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Internet's creators call it outdated -- evidence why net neutrality is anti-innovation

The Wall Street Journal's article today: "It's creators call Internet outdated, offer remedies" offers some powerful insights for those following the net neutrality debate and who care about promoting innovation.

  •  "We can no longer rely on last-generation technology, which has essentially remained unchanged for 40 years, to power Internet performance," says Mr. Roberts..." (who is one of the pioneers who in 1969 oversaw the development of the ARPAnet which was the foundation of the Internet.)
  • "The Internet wasn't designed for people to watch television," he says. "I know because I designed it." Said Roberts.

Call for "National Broadband Strategy" is "code" for a Government Industrial Policy

Senator Kerry's recent echoing of the call for a "National Broadband Strategy" by House Telecom Chairman Markey and FCC Commissioner Copps -- is really a slick coordinated bicameral campaign to reverse current national communications competition policy and replace it with a Government industrial policy.  

Calling for a "National Broadband Strategy"  implies we don't have one when we do -- and it is the law  of the land -- the 1996 Telecom Act -- and it was supported by over 95% of Democrats and Republicans when it passed during the Clinton administration -- and by the way it is working.

  • The purpose of the law is our "national communcations policy/strategy": "To promote competition and reduce regulation in order to secure lower choices and higher quality services...and encourage the rapid deployment of new technologies."
  • The part covering the Internet: ""To preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet..., unfettered by Federal or state regulation."
  • The part covering promoting new technologies, Section 706: "The Commission...shall encourage deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans..."

What's wrong with that national broadband strategy?

  • Nothing.

What's wrong with the progress and achievement of that strategy to date?

  • Nothing.

Lets review the facts, not the spin that those promoting a new industrial policy cannot support with facts.

Frontline Wireless' shameless misdirection to pickpocket the American taxpayer

Reed Hundt's Frontline Wireless is proposing more changes to the FCC's 700 MHz auction rules upon reconsiderataion -- so watch your wallet!

Per today's Comm Daily: 

Cities learning there is no wireless "free lunch"

It seems the "pixie dust" of "free" municipal wifi isn't so "magical" after all.

To quote one of my conservative heroes, the late great Milton Friedman, "there is no free lunch."

  • The article chronicles the growing trend that cities around the country are finally learning that simple economic lesson -- which should have been obvious to them from the start.
  • But how could the cities forget the economic truism that "there is no free lunch" and let their expectations so far exceed reality?
    • The answer lies in how many companies, who routinely expect a "free lunch" from communications carriers (like net neutrality supporters: Google, eBay-Skype, Amazon, Intel et.al), whispered in these cities ears that they could easily have free or very low cost wireless broadband access.
      • The problem that these net neutrality/open access proponents brushed under the rug was that building and operating a wireless broadband network, even a lower cost WiFi or WiMax network, still costs a substantial amount of money, and requires substantial resources and expertise to pull off at a minimum quality level.

Bottomline:  What I hope cities take away from this painful lesson is what they were taught when they were young: "if it looks too good to be true, it is."

I am a panelist with Tim Wu at Future of Music Conference 9-17

I am on a Broadband Policy panel on Monday at 4:45 at the Future of Music Summit with a couple of the lead folks who champion net neutrality: Professor Tim Wu, who coined the term, and Ben Scott, of Free Press who has slickly popularized it in close coordination with Moveon.org.

  • Should be interesting, the panel appears to be fairly balanced: one against NN (me) and the rest of the panel avidly for it.
  • Wish me luck.

 Leveling the Playing Field: how does broadband policy affect musicians?

Congress and the FCC are currently working a series of initiatives designed to revise the telecommunications regulatory framework, with everything from spectrum reform, to broadband deployment, to network neutrality on the table. How will proposed revisions impact musicians, citizens and technologists? How does broadband policy intersect with concerns about protecting intellectual property? What would a pro-musician Telecom Act look like?

Charles Bissell Musician, The Wrens

Scott Cleland Chairman, NetCompetition.org

Peter Gordon President, Thirsty Ear

Jason Oxman Vice President, Communications, Consumer Electronics Association

Great perspective on net neutrality from Washington Post's Steve Pearlstein

 

If you missed The Washington Post's Steve Pearlstein's incisive and on point critique of how the campaign for net neutrality has morphed, it surely deserves a read -- its short.

See the header "Whiny Techies II" ("Whiny Techies I" is funny too.)  

My comment on CNET's good piece: "Ten things that finally killed Net Neutrality"

CNET's respected Declan McCullagh produced a sound and fair analysis of what ails net neutrality, which I recommend as a good read on the state of play on the issue. Below is the comment I posted on his piece.

  • "Well done Declan. You've produced a sound and fair analysis of why net neutrality has failed to gain traction.
  • My only significant quibble is that I would have made more of a point that clearly the issue is not grass roots, but a well orchestrated campaign by Moveon.org and its functional affilliates Free Press, Public Knowledge and the New America foundation -- and its lead corporate sponsor/ally -- Google.
  • They have obviously made a political campaign decision to go "dormant" on net neutrality as Mr. Brodsky suggested.
  • When the Moveon.org crowd decides to re-unleash their dogs on the issue it will burst back onto the scenes again.
  • My most important takeaway on all this is that this net neutrality "dormancy" exposes this issue for what it is: a manufactured bogus policy issue pushed into the forefront by very sophisticated political/policy operatives -- there is zero grass roots groundswell for net neutrality here -- only millions of Moveon.org email-list puppets on a string... and an apparently insatiable appetite for corporate welfare by Google..."

Dept. of Justice opposes net neutrality in FCC comments

The US Department of Justice in comments to the FCC said that it is opposed to "net neutrality" per an AP story.

Now both the US Department of Justice and The US Federal Trade Commission, the agencies legally responsible for investigating anti-competitive practices, officially have stated opposition to net neutrality regulation/legislation. 

WSJ editorial "A Wireless Bounty" debunks call for wireless net neutrality

Kudos to the Wall Street Journal editorial page for the editorial "A Wireless Bounty" highlighting that US wireless competition is robust, better than the rest of the world, and does not need government intervention to fix non-existent problems.

It is essential for the truth to be trumpeted in the mainstream media, because those who favor more government regulation of communications markets will fabricate all sorts of false notions to justify the creation of a "bureaucrat-net."

Those advocating wireless net neutrality have systematically misrepresented the state of US wireless competition and the benefits US consumers enjoy from that world leading competitive market.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths