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Verizon's any device/any apps initiative proves competition/market forces work! -- 3 takeaways

Verizon's announcement that it will allow customers to choose any app and/or any device on its entire network in 2008 is proof positive that competitive market forces best serve consumers, not rigid net neutrality regulation or legislation.

I see three big takeaways from the Verizon announcement: consumer protection/reliability; market discipline, and more diversity of consumer choice.

  • Consumer protection/reliability:
    • Verizon's certification process will encourage use of any application or any device that passes a minimal and essential consumer protection/reliability standard, including that the application/device won't: 
      • infect the network and other consumers apps and devices with malware/viruses; nor
      • pollute the network with spam to other consumers.
  • Market discipline:
    •  Verizon was clear that this new "bring your own app/device" option would be a "usage based" service like most every other wireless service, because spectrum and wireless use is not an infinite resource.
    • It appears Verizon plans to harness market forces and market-based usage pricing to help manage its network to keep it reliable for all users.
      • For example, it appears that a consumer could use high bandwidth applications like video if they wanted or needed to, but that the cost and relative innefficiency of such consumption would provide market discipline on its usage and its effect on the reliability of the network. 
  • Consumer Choice:
    • Just like in wireline broadband, there will be different tiers and prices based on how much bandwidth and what type of connectivity a consumer wants to buy.
    • Why market mechanisms are so superior to the rigid one-size-fits-all approach to broadband access of net neutrality proponents, is that consumers have a wide diversity of needs, wants and means, and apps and devices have a vast diversity of network needs in terms of bandwidth, latency, etc. 
    • Market-based "usage pricing" enables Verizon to offer a wider diversity of choice and services for the growing diversity of consumer needs and wants.    

It will be hard for net neutrality/open access proponents to find fault with this pro-consumer-choice, pro-market, pro-innovation competitive development, but I am sure they will try.

  • What net neutrality proponents really want is communalism, where Big Government decides what technologies, options and prices consumers get because these activists have much more clout in manipulating government processes than they have marketplace clout. 
  • Moreover, net neutrality proponents real definition of "open" is not really "open" but "communal ownership" where network use is no-cost to the user.

Bottom line: This was a good day for competition, consumers, free markets, and innovation.

  • It was a bad day for the hyper-regulatory types who want to pass net neutrality/open access regulation/legislation.