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Why is Silicon Valley Rebranding/Redefining Net Neutrality?

 

Via their Congresswoman, Silicon Valley is trying to redefine net neutrality for their benefit under the benign guise of “rebranding.”

Their desired re-definition is that net neutrality now should be the principle that “all bits are created equal.”

This is an unreasonable utopian escalation of the net neutrality debate. An “all bits are created equal” or “bit equality” principle would be a radical departure from the current decade-old “network neutrality” principle that the American Internet has long operated under.

Everyone knows that “neutrality” and “equality” are not synonyms and are not honestly used as interchangeable concepts in conversation, policy discourse, branding, or the law.

NetCompetition’s FCC Comments – Don’t Preempt State Muni Broadband Laws

There are two core reasons the FCC should not try to preempt State muni-broadband laws.

  1. The Supreme Court has already indicated it would be unconstitutional.  
  2. It would be anti-competitive, the opposite of the FCC’s statutory purpose and legal mandate.

 

I.  Why FCC Preemption of States Rights would be Unconstitutional

First, the Supreme Court already has decided this issue effectively in favor of state rights. In Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League (2004) the Supreme Court rejected federal preemption of state prohibitions on telecom services. It specifically rejected the use of the FCC’s Title II section 253(a) authority to preempt state prohibitions of localities offering telecom services on constitutional federalism grounds.

Debunking Consumerist Bogus Claim Mobile Data Does Not Compete with Cable

 

Pro-regulation interests often resort to highly misleading arguments to advance their cause. Fortunately that kind of deception ultimately exposes the weakness of their underlying argument and public policy position.

To promote Netflix’ “strong” version of net neutrality regulation and to oppose the Comcast-TWC acquisition, Consumerist just framed a very deceptive whopper competition argument: “Comcast says mobile data is competitive, but it costs $2k to stream Breaking Bad over LTE.”

Internet Peering Doesn’t Need Fixing – NetComp CommActUpdate Submission

 

The old adage is true here; “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

The Internet peering marketplace works exceptionally well and it has for its entire twenty year history. The unparalleled success, growth, and resiliency of the unregulated model for the Internet backbone peering marketplace has been nothing short of phenomenal in enabling and ensuring everyone reasonable access to the Internet.

Inter-networked computer networks are effectively the opposite of railroad, electricity, and telephone networks; trying to impose telephone interconnection rules on IP inter-networking is akin to forcing a square peg into a round hole. It predictably breaks both the peg and the hole.

Please see NetCompetition’s House CommActUpdate submission on interconnection -- here. (3 pages)

MD Rules Uber is a Common Carrier – Will FCC Agree?

 

The Daily Record reports that the Maryland Public Service Commission ruled that Uber is a common carrier subject to its regulatory jurisdiction.  

The PSC stated: “[W]hen viewed in their totality, the undisputed facts and circumstances in this case make it clear that Uber is engaged in the public transportation of persons for hire. Thus, Uber is a common carrier and a public service company over whom the Commission has jurisdiction…

In 60 days, PSC will draft “new regulations that protect the public interest,but also reflect the evolving nature of transportation services like Uber.”

Uber has threatened to leave the state if Uber is treated the same as their regulated taxi and transportation-for-hire competitors are under Maryland law.

Relevance to FCC Open Internet Order

Silicon Valley’s 6 Biggest Net Neutrality Fantasies – Special Report

If Silicon Valley folks are indeed the smartest of the smart, how could they be so easily fooled on net neutrality?

Normally smarts distinguish between what’s testable and real versus what is the pixie-dust of dreams.  

So where’s the real data and sound scientific thinking behind Silicon Valley’s grandiose net neutrality presumptions?

Why isn’t Silicon Valley adhering to its own data-driven, scientific decision-making principles?

 

 

Summary of Silicon Valley’s 6 Biggest Net Neutrality Fantasies:

Top Ten Failures of FCC Title II Utility Regulation – Part 56 FCC Open Internet Order Series

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “Top 10 Failures of FCC Title II Utility Regulation.”

The FCC has had a failure-prone, seventy-year track record implementing Title II telephone regulation.

It is important to remember what the FCC did in the past with Title II authority, because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.  

It is Part 56 of my FCC Open Internet Series.

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FCC Open Internet Order Series

Part 1: The Many Vulnerabilities of an Open Internet [9-24-09]

Interconnection is Different for Internet than Railroads or Electricity – Part 55 FCC Open Internet Order Series

 

Some things are way too important to let slip by uncontested.

The FCC has asserted a foundational regulatory premise that warrants rebuttal and disproving, given that the FCC is considering if Internet access, and Internet backbone peering, should be regulated like a utility under Title II telephone common carrier regulation.

In an important speech on Internet interconnection last month to the Progressive Policy Institute, the very able and experienced Ruth Milkman, Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Chief of Staff, asserted that “communications networks are no different” than railroad and electricity networks when it comes to interconnection. “… At bottom… the fact is that a network without connections and interconnections is one that simply doesn’t work. Disconnected networks do not serve the public interest.”

NetCompetition Proposes Competition Framework for House Comm Act Update

 

NetCompetition submitted this proposed communications competition framework in response to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton’s and Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden’s call for input on defining competition and competition principles for a potential Communications Act Update next Congress.  

 

Modernizing the Communications Act – Modern is Consumer-Driven Competition

 

Obsolete presumption of telephone and cable monopolies: The core policy problem with monopoly-premised communications law is that it is hostile to the reality of a vibrantly competitive communications marketplace.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths