Access Advisory Council" for the 700 MHz spectrum auction, which includes "net neutrality" term-coiner and celebrity Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu.

I have two pieces of unsolicited advice for Frontline's new advisory council."

Google's "G-Phone" an alligator versus bear fight?

Google's long rumored Google phone
or GPhone project has attracted a lot of comment and chatter, but not a lot of
good analysis to date. One big exception is a very good article last week by
Miguel Helft of the New York Times: "For
Google, Advertising and phones go together
."

Challenging Google's unsubstantiated claims that its policy best serves consumers

The Google blog continues to essentially argue: what's good for Google is good for America and consumers. We have all heard that self-serving hubris and bunk before...  

  • Mr. Rick Whitt, in the latest post on the Google Public policy Blog  concluded:
    •  "We think the Internet offers the optimal model for what best serves the interests of all consumers. To that end, we hope the FCC sticks to its guns as it tries to introduce the open ethos of the 'Net to a small segment of the closed wireless world."

Let's unpack the hubris and deception behind these assertions.

  • Google is implying that anything that occurred in wireless in the past (B.G. -- "Before Google" entered the wireless world) did not serve consumers well -- and that we should scrap the existing competitive wireless model and adopt the Internet model that... surprise... most benefits Google.

Given Google's assault on the supposed failures of the current system, it is important to review the facts of what the existing competitive model actually has produced for American consumers.

The outrageous hypocrisy behind Net Neutality support of Free Speech

Someone needs to call the SaveTheInternet/FreePress/net neutrality crowd on their outrageous hypocrisy in politically claiming that being for "net neutrality" is being for more "free speech" protections.

When the SaveTheInternet organization and their net neutrality allies were offered very specific legislative language that would explicitly protect "free speech'' on the Internet -- they actively blocked it from passage in the Senate Commerce Committee in August of 2006 and from it passing into law last Congress. 

The legislative text below was in the HR5252 Amendment proposed by then Chairman Stevens in the telecom reform bill in June of 2006.

  • SaveTheInternet and the net neutrality movement opposed that protection of free speech language (Sec. 904. Application of the First Amendment) because what they really wanted was to make broadband subject to common carrier regulation.

 "SEC. 904. APPLICATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths