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Competition 101 for Neutr-elitists straw man of perfect competition

My previous blog on how the "FCC auction seeds more competition," apparently rankled our opponents over at Public Knowledge who see a dark cloud on every competitive horizon. Harold Feld of Public Knowledge derisively spat all over the auction results in his blog because the new DBS consortium was outbid, it strengthened the existing four big telco wireless players and it let cable bid for spectrum. 

This clash of views is instructive because it highlights the huge philosophical divide between netcompetition forces and net neutrality proponents. Netcompetition-ers believe market forces/competition produce superior consumer and economic benefit than regulation does.

FCC Auction Seeding Even More Competition

The FCC wireless broadband auction has concluded the largest and most successful auction of spectrum in U.S. history.

Why is this relevant to net neutrality? Proponents of NN argue that a broadband duopoly exists, stubbornly refusing to acknowlege that wireless broadband is a real competitor to DSL and cable modem. (They sound a lot like the same luddites who argued over the last ten years that cell phones would not be direct competitors to landlines. ...Have those folks noticed the precipitous decline in the availability of pay phones because 210 million americans have cell phones? Or did they know the fact that there are now more wireless users than wireline users and more wireless minutes than wireline minutes?)

Poll shows NN not true grassroots issue

Net neutrality is not a grass roots issue but a special interest and Washington Centric issue. SavetheInternet loves to claim this is a grassroots phenomenon and that because there is lots of blogging and e-petition signers that net neutrality is gaining momentum. Malarkey!

Two points of evidence strongly suggest that net neutrality is a special interest driven issue and not a grassroots groundswell.

First is the new bipartisan poll conducted by Democratic firm Glover Park and Republican Public Opinion Strategies. It said that only 7% of those polled had ever heard or seen anything on the issue net neutrality!

AEA's "report" does not comply with its own disclosures

The AEA has issued a "report" called "The Case for Preserving Net Neutrality" The AEA research staff has some embarassing explaining to do to the AEA Board and to AEA's lawyers because in this Sarbanes-Oxley era, the AEA did not even come close to fairly representing their own definitive disclosure claims. 

Let me quote first from their representation disclosures. On the front page they claim: " The AEA research team produces regular reports...We combine rigorous data with careful analysis to provide industry leaders and policymakers the information they need to assess the issue." In the back they also claim: "AEA has made every reasonable effort to assure the accuracy of the information in this publication."  "...AEA accepts no liability for inaccuracies that may occur." (Bold added for emphasis) Let's examine if they fairly represented their treatment of this issue.

NN was not top issue at FCC Chairman Martin's hearing

I was pleased to see that the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on FCC Chairman Martin's renomination hearing went smoothly and uneventufully.

Given the supposed concern in the Senate Commerce Committee over net neutrality it was VERY INTERESTING that NN was not their top concern -- that was media ownership limits.
On NN, Chairman Martin gets it. when asked if the FCC has a system to watch for NN problems, he testified that they are "very vigilant about it."

ALSO VERY INTERESTING, Chairman Martin undercut the net neutrality claim that new legislation is needed; he testified that the FCC has authority under Title I to deal with potential net neutrality complaints and problems.

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, 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.