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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2006-10-06 12:27
I continue to hear net neutrality proponents say "keep the Internet Free" but really want the Internet to be without cost. Freedom and no cost are two very different concepts.
I think one of the biggest reasons the two sides of this debate talk past each other is that broadband companies view this as a marketplace and a business where value is provided through products/services in return for a fee. Provide more value, get more payment.
However, many on the other side just assume that the Internet is a "right, a pillar of democracy and a public good/gift and that everyone should have and not have to pay any more for.
Why this debate has polarized so much is that the world views supporting each side are planets apart...
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2006-10-05 17:10
As a regular weekly reader of Newsweek and "The Technologist" column by Stephen Levy, I was very disappointed to read Mr. Levy's lazy and very one-sided take on Net Neutrality.
In his Newsweek piece of October 9th, Mr Levy referenced a breakfast he had with Susan Crawford and Craig Newmark on Susan Crawford's self-proclaimed "OneWebDay" ("a geeky parallel to Earth Day" Levy described.)
It was obvious that his article was basically a straight regurgitatation of Susan and Craig's datatopian philosophy on Net Neutrality in his weekly column. Having debated the issue recently with Susan at a recent conference and done dueling commentaries with Craig on National Public Radio, it is not hard to discern that Susan/Craig apparently were the sole source of Mr. Levy's knowledge on the subject. It is also pretty obvious that they directed him to Senator Stevens, problably after summarily bashing the Senator's knowlege of the subject.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2006-10-04 14:50
I know it might be hard for some net neutrality proponents to believe... but somethings might be a lot more more important than equal treatment on the Net.
I don't think I am going out on a limb to say that the overwhelming majority of Americans would say that prioritizing net traffic or providing a premium tier for telehealth in order to save lives, to get underserved areas access to quality health care support and to better the quality of health care in general -- was a lot more important value than net neutrality.
It may sound appealing in the abstract that all traffic should be treated equally, but in the real world Americans value life, health care, and helping people in need more than they value guaranteeing that each bit of traffic takes the same nanoseconds to arrive as any other.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2006-10-03 13:29
I am pleased to welcome Verizon's new PoliBlog to the blogosphere, they will add another sound and reasoned voice to the debate for free markets and regulatory humility. Verizon is a Netcompetition.org eforum member and funder.
Like Cisco's great policy blog, I believe Verizon, as the first major communications company to launch a policy blog, will be a helpful and constructive entrant. Tom Tauke is one of the most respected statesmen in the industry and it will be good for him to be more engaged in the blogosphere. His able team also brings a wealth of expertise and opinions.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2006-10-02 13:00
I am just starting to review the FCC's new report on the state of wireless competition but had to blog first on the extraordinary success of net neutrality without net neutrality.
Let me share some remarkable statistics from the FCC's report about wireless.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2006-10-02 12:20
I am pleased that critics are reading my latest one-pager on why broadband competition will flourish but not surprised that some of the critics are unmoved. One of my critics at Democraticmedia.org, Jeff Chester, blogs that I have drunk too much cable-telco kool-aid.
Jeff, I have known you for many years and its fair to say that you and I approach the same set of facts from very different perspectives and world views. You have been a big proponent of heavy government restrictions on business in media and communications and a big skeptic on the value of competition policy. I have been a big proponent of the opposite. We have shared common ground in the past and could in the future over opposition to genuine monopoly power that is unaffected by competition; however that is not the broadband world we live in today.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2006-09-29 11:59
In reading the FCC's Press release on the state of competitiveness in the wireless industry, it is obvious that wireless is a competitive industry. Prices fell 22% during 2005 alone from 9 cents a minute to 7 cents. The number of subscribers increased from 185m to 213m. In addition, JD Power reported wireless service quality increased.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2006-09-29 11:25
The Chairman's summary paragraph is powerful evidence of why the push for net neutrality to be applied to wireless service is so misguided and oblivious to the facts of the marketplace:
"Competition among mobile carriers has lowered the price consumers pay pay for mobile telephone service, stimulating rapid subscriber growth and greater usage of mobile phones. Competition has also encouragd mobile telephone carriers to improve service quality and to begin deploying significantly faster broadband technologies on their networks. The results demonstrate how a competitive marketplace -- rather than economic regulation -- provides the greatest benefits to the American consumer."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2006-09-29 09:01
Unfounded pessimism and fear about the future of broadband competition is behind the call for net neutrality. I have released the third one-pager in my series: "Debunking the "Broadband Competition Can't Work" Myth. This analysis is an excellent companion piece to the previous piece in the series Debunking the "Broadband Market Failure" Myth.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2006-09-27 08:52
With all due respect to Craig Newmark of Craigs List, I had to challenge his one sided and twisted characterization of Net Neutrality "fairness" in his Philadelphia Inquirer Op Ed a couple of weeks ago.
Craig and I have debated through commentary on National Public Radio and I respect his sincerity but disagree wholeheartedly with his point of view.