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Welcome back to the "slimmed-down" Open Internet Coalition II

I'd like to welcome back to the playing field, the reconstituted "ItsOurNet Coalition" which inexplicably went away in January, but has now returned as "The Open Internet Coalition!"

Now we finally know what they were doing while they were gone from the scene for four months...

  • They were losing weight.
  • The coalition shed the excess pounds of Microsoft, Yahoo, and Amazon.
    • Who needs them!
    • It must have been too burdensome for Google to have to accomodate these more reasonable and less-regulatory members of the previous ItsOurNet coalition.
  • Now the new "slimmed down" coalition can be faster, more nimble and united around being pro-regulatory for others.
    • The remaining coalition members are a much tighter and cohesive bunch.
      • There's now no one big or bold enough to challenge the Big Dog and ringleader Google. 
      • There's also no one in the coalition who believes in a free market broadband policy.
      • And it is basically companies and groups whose common thread is they have hired up all the under-employed pro-regulatory staffers who hate the telcos and cablecos.
      • The remaining group is of one mind -- their nirvana "democracy".

I was frankly surprised that the new group chose not to be forthright and embrace its new "slimmed-down" public physique.

Google Sr Advisor Al Gore is the ringleader of "Google's Poodles"

Self-described "Internet inventor" and former Vice President Al Gore has a newly released book "The Assault on Reason" in which he comes out of the shadows and into the limelight as a leading public proponent of net neutrality.  

The Save the Internet coalition blogged/bragged about the book in its post: Al Gore: Net Neutrality is the key to a better democracy."  They lifted some Gore quotes that gave them lots of "warm fuzzies" inside:

  • “neutrality should be the central tenet that will set us on a path toward an open, democratic Internet where free speech and free markets are encouraged.â€?
    • Wait a minute. The term "net neutrality" was only coined as late as 2002 by a socialist Columbia Law Professor!
    • But Gore claims to have invented the Internet before 1992!
    • Who's right? 
    • Moreover, Mr. Gore, factually the net has never been neutral.
  • “More than one and a half million citizens contacted Congress and more than eight hundred organizations joined the SavetheInternet Coalition, organized by the upstart media reform organization Free Press, using innovative online mobilization tactics …â€?
    • Thank you Mr. Gore from coming out from the shadows and coming clean by publicly endorsing the efforts of, and tacitly acknowledging your strong ringleader role in managing "Google's poodles",  SaveTheInternet and FreePress.
    • The still unanswered question is how many tens of millions of dollars has Mr. Gore made from his boatload of Google options/warrants granted to him as "Senior Advisor" to Google?"
    • And where are the disclosures in the book that most all of Mr. Gore's multi-ten million dollar net worth is in Google shares -- constituting a huge undisclosed conflict of interest on the issue of net neutrality.    
  • “I truly believe the most important factor is the preservation of the Internet’s potential for becoming the new neutral marketplace of ideas that is so needed for the revitalization of American democracy,â€? he writes. “People are not only fighting for free speech online, but they are also working to keep the Internet a decentralized, ownerless medium of mass communication and commerce.â€?

Why the public interest groups are "Google's Poodles"

Nick Carr wrote a dead-on column in the Gaurdian: "The net is being carved up into information plantations."

His thesis is the irony that as the web adds more and more destinations on line, fewer people seem to be visiting them.

  • He cites statistics that in 2001, the top 10 websites accounted for 31% of page views and that in 2006 that same number grew to  40%.

What's my point? You know I always have a tie in.

This hyper-media concentration that is occurring on the web is much much greater than has occurred in traditional media.

SaveTheInternet effectively endorses "digital socialism"

SaveTheInternet and net neutrality proponents are losing their populist message discipline, and starting to show their true philosphical colors in blatantly calling for what is effectively "digital socialism."

Andrew Rasiej, the founder of The Personal Democracy Forum, challenged Presidential candidates to become the next "Tech President" in a recent blogpost. It's important to note that his views are mainstream in the net neutrality movement as evidenced by the hearty endorsement they received by SaveTheInternet and by Wired Magazine Blog.

Broadband mapping is a transparent pro-regulation policy scheme

I personally think the Markey proposal to spend $36 million for a "national broadband map" is a monumental waste of taxpayer money and really bad "policy".

  • We don't have even a "national" broadband problem, we have more broadband facilities based competition and investment than any nation in the world.
  • We may have a rural broadband lag, and if a map is needed at all it could only be justified for rural areas and it would only cost a fraction of the $36m.
  • If Chairman Markey proposed a rural broadband map I would be much more muted in my criticism.

However, there is a not so hidden agenda lurking here.

  • A "national" broadband map is a transparent political scheme to re-define the issue so pro-regulation and pro-net neutrality proponents can define away "competition" and current policy success with a stroke of a pen.
  • If they can define away satellite and the 5 national wireless providers as broadband competitors, they can smugly say "I told you so" broadband is really a monopoly/duopoly and declare  competition policy a failure!
  • Then they could have a policy basis for mandating net regulation, subsidies and net neutrality!

The reason they want a national broadband policy is that they want a one-size-fits-all national policy like net neutrality which ensures everyone gets the same broadband service regardless of different needs, wants or means.

  • These "nationalized" regulation visionaries, then can create a role for Big government programs where there is none now.

It still amazes me how Chairman Markey and his fellow Big Government/net neutrality proponents can not see that competition and not regulating the Internet has been a fabulous, albeit imperfect success for the United States.

Broadband mapping is trojan horse for Big Govt. net regulation

Calls by House Telecom Chairman Ed Markey and other Big Government proponents for better "broadband mapping" is simply a "trojan horse" for regulating the Internet. and more government intervention in the marketplace. 

Mr. Markey knows that calling for better data is generally an easy way to build consensus around an issue while staying "under the radar."

  • He also knows that he can skew the process to his policy liking by rigging how the new "map" is supposed to be drawn.

Make no mistake about it, this is Chairman Markey's first step in a grander scheme to have Big government play a much bigger role in the Internet and the digital economy. 

Outstanding FTTH council video on Net Neutrality/Internet Exaflood

I just rewatched the outstanding Fiber to the Home Council's video on the Internet Exaflood.

  • I blogged about it before and will probably blog about it again in the future, because it is the best single five minute explanation, for novices and experts, of how the Internet is changing and improving.

If SaveTheInternet and FreePress was truly interested in a free and open debate on net neutrality they would want to send this outstanding informational video out to their email blast list.

Frontline's Hundt thinks US wireless is too monopolized!

I was shaking my head in disbelief when I read Comm Daily on Reed Hundt's interview on CSPAN's The Communicators series. 

Key quotes:

  • "Hundt is vice chmn. of Frontline Wireless and he used his C-span appearance to challenge the FCC to set rules that will allow Frontline to carry out its business plan."
  • "The wireless industry, which largely grew from auctions held while Hundt was Chairman, has become too consolidated, he said: "Monopolies don't work that hard to compete." Competition is necessary for innovation."

Excuse me? wireless monopolies?

Moveon/FreePress are now whining about US postal rates too!

I stumbled upon some more powerful evidence that the SaveTheInternet coalition of 800+ organizations who back net neutrality -- are just special interests looking for a self-serving subsidy handout from the government.

I previously blogged on my theory that the 800+ organizations backing SaveTheInternet cynically know that their members are not really at risk on the Internet from "blocking" etc., but that their organization's cost structures are at risk because they have become addicted to subsidized cheap blast emails.

  •  Put more simply, Moveon.org doesn't want to pay anymore than anyone else, even though they consume tons more Internet bandwidth than the people they supposedly serve.
  • Think about it. How many average users blast emails regularly to 3 MILLION people! Only spammers blast out emails to that wide of a distribution.
    • Then think about how much more bandwidth is required to send out 3 million blast video emails to the Moveon.org email list than is required to send 3 million text emails.

I suspect the other 800+ organizations in SaveTheInternet coalition have made the same self serving calculus, but love to hide behind the populist "human shield" of supposedly looking out for the American consumer.   

Like any other special interest, these SaveTheInternet organizational supporters are lobbying for net neutrality for self-serving reasons, i.e. a law/regulation that would ensure their cost of email distribution would never go up. What a deal!

NAACP official slams net neutrality effect on low-income consumers

I wanted to be sure folks saw what Greg Moore, Executive Director of the National NAACP Voter Fund said recently on net neutrality in a commentary piece in the Asbury Park Press

  • "Given the proven impact of broadband prices on its adoption, policies that increase the cost to users should be forbidden. Now, some well-intentioned online activists are pushing regulations called "net neutrality," which would keep costs low for the large Internet content companies but shift the costs of network expansion mostly to consumers."
  • "The effects could be disastrous for low-income and minority communities, pricing them out of the broadband market by guaranteeing a free ride to companies such as Google and eBay while shifting costs for broadband expansion back to consumers. Although net neutrality activists claim to be protecting free speech, net neutrality regulations would effectively silence many minority voices, as low-income communities drop off the online landscape because they can't afford the price of admission."

Extremely well said!

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths