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Innovation

Mr. Kessler's Datatopian Assumptions

I was surprised that the Wall Street Journal editorial page printed Andy Kessler's datatopian rant today, which essentially calls for the Federal Government to economically regulate the competitive broadband Internet as a monopoly and move away from a market-driven property rights model for mobile Internet infrastructure.

After one reads Mr. Kessler's compilation of datatopian platitutudes and selective analysis, please consider the litany of datatopian assumptions (below), which undergird Mr. Kessler's regulatory recommendations. 

  • Mr. Kessler's: "Why AT&T Killed Google Voice: Telecom operators are yesterday's business. It's time for a national data policy that encourages innovation."

Mr. Kessler's Datatopian Assumptions:

First, assume a broadband pipe(s).

Second, assume broadband/Internet works, always.

Third, assume all the billions of daily Internet transmissions just happen -- perfectly.

Fourth, assume everyone can always use as much bandwidth as they want.

Fifth, assume its all free.

Sixth, assume broadband doesn't need return on investment.

Seventh, assume that the broadband competition everyone sees everyday in TV/online/print advertising doesn't exist.

Kudos to an Insightful Post on Innovation/Internet's Evolution

Kudos to Link Hoewing's insightful post on "The Internet's Evolution and Network Management" on Verizon's Policy Blog.  

  • Its an important analysis and perspective for anyone wanting to understand how FCC regulation of the Internet and network management could negatively and seriously harm innovation and the Internet's natural evolution.

Do what they say, not what they do...

Vint Cerf, Google's Internet Evangelist, urged the FCC at a broadband workshop last week to regulate broadband networks as a utility like the electrical grid.

  • I wonder if others spotted the irony in Google's "utility" regulation prescription for broadband.

Google's Mr. Cerf looks at the most competitive broadband market in the world, declares it inherently anti-competitive, and summarily prescribes... monopoly utility regulation for the entire broadband industry.

Meanwhile back at the Google Book Settlement ranch... Google has negotiated a de facto book search monopoly for itself in the Book Registry "utility" of the Google Book Settlement, without any regulation or Government oversight.  

Taking one's business elsewhere -- what a concept! TechCrunch's Arrington proves competition works

Sometimes the simplest solution can somehow elude people for a period of time.

  • After long pushing hard for net neutrality legislation and wireless net neutrality regulation, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, finally had an epiphany and figured out that he could become a fully satisfied consumer by simply choosing to take his business elsewhere -- from the AT&T Apple iPhone to the T-Mobile Google Android mytouch 3G phone. 

Competitive differentiated choice -- what a concept -- why didn't anyone think of this before?

  • Consumers that value and want different things... can shop around and find what they want from different providers.
  • Amazing. People don't have to lobby Congress, petition the FCC, or instigate an antitrust review -- they can simply vote with their feet and take their business to a provider that sells what they want.
  • And even better with this competitive choice thingy going on, if a consumer decides they want something new or different in the future they can get it without having to wait for the government to figure out whether or not  they should force all providers to provide it.

Mr. Arrington's epiphany -- that robust wireless and broadband competition not only exists, but actually works very well -- is a powerful reminder that the first and best solution for consumers is not regulation, but to simply to choose to take their business elsewhere. 

A Maslow "Hierarchy of Internet Needs?" -- Will there be Internet priorities or a priority-less Internet?

A central policy question concerning the future of the Internet, cloud computing, and the National Broadband Plan is whether there should be Internet priorities or a priority-less Internet?

  • The crux of the grand conflict over the direction of Internet policy is that proponents of a mandated a neutral/open Internet insist that only users can prioritize Internet traffic, not any other entity. 

To grasp the inherent problem and impracticality with a mandated neutral or priority-less Internet, it is helpful to ask if the Internet, which is comprised of hundreds of millions of individual users, has a mutual "hierarchy of needs" just like individuals have a "hierarchy of needs," per Maslow's famed, common sense "Hierarchy of Needs" theory.

Helping the FCC Analyze Broadband Tradeoffs

"People are not approaching this from the perspective of helping us analyze what the trade-offs are" said FCC Broadband Coordinator Blair Levin about public comments to the National Broadband Plan -- per Multichannel News.  

  • Industry's comments have attempted to be very focused on helping the FCC understand and appreciate the many explicit trade-offs involved in this very important proceeding.

A recap of the key trade-offs facing the FCC:

Where does choice come from?

Choice, having the benefit of a selection of different alternatives to choose from, springs from the risk and opportunity of market competition  -- not from Government economic regulation.

Ironically Zittrain's "Lost in the Cloud" emphasizes three of my big concerns/themes

Jonathan Zittrain's NYTimes Op-ed today, "Lost in the Clouds" ironically captured three of my big concerns/themes about the Internet and its natural outgrowth -- cloud computing.

  • I recommend this op-ed because it pulls together a whole host of converging Internet issues that others generally treat separately.
  • The problem with writing about these issues separately is that much of the richness of how these inter-related issues interact -- is lost.  

    Zittrain: "The cloud, however, comes with real dangers."

    • I agree. That has been much of the point of my 13 part series since the first of the year:
      • "The Open Internet's Growing Security Problem"

    Zittrain: "Worse, data stored online has less privacy protection both in practice and under the law."

Handset Exclusives Drive Growth & Broadband Adoption -- Why regulate tech/computer sales?

Handset marketing exclusives are a pro-competitive wellspring of wireless growth and broadband adoption. Marketing exclusives are also a legitimate, proven and widespread marketing practice that marshals maximum marketing resources for selected, potentially-hot-new-products in order to drive maximum sales and adoption.

Comcast-Clearwire 4G Rollout Spotlights Vibrant U.S. Facilities-Based Broadband Competition

Comcast-Clearwire's 4G WiMax rollout starting in Portland today, as part of broader national launch this year, is powerful evidence of the vibrancy and dynamism of the facilities-based broadband competition trajectory in the U.S.

  • This latest announcement provides an excellent opportunity to take stock of both the current state of broadband competition in the U.S. and the competitive trajectory of how the U.S. broadband market is getting increasingly more competitive.

Contrary to the parade of imperfection horribles claimed by anti-competition groups to try and justify a wide variety of new net neutrality-related regulations, the U.S. has more real and growing facilities-based broadband competition than any nation in the world.

The Comcast announcement provides powerful proof points of all the good aspects of vibrant facilities-based competition.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths