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Speaking at the Congressional Internet Caucus Wireless panel Wednesday

I am on the Congressional Internet Caucus wireless panel Wednesday with Blair Levin of Stifel Nicolaus, Michael Calabrese of the New America Foundation, and Jason Devitt of Skydeck.

The panel is on: "Opening up 700 MHz & White Spaces" What hath the FCC wrought?"

  • Should be interesting given that I am the only panelist not under the influence of "openness"...

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Economic downturn injects reality into net neutrality movement's nano-management petitions

Concern about an economic downturn has a powerful practical effect of rationalizing public policy priorities.

  • Net neutrality proponents failed to persuade every official body in 2006 and 2007 to support net neutrality legislation/regulation, because most every responsible official could plainly see that net neutrality was a solution in search of a problem. 
  • Now the net neutrality movement has re-focused its crusade on manufacturing and contriving a "problem" by focusing on FCC petitions against Comcast's network management of p2p and Verizon's admitted and quickly-corrected mistake concerning text messaging.   

The economic downturn now provides even more perspective of how far out of the mainstream the net neutrality movement really is.

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.  

Consumer survey exposes wireless open access as tech industrial policy

Network World has a great piece: "Open Access not as important to wireless consumers as QoS, pricing, survey finds" which exposes the Google-led tech industry's push for open access as a not-so-subtle tech-industrial policy.

  • The survey by Compete, Inc. found:
    • Only 9% of wireless users did not believe they had enough options for handsets;
    • Only 11% of wireless users believe that their carrier offered them too little content and services to meet their needs;
    • In stark contrast, 93% of wireless users believe getting a phone at a reasonable price was either important or very important.

This survey is important evidence exposing the tech industry's attempt to pass net neutrality/open access legislation/regulation as an thinly-guised tech industrial policy.

  • This tech industrial policy is asking the government to intervene and mandate engineering design and pass price-related regulations that would de facto choose tech companies as market winners and communications companies as market losers.

The tech industry has done a good job of cloaking their openness campaign as what consumers want most -- because that serves their Washington industrial policy agenda.

More info on how competition benefits US wireless consumers hugely

I commend the new consumergram by the American Consumer Institute on: "With increased competition, US consumers exert their power over wireless providers." 

  • Its a timely overview of all the benefits that US wireless consumers enjoy as a result of the US having arguably the most competitive wireless market in the world.

You wouldn't know that if you only listened to the many wireless and America bashers, organized by Google and the New American Foundation, who are gathering for a wireless/America bash-fest on Capitol Hill next week, January 22nd, called "Free my phone!"

Super ZDNet piece opposing net neutrality -- "Save Internet Freedom -- from Regulation"

Larry Downes produced an outstanding analysis for ZDNet today which he entitled "Save Internet Freedom -- From Regulation."

I strongly recommend it as it is one of the most cogent and persuasive pieces I have read in a long time on the subject.

He does a great service by putting the issue into much clearer context -- vis-a-vis other industries and past attempts to regulate where the government shouldn't have. 

Great new analogy why Net neutrality is an irrational policy in a new The Hill editorial

I always enjoy learning about a new fresh take on an old issue.

Kudos to Dr. Daniel Ballon who wrote a great editorial on net neutrality for The Hill newspaper: "Net neutrality punishes everyone for Comcast's actions."  

He recounts a great analogy about how "neutral" networks on Black Monday, the stock market crash of October 19, 1987, was made worse by a traffic jam of orders that couuld not be managed in an orderly fashion to keep the stock market functioning and open.

  • "After Black Monday, exchanges recognized the need to create “express lanes” and prioritize traffic to ensure orderly market function. The chairman of the House Telecommunications and Finance Subcommittee, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass), also understood the benefits of placing “sensible speed limits on our market participants so that individual investors and our biggest market players can happily co-exist.” Markey recognized that neutral markets fail as predictably “as if we turned off all the nation’s stoplights,” and “made all speed limits voluntary.”

At its core, the policy of net neutrality, that all traffic is always treated equally no matter what is -- unreasonable, unwise, and irrational.

Verizon's any device/any apps initiative proves competition/market forces work! -- 3 takeaways

Verizon's announcement that it will allow customers to choose any app and/or any device on its entire network in 2008 is proof positive that competitive market forces best serve consumers, not rigid net neutrality regulation or legislation.

I see three big takeaways from the Verizon announcement: consumer protection/reliability; market discipline, and more diversity of consumer choice.

More evidence the US is not falling behind on broadband, but leading the world

The Big Government advocates who try to paint the U.S. as falling behind in broadband so they can justify an activist National Broadband Policy -- have a huge and embarassing hole in their argument -- the U.S. lead in wireless/mobile broadband, including U.S. leadership in transitioning prime analog TV spectrum to mainstream digital broadband use.

  • The World Radio Conference of the UN, which is wrapping up this week in Berlin, indirectly showcases this U.S. lead in mobile broadband.
    • Per the International Herald Tribune, the U.S. is way ahead of the rest of the world in transitioning analog broadcasters to digital and reallocating this best-available spectrum for mobile-broadband use --
      • IHT: "The world is in varying stages in going digital, with U.S. broadcasters switching by 2009, Asian broadcasters by 2015, and most European countries somewhere in between." 
    • So how does being 2-6 years ahead of our international competitors in bringing the best available spectrum for mobile broadband to consumers -- constitute "falling behind" or "a failure of no national broadband policy?"

This U.S. world leadership in transitioning prime spectrum to optimal consumer use is powerful evidence of the superiority of our broadband policy approach, which embraces market forces more than just about any other major country in the world.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths