You are here

Amazon

The "Open Net Coalition" -- "ItsOurNet" Part II -- They're back!

The ItsOurNet coalition is relaunching under a new name the "Open Internet Coalition" in May according to Todays' National Journal's Tech Daily .

  • The article intimates that the new incarnation of the online giant coalition may not include Microsoft.
    • Since ItsOurNet formed last year Google was much more radical and hyper-regulatory than Microsoft was comfortable with.
    • After coming out swinging the antitrust bat when Google outbid Microsoft, it will be very surprising if Microsoft rejoins Google's gang after parting ways with ItsOurNet last fall.

I must say I am sad to see the ItsOurNet name fall by the wayside, it was a glorious pinata of a concept.

  • I needled ItsOurNet when they announced their name that it was a tad bit greedy for the online giants to claim in their name that they "owned" the Internet.
  • I suggested it would have been a little wiser and fit with their "democratic" message to have called it "ItsEveryonesNet" or "ItsEverybodysNet".
  • But no, they apparently are calling it the "Open Net coalition" or "OpenNetCoalition.com."
  • Not bad but for grins, quickly checkout an Internet artifact before they pull it down: opennetcoalition.org.

It also will be interesting to see if they have retooled the substance of their message and if they will abandon Moveon.org and the Dorgan-Snowe bill to try and appear more reasonable and practical.

Reading between the lines of the article it seems Moveon is "on" the defensive so to speak.

lastly it will be interesting to see if:

Net neutrality is embarassingly absent from Democrat's tech policy agenda

Declan McCullagh of CNET has a very insightful piece called: "Missing : Politicians who take a clear stand on tech" where he spotlights that net neutrality is not on either the Democrat or Republican tech policy agendas.

  • It is not at all surprising that the Congressional Republican agenda does not have Net neutrality on its agenda, since Republicans almost universally see net neutrality for what it is: an unnecessary and dangerous back door attempt to regulate the Internet for the first time.
  • However, it is suprising and downright embarassing that Moveon.org and Google, eBay, Amazon, Yahoo, and IAC could not manage to get net neutrality on the Congressional Democratic tech policy agenda.

Takeaways from SaveTheInternet's "first anniversary" conference call

I listened in to SaveTheInternet's conference call with reporters in celebration of their one year anniversary.

  • It was an illuminating "window" into the nature and status of the current Net neutrality "movement."

Senator Dorgan (D-ND) author of the pending Dorgan-Snowe Bill was the keynote and star.  

  • He framed net neutrality as  "Internet freedom" and "open architecture" and breathlessly stated that "the future of the Internet is at stake." 
  • He announced that he was seeking a hearing on his legislation with the goal of moving it to the Senate floor implying he had the votes to pass it.
  • He also anticipated and asked himself the core question of "why is the legislation needed?"
    • His only answer was to read the December 2005 Business Week quote by then SBC Chairman Ed Whitacre about how it was "nuts" for Google to use its pipes for free.
    • I was stunned that he as the keynote and the name author of the legislation that he could not come up with a more recent or better piece of "evidence" or at least come up with a real world example of a problem or instance he is concerned about.
      • This is obviously all politics; they have no substance or they would present it.

Craig Newmark was second to speak and he asserted everyone he knew was for NN. (I guess we should give up now.)

JeffersonNet...EdisonNet... How about NoRegulationNet?

Curt Monash in his blog suggests a "third way" for net neutrality to go -- applying regulation to the "JeffersonNet" or "bandwidth-light" parts of the Internet while not applying it to the "EdisonNet," the more "communications-rich" applications where regulation would be an impediment.

  • Others have picked up on this thread, Slashdot, and Computerworld, intrigued with the middle way or third way thinking.
  • Before people get carried away that there is merit in this wishful thinking thread of discussion -- lets add a dose of reality.

With all due respect, the "middle way" thinking is seriously flawed because it assumes a compromise between views with equal merit.

  • Fast forwarding to a compromise of what or how much the Internet is regulated assumes the case has been made for any new regulation of the Internet.
    • That case has not been made at all.
    • Net neutrality is a pathetic ragtag collection of buzzword-blackmail assertions, unsubstantiated allegations and bogus claims.
  • Sure the net neutrality side would like to compromise because they have lost in every official and legal forum they have raised the issue.
    • Sure they would like to compromise because that would give desperately-needed validation to a bankrupt idea that is on the ropes.
    • Sure they would like to get the proverbial "camels nose under the tent."

In order to talk net neutrality compromise, net neutrality proponents have to make the case that they have legitimate concerns to begin with.

Moveon.org 2nd largest PAC in 2006 -- the prime "mover" behind net neutrality

I always knew Moveon.org was a powerful political force, but I just learned how powerful -- Moveon.org was the second largest Political Action Committee (PAC) in the US in 2006, according to the Washington Post "In The Loop" column by Jeffery H. Birnbaum.

  • Moveon.org, with its 3 million person email list, was the second-largest PAC with $27.7 million, after Emily's List at $34.1 million. Political MoneyLine was the cited source. 

Moveon.org's political clout combined with its zealousness for promoting net neturality regulation and the front-loaded 2008 political process mean net neutrality will likely remain on the "techcom" political agenda as a key issue for the foreseeable future -- despite getting repudiated by the House, Senate, Supreme Court, FCC, FTC, NTIA, Maryland, Michigan to only name the most prominent forums that rejected regulating the Internet.

Podcast of my first NN debate with Craig Newmark of Craig's List fame

After almost a year of opposing quotes in articles on net neutrality, the NAM weekly radio show/podcast on business, finally afforded me the opportunity to debate Craig Newmark, the famous founder of Craig's List, one-on-one live.While

  • While I was looking forward to hearing his best arguments for net neutrality, it became clear from the outset that he did not want to debate the issue, but wanted to try and discredit me and my personal views from as far back as 1999.
    • It turned out to be a decent strategy for him because his knowledge of the issue was surprisingly thin and he obviously did not want to engage on the merits or facts of the issue

I said I was happy to discuss my current and past views with him because it was a tacit concession by him that the net neutrality side of the debate cannot win this debate on the merits and that their best chance is attacks on me as a leading spokesperson for the broadband sector on why the Internet should not be regulated.

Forbes cover story: proof the net is not neutral!

The people who still argue that the Internet is "neutral" have some explaining to do.

  • They certainly don't want you to read the super Forbes cover story on Akamai: "Video Prophet: How Akamai survived the dot-com bust to thrive on speed."
    • Check out these quotes from the article that drive home the point that the Internet has never been "neutral:"
    • ..."Akamai's big idea is that by rewriting the Internet's basic rules--making some computers smarter and more equal than others--it can let the Net grow infinitely large without breaking down."...
      • Horrors! Akamai is not treating bits equally! Someone call the Government!
    • ..."a basic idea: Connect computers to the far reaches of the Net, then program them to communicate with one another to spot better routes for getting e-mails, Web pages and other packets to where they needed to go."...
      • But the Internet is supposed to be a DUMB network! A "smarter" network would not be innovative...that can't be right...
    • ..."Eventually they refined a business idea: a service that essentially would be the FedEx (nyse: FDX - news - people ) of the Internet. People could always trust the public Net to deliver their information cheaply. But others might be willing to pay Akamai a premium to deliver their content faster and more reliably..."
      • Horrors again! Someone had the gall to think the perfectly "equal" Internet could be made better with a market concept of a tiered Internet... oh tell me its not true!
    • ..."Every few months the algorithm writers in Cambridge inject better software into the global network to make it shrewder at picking routes for Internet traffic."...
      • Egads! There are dark forces out there making the Internet less equal every few months!

I feel kinda bad that all those well-intentioned people that fell for the original slogan of "net neutrality" were suckered into assuming the Internet was "neutral" and needed to stay that way.

Save the taxpayer from the latest net neutrality spectrum scam

Today's WSJ editorial page hits the free-market nail on the head once again in its lead editorial: "The Spectrum Game"; it's about the FCC's upcoming decision on how to auction the 700 MHz of spectrum that is considered by the market to be "the Riviera beachfront property" of all spectrum potentially available.

  • WSJ: "... Like Mr Hundt, they know such conditions [like net neutrality] might scare off auction competition and increase the chances of Frontline grabbing the licenses for a song."

WSJ understands this is the most valuable spectrum the FCC has ever auctioned.

  • Naturally this valuable spectrum has spawned a cottage industry of policy entrepreneurs who want to figure out a way to divert the billions of dollars due the American taxpayer under the law -- to their companies' coffers. 
  • They try to justify this multi-billion wealth transfer from the American taxpayer to companies by saying it would forward a "popular" net neutrality mandate, a social-engineering policy which Congress specifically rejected mandating only last year.    

I hope the FCC is wise enough to see through this net neutrality spectrum scam, and not effectively bypass Congress' authority by effectively legislating corporate spectrum entitlements unauthorized by Congress.

To guard against charges that there is an-under-the-table transfer of billions of dollars due the American taxpayer under the law, the FCC needs to be completely transparent and upfront about the implications their decisions have on auction proceeds.

Comcast exec spotlights Google's hypocrisy on net neutrality

MultiChannel News has a great write up of a tough speech on net neutrality by David Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast.

  • “When you cut through the rhetoric, what they [Google, Yahoo] want from the federal government is new regulations that would guarantee them below cost-access to the broadband networks that carry most of the Internet content in this country,â€? Cohen said in a speech to the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.

Kudos to Mr. Cohen for taking the gloves off and saying what needs to be said.

We just posted one of our net neutrality flash videos on Youtube

As we recently modified and updated the Netcompetition website to make it even easier to use and work with, we decided to take the little ant fable flash on net neutrality we produced, and that has been exclusively on our site for awhile, and post it to YouTube in order to broaden the audience.

Enjoy!

It's only a 1 minute 40 second flash.

Pages

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths