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Open Internet

WSJ's Mossberg's opinion piece inflames but doesn't inform -- a perverted view of "free" markets

I normally consider myself a big fan of Walter Mossberg's technology reviews in the Wall Street Journal, but for today I am a big critic of Mr. Mossberg's woefully uniformed and one-sided opinion piece on public policy "Free my Phone."

Obviously frustrated at the technical reality that the bandwidth availability of telecommunications devices has not kept pace with the faster growth in computer processing, Mr. Mossberg lashes out at public policy as the cause in an emotional diatribe that illogically concludes that "if the government...breaks the crippling power that the wireless carriers exert today, the free market will deliver a... happy ending."

Comcast is within FCC's net neutrality policy that allows for "reasonable network management"

In the latest desperate attempt by net neutrality proponents to find something, anything, that will galvanize their supporters in Congress to do something on net neutrality to show the issue is not on life support -- FreePress put out a press release that has desperately leaps on an AP story that alleges that "Comcast blocks some Internet traffic" -- in hopes to revive their call for net neutrality  hearings and legislation. 

Before the net neutrality movement hyper-ventilates themselves in the usual frenzy that these type of one-sided pro-net neutrality stories generate, its important to go and read what the FCC's bipartisan net neutrality policy statement  actually says in the final words of its official statement: that the net neutrality "principles we adopt are subject to reasonable network management."

"Reasonable network management." The FCC and others that are "reasonable" about this issue realize that the net neutrality radical's insistence that every bit be treated equally is simply not the way the Internet has ever been run, nor has it ever been required for cable companies, nor does it make any real world sense!  

First, I have a one-pager that point-by-point debunks "The Net is Neutral Myth." This "neutral" perception is manufactured and not based on fact but a radical political agenda.

Yet another official rejection of net neutrality -- by US Court of Appeals

It's important to highlight yet another official/legal repudiation of the net neutrality movement's common carrier regulation agenda.

  • As reported by Comm Daily yesterday, but largely ignored by the mainstream press, the U.S. Appeals Court 3rd circuit, upheld the FCC's decision to classify DSL as a competitive "information service" and not a common carrier telecom service potentially subject to net neutrality regulations.

Why is this important?

  • It was this very FCC decision made in August 2005 that net neutrality supporters made their rallying cry for new net neutrality legislation!
  • This August 2005 FCC decision implemented the Supreme Court's earlier "Brand X" decision, which affirmed that cable modems were appropriately classified by the FCC as an un-regulated competitive "information service."
  • In addition to applying the "Brand X" cable modem info services classification on DSL, the FCC has also applied it consistently to other functionally-equivalent broadband technologies: wireless broadband service and Broadband over power line service.

The significance of this appeals court affirmation of the legitimacy of the FCC's highly-market-successful broadband deregulation policy is that the legal precedents for maintaining broadband as an unregulated competitive service are piling up and becoming extremely difficult to reverse in the future.

Let's see how principled Google's Open Internet Coalition is on protecting free speech

How timely for the Google-backed Open Internet Coalition to be writing Congress asking for Congressional hearings on allegations of censorship of free speech on the Internet.

Google bans Senator Collin's anti-Moveon.org ads -- Google's "Free Speech" double standard

Robert Cox, the Founder and President of the Media Bloggers Association, a non-partisan professional standards group, reports that Google has blocked the running of U.S. Senator Susan Collins' anti-Moveon.org ads on Google.

  •  "Internet giant Google has banned advertisements critical of MoveOn.org, the far-left advocacy group that caused a national uproar last month when it received preferential treatment from The New York Times for its “General Betray Us” message."
  • "The ads banned by Google were placed by a firm working for Republican Sen. Susan Collins’ re-election campaign. Collins is seeking her third term."

    Google has a particularly tortured concept of "free speech" if it is willing to editorially ban Republican speech that opposes its most important and high-profile lobbying ally in the net neutrality fight.

Rising consumer complaints against Google -- More evidence Google does not do what they say

Listening to Google's General Counsel testify at the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the Google-DoubleClick merger  which I also testified at, one would think everyone loves Google and all was just "teddie bears and rainbows" for consumers in Googleland.

Unsolicited advice for Frontline Wireless' new Open Access Advisory council

Reed Hundt's Frontline Wireless,  is reportedly forming a high-profile "Open Access Advisory Council" for the 700 MHz spectrum auction, which includes "net neutrality" term-coiner and celebrity Columbia Law Professor Tim Wu.

I have two pieces of unsolicited advice for Frontline's new advisory council."

Google's "G-Phone" an alligator versus bear fight?

Google's long rumored Google phone
or GPhone project has attracted a lot of comment and chatter, but not a lot of
good analysis to date. One big exception is a very good article last week by
Miguel Helft of the New York Times: "For
Google, Advertising and phones go together
."

News Corp needles Google for not protecting copyright -- Is Google an "honest" broker?

Google just can't seem to get on the right side of copyright law -- or the law in general for that matter.

  • Google's MySpace partner, News Corp clearly doesn't believe Google is doing enough to protect copyrights. 
  • Peter Chernin, President of News Corp., in an interview with the Financial Times yesterday, chided Google that ""they could do a better job" at preventing illegally copied video from appearing on its YouTube site."
    • FT asks: "Do they have the technology to do it?"
    • Chernin: "It's pretty safe to say that they have the technology available, that if we [MySpace] have the technology available, a) it's publicly available, and b) I haven't yet heard a lot about Google being technologically constrained."

The point here is that Google clearly has the wherewithal to not violate copyright, but they are making a business decision that it is better or more profitable for Google to disrespect copyright law rather than to respect copyright law.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths