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WSJ on Comcast's Network Management: “Markets Work” -- Internet regulation wouldn't

Kudos to the Wall Street Journal for a very wise editorial, “An alternative to net neutrality,” and for its clear conclusion and advice to the FCC: “that markets work.”

 

The Journal understands the facts and the real dynamic here -- that there is no longer much for the FCC to do now that market forces have solved the alleged problems raised against Comcast.

 

Simply, Comcast wisely, responsibly, and reasonably managed their network to favor quality-of-service for the vast majority of their customers, at the miniscule, intermittent expense of the biggest bandwidth hogs, who were hogging bandwidth on auto-pilot while not even attending their computers.

Why "White Spaces" is just corporate welfare innovation

The Hill has a good article highlighting the growing "battle" over "White Spaces", or the potential for use of the buffer spectrum bands in-between TV channels to ensure that there is no interference with TV signals.

More bandwidth no cure for network management -- Japan experience shows

Despite Japan having some of the fastest and cheapest broadband in the world, they still have to worry about network congestion and need to manage their networks and shape traffic, according to Adam Peake, a fellow at the International University of Japan who spoke yesterday at the Freedom to Connect Conference.

The takeaway here is that many in the net neutrality movement maintain that there is no need to manage the network if providers would just add more capacity.

  • The Japan experience is powerful evidence of the fallacy of that argument.
  • Experience shows that usage can often fill whatever capacity is made available.

Peake also explained that there is a pernicious p-2-p program called Winny, which is a major culprit in the network congestion and which is near universally reviled because it is one of those pernicious p-2-p programs that give all p-2-p a bad name because the protocol routinely makes the private content on users' hard drives available for identity theives and fraudsters.

Free market collaboration between BitTorrent & Comcast largely obviates need for FCC intervention

Free markets work. The FCC's net neutrality policy statement has worked. Congressional policy to "preserve the free market Internet...unfettered by Federal or State regulation" has worked.

In a hugely important free market development, Comcast and BitTorrent have voluntarily announced that they "will undertake a collaborative effort," together and with the rest of the industry, to "more effectively address the issues associated with rich media content and network capacity management."  

Why is this development such a big deal?

Yahoo-Google "dis" Microsoft in OpenSocial hug -- the real reason for the new alliance

Apparently, Yahoo is trying to douse itself with some "Microsoft-repellant" in joining Google's OpenSocial allance and forming a non-profit OpenSocial Foundation with Google and MySpace.

While Yahoo's OpenSocial press release never mentioned Microsoft, the impetus for this change of heart by Yahoo was clearly a way to "dis" Microsoft and make Yahoo marginally less attractive to Microsoft.

Professor Wu, Father of Net Neutrality, calling for "law breaking" to advance net neutrality?

Professor Tim Wu, who coined the term "net neutrality" is reportedly now advocating "law breaking" to advance the "information commons" agenda, which believes Internet infrastrructure, spectrum and content should be publicly owned and not privately owned.  

  • Communications Daily quoted Professor Wu on March 11, 2008:
    • "To move things along, unlicensed users should start occupying unused spectrum for wireless broadband, Wu said: "You gotta start somewhere, and it always starts with law-breaking.""
  • My experience is that Comm Daily is careful to accurately quote people and if Professor Wu did not to clarify his remarks, we can assume them to be accurate. I also have not seen a clarification of this after two more publications. 
  • I would also like to extend the courtesy to Professor Wu to be able to qualify his remarks that they were meant to be flippant, or a joke, or that he really didn't mean to call to publicly encourage people to break the law.
    • He could resolve this issue with a simple blog post.  

That said, it is very troubling to any public civility minded person who believes in the rule of law and respect for property, that such a prominent person as Professor Wu (who coined the term net neutrality, and who proposed Caterfone open access rules for the 700 MHz auction) would advocate "law-breaking" to advance his political agenda.

Google: the Un-Privacy Company -- More Google-what's-yours-is-ours-to-give-away

Garret Rogers of Googling Google on ZDnet has an illuminating post: "Google gives developers access to your contacts."

  • While Google extols the benefits of its "open" system it is irresponsibly silent on how it allows third parties "open access" to one of users most intimate and private treasures of information -- ones private contacts.

This is another big evidence point of a long and continued cavalier attitude to users privacy by Google (read on if you doubt this is a pattern -- these posts have most all the relevant links to all the mainstream articles on Google's cavalier attitude to Privacy):

Nyet neutrality activists making big mistake defending Internet socialism

Save the Internet campaign director Tim Karr in Huffington Post and columnist John Dvorak in PC Magazine are making a strategic blunder in their latest posts in responding to Andy Kessler's Wall Street Journal op ed "Internet Wrecking Ball" in bringing the net neutrality discussion back to a political philosophy discussion about whether the Internet should continue be a free market or whether Government should effectively "socialize" the Internet with net neutrality economic regulation and a implementation of an "information commons" agenda. 

The Google Welfare Act of 2008

Chairman Markey's newly introduced net neutrality bill should more aptly be called "The Google Welfare Act of 2008." 

  • Google was quick to applaud introduction of the Markey bill on its blog and in a fawning call with reporters. 
  • Google's standard line was that "this bill is not about Google but about the next Google."
    • When anyone says something is not about "me" but about the next incarnation of "me" you can be pretty sure it really is about the "me."

Let us cut through all the platitudes, spin, fluff and distractions in this bill of which there are many. Let us also remember the useful phrase: "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

  • Proponents of the Markey bill are indeed telling the truth that the bill does not formally or explicitly mandate FCC net neutrality regulations.
  • Unfortunately they are not telling "the whole truth and nothing but the truth," because the real world impact of the crux of this bill would be to trigger a cascade of new regulations of the Internet in order to comply with the U.S. policy change in this bill.

Why would the Markey bill trigger a cascade of new Internet regulations?

Net Neutrality vs. Reasonable Network Management -- new one-pager

Given the flurry of comments to the FCC on the FreePress petition on Comcast's network management due yesterday, I produced a new NetCompetition one-pager on Net Neutrality vs. Reasonable Network Management. I find the one-page format is useful to crystalize my thinking and boil my thoughts down most succinctly.

The primary conclusions in the one pager are:

  • Net neutrality has an inherent bias against network management.
  • Network Neutrality defines network management as discrimination.
  • Net neutrality is not a "practical' principle; the word "reasonable" exists for a reason. 

For those who don't want to use the one-page format or link above, I have copied the full text below:

Net Neutrality vs. Reasonable Network Management   Net Neutrality has an inherent bias against network management.   

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths