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Inconvenient truths from Berners-Lee/Farber NPR debate on NN

The NN debate between Tim Berners-Lee and David Farber on NPR was useful.

My takeaway from David Farber was two main points: First, no one can define the problem NN is trying to solve; and second, that there are sufficient laws and mechanisms already in place to address any net neutrality concerns, if they transform from being hypothetical to real. 

My big takeaway from Tim Berners-Lee's comments was his over-simplification that left the impression that NN is what everyone has now and have always had.  

To make NN sound less radical and controversial, net neutrality proponents routinely like to imply they just want to restore the situation to the way it was before the FCC's 2005 decision to declare DSL an unregulated information service.

However, if that was truly the NN game plan, and there was no other agenda:

Why are none of the NN bills (Snowe-Drogan or Markey Bills) written as restoring or reinstating what existed in regulation or legislation before if that is truly the case? (Why is it completely new language that applies to all the non-copper technologies it never applied to before?)

Why is net neutrality so hard to define? (If NN is the way its always been, couldn't we just use past definitions?)

Why is the term NN a relatively new term used for the first time on the Internet -- just a few years ago?

An outstanding anti-NN Op Ed

For those who are interested in an outstanding Op Ed on the folly of net neutrality I encourage you to read the Op Ed of David Cohen of Comcast in the Philadelphia Enquirer from earlier this week. its dead on.

NN is "Reverse Robin Hood"

In the real world, NN would have a "reverse Robin Hood" effect where NN would "rob" from light bandwidth users and "give it" to heavy users of bandwidth. The mantra of NN is "non-discrimination" which is a politically-manipulative way of saying broadband pricing must be uniform or averaged

Practically, it means that people that could be paying a lower price for demanding less bandwidth or sevices are forced to pay a higher price to subsidize those who demand and use more bandwidth and services. Simply, NN takes from the bandwidth "poor" and gives it to the bandwdth "rich" -- a classic "reverse Robin Hood" scenario. 

"The Long Tail" Book and And Why NN is anti-niche market!

I am in the midst of reading a new and very interesting book called "The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More"  written by "Wired" editor in chief Chris Anderson. His core brilliant insight is that Internet and digital technology create the "new economics of abundance" in that there is as much opportunity on the long tail of the demand curve as there is in the "head" of the curve where most companies focus. Simply, there is huge growth and revenue opportunity and potential in serving niche markets! 

Indian Govt Blocks Web Access -- Hello? the threat is from Government not business!

The Washington Post reports today that the Indian government ordered Indian ISPs to block acccess to many websites and blogs. Now the second most populous country, India, in addition to China, the most populous country, are blocking free and open access to the Internet.

Why oh why do the american neutrality-ites think it is a good idea to invite the Federal government of the world's third most populous country into the business of policing bit traffic, when there isn't even a problem? Is it because neutrality-ites trust the government more than business? I think so. At the core of the net neutrality movement is a deep anti-business, anti-capitalism, pro-big-government bent. 

Profound new insight from Dave Farber, Former FCC Chief Technologist and famous Professor

Dave Farber, former FCC Chief technologist and professor to Vint Cerf, made one of the most profound and important comments I have ever heard in this NN debate yesterday. As reported in today's Communications Daily: "The chief threat to Internet culture isn't bit discrimination, but DRM, (Digital Rights Management) a peril to the Web's information-sharing ethos, Farber said. And DRM comes from content providers and content owners, not network providers, he said."

I've been ruminating on this truly profound insight for most of the day and had to comment on it here. Farber is right. Dead right. The neutrality-ites have organized around the wrong boogeyman.

My dead serious rebuttal to CNET Wood's last criticism, CNET thread #10

Below is my last rebuttal to the flaming by CNET Editor Molly Wood of my NPR Morning Edition commentary on NN. I take her to task for dismissing the reality of unintended consequences and for being uninformed and anti-business.


My dead serious straight-faced rebuttal to your last point.


Molly, your snide conclusion to your Cleland-bashing of my NPR Morning Edition commentary on Net Neutrality first exposes that you have very little appreciation of the unintended consequences of government intervention, and second that you either have little grasp of business and the sector or you are deeply anti-business.

CNET debate thread #9 -- Is CNET living its corporate values?

It says in CNET’s vision statement that CNET “is a different kind of media company.” I trust that does not mean a different code of journalistic ethics and fairness than is standard in the industry.

In CNET’s corporate values statement under “Trust” it says: “We have no agenda other than to help people learn and find great solutions.”

Why oppose a fair and balanced debate on net neutrality that would help people learn? Wouldn’t that communicate that CNET has “no other agenda than to help people learn and find great solutions?” Or should CNET be listed as a supporter in the Net Neutrality coalition?

Why NN is so limiting in the real world -- Thierer's great XBox personal story

I always enjoy reading, listening, and learning from Adam Thierer of the Progress and Freedom Foundation because of his clarity of thought and practical insights. His latest blog is noteworthy  because he explains how limiting the one-size-fits-all approach of NN regulation would be in limiting the user experience of all that Microsoft's XBox has to offer its users.

He makes a pretty persuasive case of why special Microsoft-Verizon commercial cooperation could best serve each of their customers.

Please enjoy our new flash video: A Royal Fable

We thought the time was ripe to produce another flash video on net neutrality, because they are such a fun and effective way to communicate what is really going on in this net neutrality debate. 

When the dominant online giants: Google, Microsoft, eBay, Yahoo, Amazon, and IAC, first funded and named "," their pro-net neutrality lobbying coalition, we needled them here for their "Freudian Slip"  in claiming they "owned" the Internet. We suggested to them that it might be more forthright and neutral to "share" ownership of the Internet with the rest of America and rename their coalition: Alas they did not take our advice.

Thus, we thought their elitist sense of Internet ownership and entitlement was worthy of a new flash video.

We can see what has happened. The online realms of Google, Microsoft, eBay and Yahoo, with their 80-90% gross margins and their dominant market shares have naturally grown to believe the Internet is "theirs." Like royalty, they believe they are "entitled" to dynastic ownership of their online realms for perpetuity, and shouldn't have to stoop so low as to have to compete to keep it. 

How dare anyone ask the royal Internet companies, who use and benefit from the Internet the most, to help pay for some of its upgrade! Their response is "let the consumer pay!"  Their "royal" edict is clear: "Royalty" doesn't have to pay, royalty gets paid.   

We hope you enjoy our little royal fable.

Netcompetition's first flash video has been seen over 2500 times on, and our "welfare for billionaires" idea, was headlined in this interesting June 14th Wall Street Journal story on the net neutrality debate.