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Yet another official rejection of net neutrality -- by US Court of Appeals

It's important to highlight yet another official/legal repudiation of the net neutrality movement's common carrier regulation agenda.

  • As reported by Comm Daily yesterday, but largely ignored by the mainstream press, the U.S. Appeals Court 3rd circuit, upheld the FCC's decision to classify DSL as a competitive "information service" and not a common carrier telecom service potentially subject to net neutrality regulations.

Why is this important?

  • It was this very FCC decision made in August 2005 that net neutrality supporters made their rallying cry for new net neutrality legislation!
  • This August 2005 FCC decision implemented the Supreme Court's earlier "Brand X" decision, which affirmed that cable modems were appropriately classified by the FCC as an un-regulated competitive "information service."
  • In addition to applying the "Brand X" cable modem info services classification on DSL, the FCC has also applied it consistently to other functionally-equivalent broadband technologies: wireless broadband service and Broadband over power line service.

The significance of this appeals court affirmation of the legitimacy of the FCC's highly-market-successful broadband deregulation policy is that the legal precedents for maintaining broadband as an unregulated competitive service are piling up and becoming extremely difficult to reverse in the future.

Sen. Clinton's innovation agenda encouragingly excludes net neutrality

While I doubt I'll ever be accused of being a supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton, I must commend her and her campaign for sound political judgement when it's due.

Let's see how principled Google's Open Internet Coalition is on protecting free speech

How timely for the Google-backed Open Internet Coalition to be writing Congress asking for Congressional hearings on allegations of censorship of free speech on the Internet.

Google's "G-Phone" an alligator versus bear fight?

Google's long rumored Google phone
or GPhone project has attracted a lot of comment and chatter, but not a lot of
good analysis to date. One big exception is a very good article last week by
Miguel Helft of the New York Times: "For
Google, Advertising and phones go together
."

Challenging Google's unsubstantiated claims that its policy best serves consumers

The Google blog continues to essentially argue: what's good for Google is good for America and consumers. We have all heard that self-serving hubris and bunk before...  

  • Mr. Rick Whitt, in the latest post on the Google Public policy Blog  concluded:
    •  "We think the Internet offers the optimal model for what best serves the interests of all consumers. To that end, we hope the FCC sticks to its guns as it tries to introduce the open ethos of the 'Net to a small segment of the closed wireless world."

Let's unpack the hubris and deception behind these assertions.

  • Google is implying that anything that occurred in wireless in the past (B.G. -- "Before Google" entered the wireless world) did not serve consumers well -- and that we should scrap the existing competitive wireless model and adopt the Internet model that... surprise... most benefits Google.

Given Google's assault on the supposed failures of the current system, it is important to review the facts of what the existing competitive model actually has produced for American consumers.

The outrageous hypocrisy behind Net Neutality support of Free Speech

Someone needs to call the SaveTheInternet/FreePress/net neutrality crowd on their outrageous hypocrisy in politically claiming that being for "net neutrality" is being for more "free speech" protections.

When the SaveTheInternet organization and their net neutrality allies were offered very specific legislative language that would explicitly protect "free speech'' on the Internet -- they actively blocked it from passage in the Senate Commerce Committee in August of 2006 and from it passing into law last Congress. 

The legislative text below was in the HR5252 Amendment proposed by then Chairman Stevens in the telecom reform bill in June of 2006.

  • SaveTheInternet and the net neutrality movement opposed that protection of free speech language (Sec. 904. Application of the First Amendment) because what they really wanted was to make broadband subject to common carrier regulation.

 "SEC. 904. APPLICATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT.

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.

More whining from "Whiny Techies" at SaveTheInternet

The charge that many supporters of net neutrality were economically illiterate by Washington Post's lead business columnist Steve Pearlstein in "Whiny Techies II" a few weeks ago which I posted on, prompted more whining from Tim Karr of FreePress/SaveTheInternet Coalition in a Letter to the Editor.

  • Karr: "Supporters of net neutrality aren't asking that users pay one fee for all grades of access. We want a truly competitive marketplace where people can choose from numerous broadband companies offering access at different speeds and costs."

Let's have some fun un-packing Mr. Karr's disingenuousness.

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.

Responding to Art Brodsky's broadside on my credibility and integrity on Huffington Post

Art Brodsky of Public Knowledge comes to Google's defense in an extensive broadside attack on my credibility and integrity because I have the gall to stand up to one of his patrons -- Google -- by testifying tomorrow at the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust -- where I will show in great detail why the Google-DoubleClick merger is anti-competitive and why I recommend that it should be blocked by the FTC. Stay tuned.

Mr. Brodsky is not the first person to come after me for my provocative forward-thinking and unconventional views, nor will he be the last.

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