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State NN "trend-let" is fizzling -- MD joins MI in rejecting calls for NN; NN is now 0-8!

Net neutrality proponents have been rebuffed ayet gain in trying to push NN at the state level.

  • In Maryland, House Bill 1069, which would have imposed NN in Maryland, was withdrawn Friday for lack of support.
  • As you may remember, a similar attempt to impose NN in Michigan in recent months also failed.

NN state activists are now off to a predictable 0-2 start in trying to get the states to adopt what every entity at the Federal level has already rejected. 

  • To recap the scoring, NN is also 0-6 at the Federal level: FCC, Bush Administration, Supreme Court, full House, Senate Commerce Committee, and FTC. 

Why is the concept of Net Neutrality or net regulation 0-8 in official government forums of all types: legislative -- Federal and State, judicial and executive?

  • The issue has no merit. It is basically a collection of unsubstantiated allegations with near zero evidence or supporting analysis to justify the allegations.
  • It would reverse very successful existing policy promoting competition and keeping the Internet free of regulation for no good reason. 

When responsible and accountable officials hear both sides of this debate in a fair and open forum -- with evidence and analysis of the merits, costs and benefits -- the right answer is consistently obvious -- if it isn't broke don't fix it!

  • Informed, knowlegable, and thoughtful people are the best friends of those opposing net regulation. 

This is the basic reason I organized last April as an eforum to encourage a free and open debate on the merits of the NN legislation.

When change is only constant, why ban it? Read WSJ's lead AT&T-Yahoo article

Today's lead WSJ article "As Power shifts, AT&T may alter Yahoo pact" is a must read.

  • The wonderful lesson of this article is that the only constant in life is change.
    • The article is replete with real life examples with how deals and visions of the future -- made sense at one time -- but "changed" or evolved with the evolution of the Internet, innovation and changing corporate fortunes.
  • The policy lesson from this illuminating article is that it spotlights the complete folly of trying to pass a net neutrality law which would freeze the current architecture and competitive state of play -- permanently.
  • Not only is it nonsensical to get in the way of the Internet's constant and dynamic evolution, but it exposes the human folly of being certain about what the future holds.
    • This insightful article shows how some of the best minds can't anticpate all of the unexpected twists and turns the Internet economy can and does take.

The article also explains the AT&T-Yahoo pact from 2001 which gave Yahoo the "exclusive" to be SBC/AT&T's default webpage and search engine.

Restrict freedom to protect it?

I continue to be amazed with how many people have fallen for the manipulative NN sloganeering of "Internet Freedom" and just aren't thinking.  

I fully grasp the surface branding appeal of "Internet freedom" because everyone has it now and cherishes it.

What I just don't get is the nonsensical logic behind the pro net neutrality case that we somehow get more freedom by restricting freedom.

  • Doesn't freedom beget freedom? 
  • Doesn't limiting freedom beget less freedom?

Where freedom comes from in our country is our constitution, which ensures the ultimate power is with the people and which also tremendously limits the power of Government in a very wide variety of ways. Our Founding Fathers were truly brilliant.

Clearwire IPO is proof positive of increasing broadband competition

ClearWire's IPO today raised $600m to build out a nationwide broadband WiMax network. This is in addition to the $600m that Intel Capital invested in ClearWire last July. This is in addition to ClearWire's backing by billionaire Craig McCaw, the leading American wireless entrepreneur and pioneer.

See CEI's wonderfully succinct new video on NN!

Be sure to watch the new short video on NN on YouTube by CEI.

  • It's value is succinct clarity of thought.
  • That is very rare these days and even rarer in the debate over net neutrality.

We admire and tip our hat to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which like, is an organization dedicated to advancing free enterprise and limited government.

Kudos to new Phoenix study; shows how NN skews market against consumers

For those looking for hefty substance in understanding the economic impacts of net regulation, I strongly recommend the Phoenix Center's new Policy Paper No. 28, Network Neutrality and Foreclosing Market Exchange: a Transaction Cost Analysis."

  • It is the best serious economic analysis I have seen to date in explaining how government interference in the broadband marketplace would backfire on the consumer in many harmful ways.
  • While NN has been an effective bumper sticker campaign, it is embarassingly devoid of analysis or justification that the legislative language will actually deliver what it's proponents claim it will deliver.

Why the Phoenix paper is so useful in this debate is it substantively explains how net regulation prohibitions on commerce negatively affect consumer prices, benefits and choices.

  • In laymans terms, this policy paper explains that when the law interferes with the free market and tilts the playing field to advantage one side, the online giants, it enables the online giants to shift their costs onto the backs of the consumer, while also prohibiting the market from dynamically responding in ways that would benefit the consumer with innovation or lower prices -- a classic double whammy on consumers. 
  • The big take away from this paper is that net regulation of the type in proposed legislation, economically favors the online giants at the expense of consumers.

This paper also helps expose the biggest scam in the Net Neutrality debate, that net regulation benefits consumers.

Precursorblog shut down by a denial-of-service attack -- blocking Internet content

This morning the PrecursorBlog server of was hit and shut down for the day by a targeted and malicious denial-of-service attack.

Net neutrality proponents profess to oppose the "blocking, degrading, or impairing" of any Internet content. They also profess to cherish and want to protect the First Amendment of the Internet -- free speech.

I want to believe that's SaveTheInterent and FreePress had nothing to do with this attack.

I respectfully ask them to publicly denounce this malicious act as the antithesis of their vision for a free, open and democratic Internet.

Web creator's parochial bias for horizontal innovation only

Web creator Sir Timothy Berners-Lee predictably testified before the House Telecom Subcommittee yesterday.  According to Comm Daily today, he said that "the key to web growth is "separation of layers" between browser and server, requiring engineers and legislators "get out of the way" and let others devleop innovative Web Protocols." (Sir Berners-Lee quotes in italics)

  • I wholeheartedly agree legislators should get out of the way, but why engineers?
  • Don't engineers innovate and invent?

What troubles me with the net regulation proponent view is this presumption that innovation can only come from software people or code writers not engineers of people involved in networking or infrastructure.

"America's Unique Internet Success" my Washington Times commentary today

Be sure to read my commentary today in the Washington Times "America's Unique Internet Success."

  • It is particularly timely today given that House Telecom Subcommittee Chairman Markey is starting his series of net regulation hearings today by hearing from the inventor of the World Wide Web, a leading supporter of NN.
  • It is also timely because CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference starts today in Washington DC; I will be speaking on their Internet panel on Saturday morning.

The purpose of this commentary is to challenge head on Congressional Democrats' attempt to revise Internet history for political purposes and manufacture a "broadband crisis" where none exists.

Does Google really mean what they say? Are they now back-pedalling on NN?

According to Comm Daily today, it appears as if Google is doing some major "bobbing and weaving" on its net neutrality stance. Google's top policy executive, Andrew Mclaughlin, at the Tech Policy Summit in San Jose, appeared to soften Google's hardline stance on net neutrality legislation, but did he really?

Let's examine what he is reported to have said that's new, and also what they have not said, which is important to seeing if they are just doing PR spin or have truly changed their position on net neutrality legislation.

First, what Mr. McLaughlin was reported to have said by Comm Daily today:

  • (Quotes are Comm Daily and italics are McLaughlin's direct quotes.) 
    • " authority other than the FCC should enforce a simple net neutrality rule barring broadband providers from discriminating in favor of their own companies or applications providers in quality of service."
    • "Google favors a simple rule against bias, not 'heavy regulation or price tarriffing' for the FTC, DOJ or other enforcer to interpret."
    • "'Cutting the FCC out of the picture would be a good idea' since agency network regulation wouldn't be suitable."
      • Hooray! It sounds as if Google is getting more reasonable and is beginning to see the error of their "don't be evil" ways.
  • But Google cuts against this newfound reasonableness, by saying "the regulation is justified by 'market failure" of 'inadequate competition' in the last mile." And that "wireless  technologies aren't 'meaningful alternatives'."
    • So what are they really saying here, its not clear.

What they have not said is the most telling.