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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2008-08-01 15:20
What did we learn from today's FCC action on the FreePress-Comcast dispute?
First, there remains no need for passage of net neutrality legislation, as an FCC majority showed that there is an oversight process in place and readily available to address anyone's concerns about maintaining consumers' right to "access the lawful Internet content of their choice."
Second, the absence of any fine against Comcast, the lack of any finding of anti-competitive intent by Comcast, and the FCC acceptance of Comcast's self-imposed deadline to address the FCC's concerns --speaks volumes.
Third, an enforcement process is the appropriate mechanism for determining what is "reasonable network management," not a regulatory rule or legislation.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2008-07-30 13:24
Tim Wu's "OPEC 2.0" Op ed in the New York Times employs an embarrassingly inane analogy/metaphor. It also happens to be a factually bankrupt piece.
Why is Professor Wu's political analogy comparing bandwidth to energy, and a "bandwidth cartel" to OPEC -- embarrassingly inane?
In his op ed Professor Wu said: "In an information economy, the supply and price of bandwidth matters, in the way that oil prices matter: not just for gas stations, but for the whole economy."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2008-07-30 09:56
The Wall Street Journal's editorial writers totally get the net neutrality issue.
They understand net neutrality is all about:
They were also dead on in understanding that no good deed goes unpunished in Washington -- i.e. the FCC majority is concluding that it is not reasonable for Comcast to deliver quality of service for most all its customers by minorly affecting the available speeds of bandwidth hogs when they congest the network. Unbelievable.
Kudos to the Wall Street Journal's strong defense of free markets and the free-market Internet.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2008-07-28 10:02
Peta-kudos to FCC Commisioner Robert McDowell for his spot-on Op Ed in the Washington Post warning against potential Internet micromanagement by the FCC in: "Who should solve this Internet crisis?"
Commissioner McDowell's sage analysis gets right to the crux of the net neutrality debate: the Internet's genius is that free people in a free market process of voluntary collaboration are best positioned to solve the Internet's ever-changing operational and engineering problems and challenges -- NOT the FCC with bureaucratic engineering, "Mother-may-I" regulation, and over-reaching governmental coercion.
Commissioner McDowell understands the policy choice: support a path of Internet collaboration or net regulation.
Commissioner McDowell is right to warn that the Internet "would certainly die of clogged arteries if network owners had to seek government permission before serving their customers by managing surges of information flow."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2008-07-14 16:05
A recent study by the Leichtman Group found 70% of American broadband subscribers are very satisfied with their service, and relatively few are actually seeking faster Internet access.
Bottom line: The more one learns about the facts about what benefits American broadband consumers actually enjoy, and what they demand in the future, it is not what the Big Government folks claim.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2008-07-11 13:01
The FCC is reportedly considering putting "the burden on the network operator to prove that its network practices are reasonable" in its net neutrality proceeding on Comcast's network management, according to today's top story in Washington Internet Daily.
It would be supreme irony, if in the supposed name of "Internet Freedom," the FCC somehow ruled that network operators had no freedom to manage their private property, enter into contracts or pursue business without prior permission from the FCC.
Why would it be bad to put "the burden on the network operator to prove that its network practices are reasonable"?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2008-07-09 11:30
Today's announcement by Vonage, the independent VOIP leader, who is collaborating with Comcast to address reasonable network management of Internet services, is more tangible and compelling evidence that market forces continue to work well in meeting consumers needs -- and that there is no market failure for the FCC to address with stifling net neutrality regulation.
The Internet has thrived because of Congress' wise bipartisan Internet policy set into law in 1996: "It is the policy of the United States to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet..., unfettered by Federal or State regulation."
The FCC needs to continue to:
The Internet has proven to be the greatest de-regulation success story of all time.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2008-06-16 16:33
I wrote the anti-net neutrality argument and Professor Lowell Feldman wrote the pro-net neutrality argument for the ABI Telecom Technology Committee newsletter this month for the American Bankruptcy Institute:
Both articles are copied below, mine followed by Professor Feldman's:
Why Net Neutrality is Unnecessary and Bad Policy
Chairman, NetCompetition.org -- a net neutrality forum funded by broadband companies Washington D.C.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2008-06-16 12:54
The reality of market pricing for Internet usage is naturally gaining more attention.
The big economic takeaway here is that in a free market Internet, where users have very different demand: i.e. needs, wants and means for speed, usage, mobility, latency, immediacy, reliablity, flexibility and other attributes -- suppliers (ISPs, application providers and content providers) must have the freedom to innovate, experiment and provide a diversity of choices, at a diversity of prices in order to meet the diversity of demand from users.
The big political takeaway here is that Internet "fairness" is not legislated/regulated net neutrality or a one-tier Internet where all bits must be treated the same and where light Internet bandwidth users must subsidize heavy Internet users -- but real and practical Internet fairness comes from users paying their way, paying for what they use above a certain amount and not expecting others to subsidize one's extreme bandwidth usage.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2008-06-09 19:23
I wanted to follow up and build upon my post of last week: "The logic of Internet Pricing Diversity and the Fantasy of free limitless bandwidth."
I believe U.S. Internet access consumers have come to understand at least two truths: