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PFF's Esbin debunks net neutrality assertions

I strongly recommend Barbara Esbin's excellent PFF white paper that systematically debunks many of the core assertions of net neutrality proponents. 

Barbara's clarity of thought, and her reasonable and well documented analysis proves that so many assertions of supposed "fact" made by net neutrality proponents simply can not withstand close scrutiny.

  

 

 

 

 

How Can Craigslist Not Be Neutral or Open, But Support Net Neutrality & an Open Internet?

Craig Newmark of Craigslist, a leading net neutrality proponent, posted another strong support of net neutrality on Huffington Post where he shared Consumer Reports definition of net neutrality.

In another tech elite case of "Do as I say, not as I do," it is particularly ironic that Mr. Newmark is publicly championing how important it is for dominant players to not block traffic on the Internet, at the same time, Craigslist, the most dominant online classified ad site in the U.S., is blatantly blocking a new mashup called Flippity and "every single project built on Yahoo Pipes," per TechCrunch's post yesterday:

  • "Craigslist Blocks Yahoo Pipes After Dev Shows Craig His New Mashup." 

Why is the FCC changing its current consensus net neutrality principle #4 that consumers are entitled to competition among service providers, application providers and content providers, to a non-consensus principle in the FCC's Open Internet proposed regulations that consumers are no longer entitled to applications or content competition online?

Google is Now the Only Repeat Net Neutrality Offender

Google is now blocking the Internet content of users' choice in two different Google services, meaning that Google has assumed the mantle as the Internet's only net neutrality repeat offender. 

  • Google's non-neutral behavior pattern indicates that they are confident that they don't need to respect net neutrality because the FCC will exempt Google from any net neutrality obligations when the FCC's proposed Open Internet regulations are formalized next year.  

So what are the two different Google services that are blocking users access to the Internet content of their choice?

Google-Twitter search agreement delayed for DOJ antitrust review?

Microsoft publicly announced it has already launched a beta of bing Twitter that incorporates Twitter tweets into Microsoft's search results, while Google also announced an agreement with Twitter, but said in an announcement blog post that: "we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months."

The glaring question is why Google, which prides itself on speed and innovation, and which routinely launches new products and services in beta, will not offer a Twitter product for "months."

The most logical conclusion is what I blogged and tweeted about on October 9th: "Will Google seek DOJ approval of any Twitter agreement?"

More un-economics nonsense from FreePress: Regulation does not discourage private investment

Does anyone else see the irony of a staunchly anti-business and anti-property activist organization like FreePress -- which openly advocates for an information commons and a broadband public utility model -- attempting to be credible doing private investment analysis for the FCC? 

  • Mr. Derek Turner of Free Press wrote  "Finding the Bottom Line: The truth about network neutrality & investment." 
  • The last time FreePress attempted economics in a public forum, FreePress asked in a letter to Congress "whether above-cost... pricing for broadband constitutes an unfair business practice." 
    • Given that FreePress was not aware that "above cost... pricing" is called profit and has always been legal in America, despite FreePress' views to the contrary, call me skeptical about FreePress' competence and genuineness in attempting private investment analysis.

If FreePress does not believe in free enterprise or private property, and does not understand concepts like profit, I am doubtful they can accurately or objectively analyze the economics or the business case for private long-term capital investments. 

Mr. Turner tries desperately and unsuccessfully to assemble "evidence" to prove the ridiculous assertion that regulation does not deter private investment.

72 House Democrats' Letter Urges FCC "to avoid tentative conclusions which favor government regulation"

72 House Democrats wrote the FCC pushing back on the direction the FCC apparently is headed in its proposed Open Internet/net neutrality regulations to be voted on October 22nd. From the letter:

  • "... it is out strong belief that continued progress in expanding the reach and capabilities of broadband networks will require the Commission to reiterate, not repudiate its historic committment to competition, private investment, and a restrained regulatory approach."
  • "We are confident that an objective review of the facts will reveal the critical role that competition and private investment have played -- and of necessity will continue to play -- in building robust broadband networks that are safe, secure and open."
  • "In light of the growth and innovation in new applications that the current regime has enabled, as compared to the limited evidence demonstrating any tangible harm, we would urge you to avoid tentative conclusions which favor government regulation."
  • "...we remain suspicious of conclusions based on slogans rather than substance and of policies that restrict and inhibit the very innovation and growth that we all seek to achieve." 

It was signed by the 72 House Democrats listed below:

72 Signers: 

FCC Is Already Chilling Smart Network Innovation

The most basic smart network innovation and obviously reasonable network management is already being chilled by the FCC's expected absolute ban on any Internet traffic prioritization.

  • Light Reading reports: "Cox shuts down Net Congestion Tests"
    • "Cox launched the trials in February, testing out a system developed internally that puts traffic into "time-sensitive" (e.g., Web pages, voice calls, streaming video), and "non-time-sensitive" (e.g., file uploads, peer-to-peer, and Usenet) buckets. As designed, the congestion management system temporarily delays upstream, non-time-sensitive traffic whenever network congestion is detected. Cox, which limited the test to residential high-speed Internet subs, insisted that any delays were on the order of seconds or subseconds -- not enough for customers to really notice."  
  • Multichannel News reports: "Cox Wraps Internet Congestion Management Test -- Operator Plans to Submit findings to FCC as Part of Network Neutrality Rulemaking Process"
    • "...the operator is no longer managing traffic based on application type in Kansas/Arkansas and has no plans to deploy the congestion-management system right now."

Who thinks it is not "smart" or "reasonable" to prioritize time-sensitive traffic over non-time-sensitive traffic? 

Read Swanson's great WSJ op-ed: "Google and the problem with net neutrality"

Bret Swanson of Entropy Economics penned another great op-ed on net neutrality today entitled: "Google and the problem with net neutrality: Broadband has been a rare bright spot in the economy. Why discourage investment?" 

My favorite point Bret made was pointing out all of the investment, innovation and competitive benefits that have occured since net neutrality supporters have said there was a problem requiring regulation circa 2004. 

  • Not only have net neutrality supporters not been able to find credible evidence of an industry pattern of anti-competitive problems over the last five years, they also are ignoring all the competitive gains and benefits that have occurred over the last five years as well. 

Facts matter and facts are not the friends of net neutrality proponents.    

The Many Vulnerabilities of an Open Internet

What an "Open Internet" does not mean is as important as what it does mean.



  • Surely an "Open Internet" is not intended to mean what it certainly can mean: un-protected, unguarded, or vulnerable to attack. 

  • Thus, it is essential for the FCC to be explicit in defining what the terms -- "Open Internet," "net neutrality," and Internet non-discrimination -- don't mean, as well as what they do mean.

The word "open" has 88 different definitions per Dictionary.com and the word "open" has even more different connotations depending on the context. While the term "open" generally has a positive connotation to mean un-restricted, accessible and available, it can also have a negative or problematic connotation if it means unprotected, unguarded or vulnerable to attack.  


    Wireless Innovation Regulation -- "Believe it or Not!"

    With due to credit to "Ripley's Believe it or Not!®," so much odd and bizarre is happening in Washington in the "name" of "wireless innovation" and competition that the topic calls for its own collection of: "Believe it or Not!®" oddities.

    Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstom, the co-founder of illegal-music-downloading site Kazaa, who had to avoid entering the U.S. because of copyright-infringement liability... is now seeking a U.S. court injunction to shut down eBay's Skype for alleged copyright violations!

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    Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths