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Innovation

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.

Putting the Tech Elites' Whining in Perspective -- Swanson's new U.S. Bandwidth Boom Report

Kudos to Bret Swanson's excellent new research: "Bandwidth Boom: Measuring U.S. Communications Capacity from 2000-2008."

  • For the first time, it measures and puts into perspective the incredibly explosive growth in American bandwidth capacity since the U.S. began strongly promoting facilities-based broadband competition and Internet infrastructure investment.
    • This research is new and interesting because it focuses on measuring supply-side bandwidth capacity, i.e. the fruit of tens of billions of dollars in infrastructure investment, rather than just the traditional demand-side measure of data traffic or usage.   

This research also helps refute the constant whining and pessimism by the tech elites' that the U.S. is in the "digital dark ages," is falling behind the world in broadband, and in need of massive U.S. Government intervention in the Internet infrastructure market in order to make any progress.  

  • The one page report summary is here.
  • The full report is here.

In summary, Bret Swanson's Entropy Economics report found:

"Over the eight-year period:

Challenging Mr. Bogle's Claim Indexing is Investing

With all due respect to Mr. John Bogle, legendary founder of Vanguard and de facto leader of the American index fund movement that now manages ~$1.5 trillion, I must respectfully challenge, on the merits, Mr. Bogle's, and others, ongoing mischaracterization of indexing as "investing."

The National Broadband Plan "Fork-in-the-Road"

A scan of the major comments just delivered to the FCC on the National Broadband Plan (which is due to Congress February 2010), spotlighted the big broadband policy "fork-in-the-road" decision that the FCC now has before it.

The President Makes Cybersecurity a National Priority -- Internet's Growing Security Problem -- Part XII

The President's Cybersecurity announcement 5-29 was a game changer for the Internet. For the first time the U.S. Government officially declared the lack of cybersecurity as the Internet's biggest problem.

  • It is interesting to note there was instant disagreement with the President's assessment from some in the Web 2.0 world. Speakers at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference in Washington this week said (per Washington Internet Daily) that:
    • "Cybersecurity threats in general are wildly overstated or portrayed as malevolent acts when some of the best known incidents have come through accidents or simple security holes."
  • I have been writing this now twelve-part series: "The open Internet's growing security problem" since the beginning of the year, precisely because many continue to deny the growing mountain of evidence from mainstream sources that the Internet security problem is getting worse not better. 
  • Fortunately, President Obama gets it.

Here is the latest mainstream evidence of the open Internet's growing security problem.

"Mysterious virus strikes FBI" ZDNet

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths