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The Mother of net neutrality calls for spanking of Democratic Chairman for not paying attention

If Professor Tim Wu is the "Father" of net neutrality, since he named the issue in 2002, I guess Gigi Sohn can be called the "Mother" of net neutrality because in 2002 her organization, Public Knowledge, birthed the original political manifesto on this type of thinking: "Saving the Information Commons."   

Yesterday Ms. Sohn, the Mother of net neutrality, participated in a conference call for left-leaning bloggers to indoctrinate them into the right and wrong way to blog about FreePress/Public Knowledge's petition to the FCC on Comcast's network management.

  • Well when Mom's not happy, nobody's happy.  
  • In response to questions about what bloggers could do, Mother neutrality effectively called on bloggers to spank Senate Chairman Innouye for not listening to Mom.
    • The impertinence of those 83 year-old, seven-term U.S. Senators who won't listen and do as their told!
    • Where is the respect anymore?   

Ted Hearn of MultiChannel News had a great story on this: "Sohn to bloggers: target Inouye

Kudos to Ou/Bennett for slam dunking the bogus FreePress Comcast petition!

I most highly commend George Ou and Richard Bennett for bringing some much-needed adult supervision and technical excellence to the issue of Comcast's network management. Please read George's latest blogpost.

  • FreePress...read it and weep -- you have laid another high profile net neutrality egg.

George has produced the must read piece on this issue. In "A rational debate on Comcast's Traffic management" George explains, with the assistance of Richard Bennett's exceptional expertise, what is really going on with Comcast's traffic management. 

  • In a nutshell, they explain the real world design limitations of a shared cable network, especially on the upstream path, and how those limitations practically require network managers to limit how much traffic goes through a particular network point, just like traffic lights must do on highway ramps during rush hour to ensure that the highway does not degrade into a parking lot. 

The already low credibility of net neutrality proponents will fall even further as the FCC investigates this allegation and determines Comcast's network management to be well within the bounds of "reasonable." 

  • While net neutrality proponents and their activist reporter friends may like to play engineers on TV, noone would want to entrust them with operating anything more complicated than a mouse.   

The reason we have due process in this country is precisely to protect against this type of spurious allegation.

Why FreePress' Comcast Petition unreasonably defines "reasonable network management"

The FreePress Comcast petition has an unreasonable view of what "reasonable" network management is in the FCC's net neutrality policy.

First, the petitioners ignore the reason the FCC exists in the first place -- the absolute necessity for some network management in order for communications systems to function as needed.

  • The predecessor to the FCC, the Federal Radio Commission was created in 1927 because of the chaos of an completely unmanaged network (like the petitioners currently are advocating for) --
    • too many stations were broadcasting on too few frequencies making the airwaves a garbled and unworkable "tragedy of the commons."
  • The Government brought order to this chaos by granting the FRC/FCC the authority to make spectrum licensed property, grant licenses, and assign frequencies and power levels for each license.  

Second, the petitioners ignore that "reasonable network management" of communications is directly analogous to reasonable traffic management of our roadways.

Father of net neutrality admits "the whole net neutrality issue is really about a power struggle"

Tim Wu, the "father of net neutrality" because he made up the term a few years back, was surprisingly candid in a CNET article that: "the whole net neutrality issue is really about a power struggle."

  • Well we now know net neutrality is not about:
    • A supposedly longstanding non-discrimination "principle" of the Internet;
    • all bits being equal; or
    • freedom of speech.
  • It's about "power."
    • We knew it all along. 
      • It's really about the "power struggle" over corporate welfare for the dotcom billionaires at Google and eBay who want the consumer to subsidize their piggish bandwith demands in order to maintain their 90% gross profit margins.  

I also found another candid quote by the Moveon.org/FreePress folks that also tells us what they are up to:

Bogus petition against Comcast's reasonable network management is a back door ploy to reinstate common carriage for broadband

The Moveon.org/FreePress petition to the FCC to declare Comcast's reasonable network management illegal, is a deceptive back-door scheme to reverse FCC deregulation of broadband as an information service and to (de facto) reinstate common carriage for broadband.

  • The petition will be found to be a bogus and manufactured scheme to deceive the FCC and the public that necessary, responsible, and "reasonable network management" -- that serves consumers and the Internet public by delivering quality of service and protecting consumers from the harm of viruses, spam etc. -- should be declared illegal "degrading" of an Internet application.
  • Upon full FCC airing of this issue, it will be clear that the offending P2P application traffic is the culprit that is in fact harming the overwhelming majority of Internet consumers by "degrading and imparing" the responsiveness and utility of the Internet for the many because of the irresponsible bandwidth hogging of the few.

First, if managing out-of-control p2p traffic that is degrading and impairing the responsiveness and utility of the Internet for the many by the few is not "reasonable network management" then no network management is reasonable.

Net neutrality is NOT Green!

The American Consumer Institute did some more great work on the importance and impact of broadband. Kudos!

  • I recommend you take a look at their eye-opening new study: "Broadband Services: Economic and Environmental benefits." 
  • The premise is that promoting broadband is smart national policy because of the tremendous cumulative productivity and energy savings that more broadband use enables.

The summary table on page 48 encapsulates the study's findings well.

Why is net neutrality not Green?

  • The current free market broadband policy is succeeding greatly in rapidly deploying broadband to all Americans and in promoting facilities-based broadband competition.
  • Even the serious prospect of net neutrality legislation becoming law would chill investment and discourage continuation of the broadband success that the current free market policy has generated.
    • Net neutrality is not Green because it would slow the extremely environmentally beneficial trend of increased broadband use, which creates massive national energy savings as the American Consumer institute study attests.  

 

 

More evidence U.S. competitiveness is NOT falling behind & OECD broadband report is bunk

I guess the World Economic Forum folks did not "get the memo" from net neutality proponents that the U.S. is supposed to be falling behind competitively because of broadband. 

The Wall Street Journal reported today that: "U.S. tops Report on Competitiveness By World Economic Forum.

The OECD's questionable methodology  ranks the U.S. 15th in the world on broadband; however, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell gave a great speech that systematically debunked the OECD's agenda-driven methodology and rankings.   

  • Neutrality proponents often cite the OECD rankings as "proof" that net neutrality regulation is needed in order to improve American competitiveness in the world.

However, both the World Economic Forum and the Economist Intelligence Unit rank the US at or near the top of the world in competitiveness.

Unanimous Internet Tax Ban proves Net Neutrality is outside the political mainstream

The unanimous passage of a new seven-year Internet Tax Moratorium, is powerful evidence of how far out of the political mainstream the net neutrality movement is.

  • The fact that everyone in Congress, from the right and the left, came together and supported extending the Internet tax ban for twice as long as Congress did in the past, proves unequivocally that political consensus is possible in Congress on mainstream Internet issues.
  • Moreover, the near unanimous passage of the 1996 Telecom Act by Congress was another powerful example of how the left and right could come together and agree overwhelmingly on sound Internet/communications policies like:
    • "...preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet... unfettered by Federal or state regulation;" and 
    • "To promote competition and reduce regulation in order to secure lower prices and higher quality services for America telecommunications consumers and encourage the rapid deployment of new telecommunications technologies."

Sound mainstream policies can attract near unanimity in Congress -- despite rampant partisanship. 

If net neutrality was truly a long-standing "principle" of the Internet, like its proponents have claimed, it would attract strong political consensus.

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? 

Were AP's Comcast traffic stories "news?" or "balanced?"

Given the Associated Press' 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;" it seems fair to test whether or not AP Peter Svensson's series on Comcast's network management have lived up to AP's high standards. 

  • The AP series in question involves:

First, is this news or did this border on advocacy?

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths