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Swanson's WSJ editorial nails it on NN: "Its the capacity stupid!"

Bret Swanson in his WSJ editorial over the weekend "The Coming Exaflood" provides a real service to the net neutrality debate -- he forces the discussion to focus more on how we must deal with the coming explosion of demand for capacity on the Internet.

  • In a phrase, Swanson is saying to the net neutrality crowd: "It's the capacity stupid!"

Net neutrality is a classic liberal big government idea that is all about trying to carve up the pie of today to be more fair, while assuming that somebody else will always make more pie for them to carve up. 

  • As Milton Friedman so eloquently said: "there is no free lunch" no matter how much people want to "assume" it.
    • Somebody must build and pay for a faster Internet to handle the explosion of traffic produced by video, and soon HD video.
  • Swanson persuasively forces the reader to think through the massive increases in demand that we already know are "in the pipeline" that require more investment to create a higher capacity Internet.

The insanity of the net neutrality position is that its advocates assume future capacity will be there magically. That capacity will be there, only if there is a functioning marketplace that allows those private network operators that carry the traffic that comprises the Internet are able to earn a return on their investment in new Internet capacity. Otherwise, the Government will have to tax and spend to subsidize it. There is no free lunch.

The insanity of the online giants' position with ItsOurNet, is that they believe they should get a free ride and that the consumer should have to shoulder the entire cost of increasing the capacity of the Internet.

Dont miss the compelling Wash Post Op Ed opposing NN

Kudos to Dave Farber and Michael Katz on their very persuasive and compelling Op Ed in the Washington Post opposing net neutrality. I strongly endorse their perspective and wisdom.

I feel great kinship with their point of view. There is no problem here. And there is a lot of harm and unintended consequences that can result from preemptively regulating the Internet.

Like David and Mike, I am well aware of the potential problems that market power could have. I have a long and public record of standing up to monopoly behavior that I viewed as out of bounds. But I am also a fact and analysis person. The facts and the analysis show this is a competitive marketplace becoming even more competitive in the future.  

The other "father of the Internet" opposes NN

Robert Kahn, known as the co-father of the Internet along with Google's Vint Cerf, opposes net neutrality becuase it would inhibit necessary experimentation and innovation. Kudos to a great article in the Register on this.

The fact that Network engineers like Robert Kahn and Dave Farber oppose net neutrality make it clear that net neutrality is not this simple benign policy. It is very dangerous preemptive legislation that presumes to perfectly know the future to allow them to lock in for perpetuity one interation of the Internet.

New Chairman Markey defends: protecting Google from net neutrality

I just got around to watching  House telecom Subcommittee Chariman Ed Markey address the Memphis media reform conference and was struck that he felt the need to go out of his way to defend Google and only Google at this strongly anti-business forum.

  • About midway through his speech, Chairman Markey noted that opponents of net neutrality last year asked: "Why should we protect Google?" New House Chairman answered his own question and said "this was the wrong question."

With all due respect Mr. Chairman, "Why should we protect Google?" is precisely the right question.

MyDD unabashedly using non-neutral "Googlebombs" to skew search/election

The hypocrisy of net neutrality supporters appears to have no bounds! The influential left wing MyDD blog of Chris Bowers is unabashedly setting out on a broad Internet to manipulate Google search results with their negative political take on John McCain. I need not say more. Just read the link above or see the excerpt I have posted below.

Today, I am proposing a long-term, anti-McCain googlebomb project similar to the Googlebomb the Elections campaign I founded in 2006. Read the extended entry for details.

Google/Youtube not a neutral gatekeeper; the new discriminatory Internet Censor?

The respected National Journal has a very interesting article about YouTube and how it may be choosing sides or is not "neutral." It's an important quick read; kudos to National Journal for focusing on it.

  • The article says critics are complaining that "YouTube's censoring process is too opaque and inconsistent."

Why is this noteworthy?

  1. Google owns and controls YouTube and is leading the charge for net neutrality to keep the Internet open and free of "Internet gatekeepers." 
  2. ComScore just reported that Google's market share of the search business is 47% and rising (and with Yahoo, the "search duopoly" now controls 77% of all searches and rising.) This makes Google an increasingly dominant Internet access technology.

Hypocrisy Watch: Google's search share rising to 47%,Yahoo's to 28% duopolists?

It is the height of hypocrisy that non-neutral Google/Yahoo, with 77% share of the search market and rising, continues to assert that the neutrally-operating phone and cable companies are duopolists that endanger the free and open web.  Google and Yahoo are increasingly dominant search gatekeepers for the Internet. ComScore's latest figures show Google with 47.3%, Yahoo with 28.5%, market share and rising -- and #3 Microsoft 10.5%, and #4 IAC Ask at 5.4% and falling.

Why this is so hypocritical is that:

What's the problem? 1516 days without a net neutrality mandate

To commemorate the "Seinfeld-ian" aspect of "net neutrality being a show about nothing," NetCompetition.org has introduced a prominent, "What's the Problem?" daily ticker on the NetCompetition.org site.

  • It displays how many days it has been since net neutrality supporters claimed that there was a problem and that there has been no net neutrality mandate.*
  • The point is clear: there is no problem here. The Internet isn't broken and it doesn't need fixing.
    • There is no consumer harm.
      • Prices are falling.
      • Consumer choice and speeds are increasing.
      • Adoption, investment and deployment are healthy.
      • There is an explosion of new products/services and innovation.

It has been 1,516 days or over four years, since the term "net neutrality" was first used publicly and that there has been no net neutrality mandate.

  • In other words, for a long time, net neutrality proponents have been running around like "Chicken Little" screaming the "Internet sky is falling, the Internet sky is falling" and they can't point to a problem or provide any substantive evidence of it.
  • Let me quote FTC Chairman Deborah Majoras:
    • "...thus far proponents of net neutrality have not come to us to explain where the market is failing or what anti-competitive conduct we should challenge; we are open to hearing from them."

*Professor Lawrence Lessig is credited with making up the term "net neutrality". Its a clever, but vacuous term that has caught on.

Why Dorgan-Snowe is all about politics and not real Internet Policy

There are several telling indications that net neutrality remains a political and partisan issue and is not a serious legislative/policy issue or industry problem.

 

First, the only change in the Senate net neutrality bill just introduced, was to change its name from Snowe-Dorgan to Dorgan-Snowe to reflect the new Democratic changeover of Congress. Other than that, the actual bill language is identical to last year’s bill -- according to Senator Dorgan’s spokesperson and my review of the two bills.

Second, isn’t it very telling that the sponsors have learned nothing, let me repeat nothing, since they introduced their bill eight months ago that might have made their bill better or attracted more consensus?

Is Bill Gates distancing Microsoft further from ItsOurNet's Net neutrality position?

Listening to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, in a podcast interview with Richard Scoble at the CES show, Microsoft clearly is no longer singing from the ItsOurNet hymnal on net neutrality.

  • This has to be disconcerting to the ItsOurNet coalition coming on the heels of Microsoft leaving the ItsOurNet coalition during the FCCs’ review of the AT&T-Bell South merger.

When Microsoft withdrew its support and funding from ItsOurNet in the late fall, it indicated that it intended to rejoin ItsOurNet after the merger review was complete.

  • Well it’s been 12 days since the FCC approved the merger… and Microsoft has yet to rejoin ItsOurNet…
  • It may turn out to be wishful thinking on my part that Microsoft has indeed reconsidered its position on net neutrality.

Whether or not Microsoft stays out of ItsOurNet or not, it is clear from this podcast interview that the head of Microsoft does not agree with the standard ItsOurNet line on NN

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths