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Net Neutrality vs. Reasonable Network Management -- new one-pager

Given the flurry of comments to the FCC on the FreePress petition on Comcast's network management due yesterday, I produced a new NetCompetition one-pager on Net Neutrality vs. Reasonable Network Management. I find the one-page format is useful to crystalize my thinking and boil my thoughts down most succinctly.

The primary conclusions in the one pager are:

  • Net neutrality has an inherent bias against network management.
  • Network Neutrality defines network management as discrimination.
  • Net neutrality is not a "practical' principle; the word "reasonable" exists for a reason. 

For those who don't want to use the one-page format or link above, I have copied the full text below:

Net Neutrality vs. Reasonable Network Management   Net Neutrality has an inherent bias against network management.   

NetCompetition press release on Markey Net Neutrality Bill -- wolf in sheeps clothing

  

For Immediate Release                                                                    

Contact:  Scott Cleland

February 13, 2008                                                                                              

202-828-7800  Markey Net Neutrality Bill is “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” 

WASHINGTONScott Cleland, chairman of NetCompetition.org, today released the following statement regarding Representative Ed Markey’s proposed net neutrality bill:

 

Chairman Markey's Net Neutrality Wolf in Broadband Sheep's Clothing Act

The long-awaited new Net Neutrality bill is finally coming out from House Telecom Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey and Rep. Chip Pickering -- it's now called "The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008."

After reviewing the draft version circulating among the media this evening, here are my initial takeaways on the new proposed legislation.

First, the proposed legislation attempts to rebrand the controversial "net neutrality" issue as "Internet Freedom" and "broadband policy."  

  • While most all of the net neutrality buzzwords still pepper the legislation (open, discrimination, blocking, degrading, etc.) conspicuously absent from the legislation is the well-known and never fully defined "net neutrality" brand. 
  • This is odd given all the effort Markey's supporters have put into branding this issue over the last two years. 
  • It is doubtful that most people on the Hill, in industry, and in the press will stop calling it Markey's new Net Neutrality bill. 

Second, the bill's primary purpose is a bold attempt to reverse longstanding United States broadband policy by amending Title I of the 1934 Communications Act. This Markey bill would:

More perspective on US broadband/technology ranking in the world

For those trying to get an accurate handle on America's real standing in the world in broadband and technology, it is important to have multiple perpsectives in order to get the best and truest read on reality.

Federal Broadband Report proves wisdom of bi-partisan law to promote competition/reduce regulation

Many have missed the high significance of the NTIA Commerce Department report: "Networked Nation: Broadband in America."

  • In particular, press reports, which zeroed in on the histrionics of broadband critics, totally "missed the proverbial forest for the trees" on this one.
  • The fact is that this report is a very big deal for national broadband policy.    

First, this official United States Government report represents the consensus policy thinking and sign-off of all the many parts of the United States Government involved in setting United States broadband policy, including but not limited to: NTIA, FCC, FTC, USTR, CEA, OMB, OSTP, and the Federal Departments of Commerce, Treasury, State, Justice, and Agriculture. 

Second, this is the first and only official and comprehensive U.S. Executive Branch assessment of U.S. broadband strategy/policy and of U.S. progress in deploying broadband. Broadband critics can no longer say there is no official or clear U.S. Government broadband policy, because here it is:

Don't miss the new Exaflood analysis by Bret Swanson and George Gilder

For anyone wanting a good forward-looking perspective about the real challenges facing the Internet, look no further than the great new study "Estimating the Exaflood" by Bret Swanson and George Gilder.

Why this study is so timely and relevant is that the real problem facing the Internet is how to keep up with the exploding capacity demands of migrating to a video-driven Internet.

  • The net neutrality utopians want to assume that bandwidth is infinite and free -- magically supplied by others for their p2p bandwidth gluttony -- with no costs to, or no affect on, others.
  • The real world does not operate that way...

The report also is an important backdrop for why broadband networks must be allowed reasonable network management.

  • Without massive investment and reasonable network management, the quality and the responsiveness of the Internet will suffer as the exaflood surges.

Computerworld Opinion: Unregulated sector calls for regulation of converging broadband competitors

In a stunningly naive, parochial, and innacurate opinion piece, "Keeping a lid on broadband," Computerworld national correspondent Kevin Mitchell has scathing criticism of current free market communications policies (that by the way were modeled after the computer sector's free market and innovation successes) and calls for government bureaucrats to regulate most everything of import in the communications sector.   

I am stunned that in the journalistic "world of computers" there could be such a naive and parochial view of the real-world ramifications of technological and digital convergence -- the rapidly blurring lines between computing, communications and storage. Mr. Mitchell writes like the tech sector and computing in general is an impregnable and immutable island that should forever be insulated and protected from competitive and market forces occuring outside the tech sector.

What is reasonable network managment? My remarks at the San Fran net neutrality symposium

Remarks for the University of San Francisco Net Neutrality Symposium

January 26, 2008

 

Thank you for including me in this forum and debate on net neutrality.

  • I have a very different point of view than most everyone on the panel save for Richard Bennett.
  • Full disclosure, I am Chairman of NetCompetition.org which represents broadband companies on the issue of net neutrality.   

I believe net neutrality is largely a contrived issue and a fabricated “problem.”

·         The issue is on political life support in Washington, because it is all slogan and little substance.

Economic downturn is worst time for net neutrality proponents to be discouraging universal broadband

We'll soon see if net neutrality proponents are reasonable and responsible. Do they grasp that calling for preemptive, anti-investment, regulation of broadband that would discourage deployment of broadband to all Americans -- is the last thing our Nation needs during this economic downturn?

  • The reality is that forward-thinking broadband deregulation has spurred massive investment in broadband and Internet infrastructure in the U.S. and this investment is spurring adoption of broadband faster than any communication service in American history.
  • Moreover, an unfettered broadband economy and infrastructure is key to capturing the economic and productivity gains of more universally-adopted broadband.

Broadband deployment, adoption, competition and investment is one of the great success stories of our economy.

  • The last thing our teetering economy needs right now is preemptive, anti-investment, net neutrality regulation of our cutting-edge communications sector that would only hurt the overall American economy.
  • This is no time for solutions in search of a problem.
  • We face real economic problems which require responsible broadband policies.  

"Comcast welcomes FCC Traffic Management Inquiry"

Kudos to some straightforward reporting by PC World in: "Comcast Welcomes FCC Traffic Management Inquiry," which is in stark contrast to the "guilty-until-proven-innocent" headline in AP Peter Svensson's story "FCC to Probe Comcast's data discrimination."  

PC World reporters and editors have clearly not made up their mind in advance of the FCC's inquiry, unlike the AP reporter and editors which clearly have. 

  • What is most outrageous in the AP coverage of this story is that the reporter set up his own test of Comcast traffic management, concluded "expertly" that traffic management was wrong and should be prosecuted, and judged Comcast to effectively be guilty of "data discrimination."
    • The AP reporter and editors are no longer functioning as news reporters, but apparently have appointed themselves police investigators, prosecutors, judge and jury all in one.

The reason that Comcast welcomes the FCC's traffic management inquiry is that they are confident that they are managing their network reasonably to preserve the quality of service expected by all their users and are within the bounds of acceptable network management.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths