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Google's Cerf digs a deeper 'nationalize the Internet' hole...

Kudos to Jim Harper of Tech Liberation Front for eliciting a comment from Google's Vint Cerf on Mr. Cerf's public ruminations in favor of 'nationalizing the Internet'  which was reported first on TechCrunch and which prompted me to post why nationalizing the Internet was such a horrible idea. 

While claiming his comment:  "Should the Internet be owned and maintained by the government, just like the highways?" -- was taken out of context -- Google's Mr. Cerf essentially repeats in his comment to Jim Harper's post -- the thrust of the thinking that has created the bruhaha:

  • "What I was getting at is that the Internet is in some ways more like the road system..."
  • "What I was speculating about in the Personal Democracy Forum was whether incentives could be provided that would render the Internet more like the public road system which is open to everyone." 

I think it is pretty clear that while Mr. Cerf may not have liked the "nationalized" term TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld used in his headline to describe and denounce Mr. Cerf's thinking -- it was indeed accurate -- given how Mr. Cerf reiterated in his comment his desire for the Internet to be more like the "public road system."

What I find most annoying is Google's refusal to acknowledge basic competitive facts, because they don't fit Google's net neutrality narrative -- that the government should preemptively protect Google from competition by passing net neutrality legislation.

  • Mr. Cerf in his comment said: "I think the incentives now in place for broadband service provision have not produced significant facilities-based competition."

Google and Mr. Cerf refuse to acknoweldge the competitive facts that would "render" their policy views moot. 

  • Given that the US is the only nation in the world with an alternative competitive national broadband network (cable) covering ~95% of the nation, the US has more nationwide facilities-based wireline-broadband-competition than any country in the world.
  • The US also has more facilities-based wireless competition than any nation in the world.

Bottom line: Google does not want to acknowledge the reality that the US has the most broadband competition in the world because Google does not want competition, it wants a regulated national utility that would make permanent Google's de facto search-advertising monopoly.