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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2007-01-25 14:02
Now that the Democratic-controlled Congress is back in full swing, and now that a lot of cards have been put on the table, its helpful to take stock of where we are on the net neutrality issue. Below I provide: an overview, a Senate outlook and a House outlook.
My bottom line analysis is that there is a very low liklihood of net neutrality legislation passing in this Congress, despite the hype.
Given that net net neutrality advocates really want a change in the law, they badly blew their golden opportunity last year to get net neutrality principles into law -- by wildly overplaying the moderately strong hand they had last year.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-01-24 18:51
I debated Gigi Sohn of Public Knowledge again today at a Media Institute luncheon and was really surprised at her candor in saying that the net neutrality conditions imposed on AT&T were "extortion" that she was happy to be a part of it.
While I have debated Gigi several times and respect her highly as a very capable advocate for her positions, I was troubled that she was so open that the net neutrality conditions imposed on AT&T were "extortion."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-01-23 19:09
There's new evidence today that Yahoo continues to stumble as Google continues to gain market share. Yahoo just announced meager 13% revenue growth for 4Q06, while Google announced at the end of the year that Google's revenue grew 86% during the same period. (That's over SIX times faster for those who care about those things!)
This is powerful additional confirmation that Google is quickly on path to reach 50% market share and beyond, a significant antitrust threshold of being considered "dominant" and warranting "stricter scrutiny" of its business practices for potential anticompetitive behavior. I explained the broader significance of this "dominant" threshold in my blog yesterday.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2007-01-22 19:12
An interesting and relevant antitrust milestone is coming for Google -- maybe as soon as this year -- Google is poised to pass the significant 50% market share "dominant" threshold in antitrust.
This is relevant because when Google exceeds 50% market share, the antitrust "rule of thumb" is that Google will be considered by antitrust authorities to be a "dominant" company.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2007-01-22 10:41
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.
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.
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2007-01-19 12:30
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2007-01-19 09:49
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-01-17 18:44
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.
With all due respect Mr. Chairman, "Why should we protect Google?" is precisely the right question.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-01-16 14:22
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-01-16 13:51
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.
Why is this noteworthy?