Speaking at VON 2006 Today on Why Net Neutrality is a Bogus Issue

I am going to be debating Net Neutrality again at a panel at VON 2006 in Boston this morning at 11am EST. I wanted to make my full presentation available to help ensure that my views are not mischaracterized or taken out of context.
I intend to strongly challenge the underlying validity of the Net Neutrality issue because the more I delve deeply into the substance of this issue the more I question whether "there is a there there."
The more I have learned, the more I have become convinced that this is a bogus issue. I use the word bogus on purpose because it best captures what is going on here. This is a fake and artificial issue that has been manufactured by special interests and who are cynically manipulating people with half truths and fear-mongering for ulterior motives. A cynical few are manipulating the many with hidden agendas.

I have made clear in every forum, NetCompetition.org is funded by broadband companies. My agenda is crystal clear. Broadband companies and I strongly believe a market forces Internet is better for American consumers and the American economy than regulating the Internet for the first time with Net Neutrality to preempt a hypothetical problem.
My PowerPoint presentation makes a very powerful case: "Why Net Neutrality is a Bogus Issue."

In a nutshell, I argue there is no real problem or consumer harm here, only hypothetical and unsubstantiated allegations.

I also debunk all of the core assertions underlying the Net Neutrality concept as untrue. For example: The Net is not neutral today. There is no market failure. Net neutrality is not status quo. And Net neutrality is not gaining momentum.

Free Press in La La land on Broadband prices

Free Press' latest falsehood to promote Net neutrality is a new "report" that broadband prices are increasing. Balderdash!

Real broadband prices have fallen over 50% in the last few years. Very simply, DSL speeds provided have doubled and cable modem speeds have gone from 1.5 Mbs to 5+Mbs over the last few years.

Broadband is speed and people are getting twice as much speed for the price than they did just a few years ago. 

Let's make this concept even simpler so even Free Press can get it. If someone can buy two gallons of milk for the price one gallon just a few years ago -- the real price of milk has gone down and consumers are better off. 

Debunking "the Broadband Market Failure" Myth, Part II of a series of one pagers

Most net neutrality proponents try to justify their call for new regulation by claiming a duopoly or insufficient competition. Their incomplete and out-of-context argument is a good example of why in a court of law, courts ask people to testify to "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." On the subject of broadband competition, the neutr-elitists are not saying the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
The big and egregious omission in their assertion is that this market used to used to be monopoly dial-up service. They omit sharing that in 1996 a bipartisan Congress passed the Telecom Act to end monoploy, promote competition and de-regulation, and that competition is now increasingly flourishing.

FCC Commissioner McDowell on Net Neutrality today at NVTC

I heard FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell speak for the first time this morning on Net Neutrality and came away very impressed. He is a principled, articulate and well versed on the issues. The FCC is lucky to have him.

He started with being very upfront about his philosophy and approach: "It's all about freedom. I trust free markets and free people... government should get out of the way." In acknowledging that there can be instances of market failure, he said there should be "narrowly-tailored remedies with a clear sunset."

Specifically on net neutrality, the Commissioner had a very funny description of the issue -- as like a "Rorshach ink blot test" -- where everyone sees in the issue what they want to see.

Debunking "The Net is Neutral" Myth, part I in a Series of one-pagers

By cleverly framing this debate around the bumper-sticker term "net neutrality," those who want to regulate broadband like dialup, created a very helpful myth to bolster their pro-Internet regulation cause. 

By insinuating that the net was neutral, it made the proposed regulation sound less onerous and threatening, and more virtuous. Too bad it wasn't true. The Internet is not a "neutral," equal, one tier network.  

If people knew the facts and not the spin, I believe they would be much less inclined to support the net neutrality concept. That's why I have begun a series of one-pagers that debunk these big myths promoted by the neutr-elitists. 

SavetheInternet's bogus NN "momentum" claims

Both SavetheInternet.org and ItsOurNet.org are desperately trying to convince any reporter or media outlet they can -- that their perception of political "momentum" on net neutrality -- is in fact reality. Read below for evidence why they are delusional and believing their own spin. 

Let's review reality and the facts of the supposed "momentum."

Remember, Net neutrality proponents need Congress to pass a new law in order to win and achieve their purposes
.  In May, the Markey NN bill failed badly in the House 269-152. In June the FCC rejected calls for NN to be required in approving the Adelphia purchase by Comcast and Time Warner. In July, NN failed again in the Senate Commerce Committtee 11-11 on a straight party line vote, however after that defeat, four of the Commerce Committee Democrats abandoned NN and voted to support the Stevens Bill 15-7 -- without the Snowe-Dorgan Bill. In August, the FTC Chairman gave a very detailed speech seeing no need for additional NN legislation and chided the NN proponents for not being able to define the problem or for not submitting any formal complaints to them or providing any real evidence of a problem.  

Important Questions to ask Rep Markey at VON Keynote in Boston next week

Mr. Markey (D-MA), one of THE BIGGEST net neutrality proponents, is the keynote speaker at the fall VON conference Tuesday September 12th.  He is also the author of the House "Net Neutrality Act of 2006" which was defeated in the House earlier in the year by a wide margin  about 270-150. 

Big on rhetoric, but thin on substance, I believe Mr. Markey has some explainng to do about the dark side of his HR.5273 that has not been sufficiently challenged.

Sprint offers films on phones, because there's no NN!

Sprint just announced that it will offer pay-per-view movies exclusively for its cell phones. for 4-6$ a Sprint customer can watch a film in parts or in its entirety whenever or wherever they want to. Sprint is the first company to offer this innovation and I expect other wireless companies to eventually follow suit.

This is precisely the type of innovation and service that never would have occurred if there was a net neutrality requirement!

Net nutrality proponents: Google, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, and Microsoft, want to be able to send a customer a movie like Sprint does on a wireless phone, but not have to pay the wireless carrier extra for the transmission becuase the customer supposedly has "already" paid for it
. Not so.  

Qwest CEO Notebaert's clarity of thought on NN

I just read the text of Qwest CEO Dick Notebaert's remarks on NN at the Progress and Freedom Foundation last month. He is one of the most clear thinking leaders I know and I thought some of his insights were important to highlight here.

He started with first things first, how important the Internet is to America's economy: "we have created an economic engine that is vibrant, full of energy, and poised for the future. How some folks can...want the Internet to be saddled with regulatory micromanagment just boggles my mind."

New Editorial gets it; why regulate preemptively?

The Chicago Sun Times Editorial today gets it.  They sliced through the NN mumbo jumbo and realized there is no evidence of a problem today, only a hypothetical concern. Like any rational person they don't want all the parade of horribles to occur, but they are wise enough to not take the bait and call for preemptive NN regulation in the absence of a real problem.

This editorial board understands that market forces are vastly superior to government regulation and that -- in the absence of a real problem -- inviting government intervention into the market -- is a very scary prospect.