Not progressive policy, Letter to the US Senate

Today I sent a letter to U.S. Senators that reveals how soft sounding network neutrality language is actually an extremely regressive policy position. While so-called ‘progressives’ are championing its merits, mandating net neutrality will essentially end the Internet era of tremendous innovation, growth and progress.

My letter makes the following points:

  • Net Neutrality is modern-day “Internet Luddism”
  • Net Neutrality is backward-looking, old-fashioned industrial policy
  • Net Neutrality would block, degrade, and impair America’s technology progress
  • Net neutrality would interfere with the Internet’s consensus and universal acceptance
  • Net neutrality would discriminate against network innovation for ecommerce innovation
  • Non-discrimination in a competitive market would promote an indiscriminate Internet

Click here for the full letter.

Had a Great debate with Amazon's Meisner on PBS' Newshour

For those of you interested in what I think is the best and most succinct debate yet on NN, I suggest you listen to the audio of the 10 minute debate between Paul Meisner of Amazon and I  last night on the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer. They fairly set up the debate and then let Paul and I very freely and openly debate.

One thing that was new, was that I was able to debunk one of Paul's key points, that since it is the customer that would order video over the Internet, it isn't Amazon's fault or cost to pay for any of the delivery. I explained why that was a spurious argument. It would be like saying, Amazon has a huge parking lot holding a large fleet of very heavy trucks and equipment and because it was the customer that called and asked for Amazon to dispatch the trucks and heavy equipment to drive on the road, Amazon had no role or responsibility for the wear and tear that the heavy trucks had on the road -- just because they didn't dispatch the truck!  Puuuuhleeeeez!

That is just one of many NN arguments that doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Net Neutrality Debate Tonight

I am debating Paul Meisner of Amazon on the PBS News Hour with Jim Leher tonight. I expect it to be a good debate on net neutrality. Tune in if you can.


Technorati Profile

Grandfather of the Internet speaks against Net Neutrality

Dave Farber, the Grandfather of the Internet recently posted a net neutrality white paper that concludes net neutrality threatens to restrict a wide range of innovation services and does not meet consumer needs. The document is the work of computer science, economics and law scholars assembled by the Wharton School to provide unbiased analysis of network neutrality.  

Ironically, Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist for Google and outspoken network neutrality advocate was Faber’s student.

NN Presidential Politics?

I really enjoyed this New York sun article on Clinton, Other Hopefuls Reach For Netroots
URL: .  It appears that NN is the politically expedient position for democratic political candidates who want and need to raise beaucoup bucks from the Internet. The old adage is true, if you want honey don't kick the beehive.

NN clearly is not a "New Democrat" position. Sad the Democratic Presidential candidates are going back to Old Democrat ways, but that is typical of the pre-primary cycle.

My NPR Morning Edition Commentary on Net Neutrality

This morning, NPR Morning Edition featured my commentary on Net Neutrality. In the segment, I reveal the special interests behind proposed net neutrality legislation and discuss how network neutrality is really a choice between a government controlled socialized Internet and a market driven system.

Tomorrow, NPR will feature a commentary from Craigslist founder, Craig Newmark.

You can listen to my commentary on NPR at:

Important questions for Senator Clinton on NN

Senator Hilary Clinton is now lobbying her colleagues in the Senate to join in co-sponsoring the Clinton-Snowe-Dorgan Net Neutrality bill:

As the most likely Democratic nominee for President in 2008, it is relevant to ask:

  • Does Senator Clinton have a vision for a “Socialized-Internet” like the socialized-medicine vision she championed while being health-care-reform czar in her Husband’s Administration?

Munis in NN Crosshairs?

Today's WSJ had a very interesting article on how municipalities are seeking to offer free city-wide WiFi broandband servce to their residents paid for by advertising. Hello? It appears as if municipalities around the country have not connected-the-dots of the Snowe-Dorgan NN bill could effectively outlaw that business model in serving consumers becuase it would be discriminatory. Municipalities might consider weighing in on Snowe-Dorgan so the hand of BIG GOVERNMENT does not ban their nascent innovative efforts.

The Snowe-Dorgan bill is so breath-takingly indiscriminate and sweepingly hyper-regulatory that it regulates anything remotely broadband. First, in a fit of hubris, Snowe-Dorgan, even legally defines the word "user" for the first time, which even the hyper-regulatory House Markey Bill did not deem necessary! Why are they defining "users" unless they want to regulate them too? 

Eleven years of legal uncertainty!

One of the biggest reasons NN would be a disaster to implement is that no one can define it --meaning it would be left to the courts to do so -- which can take eleven years! Late last week the DC Court of Appeals finally upheld for the first time the FCC's unbundling rules stemming from the 1996 Telecom Act. It took the FCC four attempts over eleven years to craft rules implementing the 1996 Telecom Act's unbundling rules.

Why is this a big issue for NN? First the House Markey and Snowe-Dorgan bills were drafted very similarly to the section 251 of the Telecom Act, which created so much legal uncertainty.

New Senate NN Draft

I am encouraged Chairman Stevens new third draft has focused on a consumer-oriented net neutrality compromise more in line with the light touch in the House approach. The ecommerce giants have consistently pushed for a producer-oriented approach which is designed to protect themselves from more competition while doing little for the consumer. Chairman Stevens gets it.

My view continues to be that the legislation should not mention net nuetrality at all becuase any mention of it leaves future heavy handed regulators an opening for Big Govenment regulation and micromanagment of the Internet.


Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths