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FCC Commissioner McDowell on Net Neutrality today at NVTC

I heard FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell speak for the first time this morning on Net Neutrality and came away very impressed. He is a principled, articulate and well versed on the issues. The FCC is lucky to have him.

He started with being very upfront about his philosophy and approach: "It's all about freedom. I trust free markets and free people... government should get out of the way." In acknowledging that there can be instances of market failure, he said there should be "narrowly-tailored remedies with a clear sunset."

Specifically on net neutrality, the Commissioner had a very funny description of the issue -- as like a "Rorshach ink blot test" -- where everyone sees in the issue what they want to see.

Debunking "The Net is Neutral" Myth, part I in a Series of one-pagers

By cleverly framing this debate around the bumper-sticker term "net neutrality," those who want to regulate broadband like dialup, created a very helpful myth to bolster their pro-Internet regulation cause. 

By insinuating that the net was neutral, it made the proposed regulation sound less onerous and threatening, and more virtuous. Too bad it wasn't true. The Internet is not a "neutral," equal, one tier network.  

If people knew the facts and not the spin, I believe they would be much less inclined to support the net neutrality concept. That's why I have begun a series of one-pagers that debunk these big myths promoted by the neutr-elitists. 

SavetheInternet's bogus NN "momentum" claims

Both SavetheInternet.org and ItsOurNet.org are desperately trying to convince any reporter or media outlet they can -- that their perception of political "momentum" on net neutrality -- is in fact reality. Read below for evidence why they are delusional and believing their own spin. 

Let's review reality and the facts of the supposed "momentum."

Remember, Net neutrality proponents need Congress to pass a new law in order to win and achieve their purposes
.  In May, the Markey NN bill failed badly in the House 269-152. In June the FCC rejected calls for NN to be required in approving the Adelphia purchase by Comcast and Time Warner. In July, NN failed again in the Senate Commerce Committtee 11-11 on a straight party line vote, however after that defeat, four of the Commerce Committee Democrats abandoned NN and voted to support the Stevens Bill 15-7 -- without the Snowe-Dorgan Bill. In August, the FTC Chairman gave a very detailed speech seeing no need for additional NN legislation and chided the NN proponents for not being able to define the problem or for not submitting any formal complaints to them or providing any real evidence of a problem.  

Important Questions to ask Rep Markey at VON Keynote in Boston next week

Mr. Markey (D-MA), one of THE BIGGEST net neutrality proponents, is the keynote speaker at the fall VON conference Tuesday September 12th.  He is also the author of the House "Net Neutrality Act of 2006" which was defeated in the House earlier in the year by a wide margin  about 270-150. 

Big on rhetoric, but thin on substance, I believe Mr. Markey has some explainng to do about the dark side of his HR.5273 that has not been sufficiently challenged.

Sprint offers films on phones, because there's no NN!

Sprint just announced that it will offer pay-per-view movies exclusively for its cell phones. for 4-6$ a Sprint customer can watch a film in parts or in its entirety whenever or wherever they want to. Sprint is the first company to offer this innovation and I expect other wireless companies to eventually follow suit.

This is precisely the type of innovation and service that never would have occurred if there was a net neutrality requirement!

Net nutrality proponents: Google, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, and Microsoft, want to be able to send a customer a movie like Sprint does on a wireless phone, but not have to pay the wireless carrier extra for the transmission becuase the customer supposedly has "already" paid for it
. Not so.  

Qwest CEO Notebaert's clarity of thought on NN

I just read the text of Qwest CEO Dick Notebaert's remarks on NN at the Progress and Freedom Foundation last month. He is one of the most clear thinking leaders I know and I thought some of his insights were important to highlight here.

He started with first things first, how important the Internet is to America's economy: "we have created an economic engine that is vibrant, full of energy, and poised for the future. How some folks can...want the Internet to be saddled with regulatory micromanagment just boggles my mind."

New Editorial gets it; why regulate preemptively?

The Chicago Sun Times Editorial today gets it.  They sliced through the NN mumbo jumbo and realized there is no evidence of a problem today, only a hypothetical concern. Like any rational person they don't want all the parade of horribles to occur, but they are wise enough to not take the bait and call for preemptive NN regulation in the absence of a real problem.

This editorial board understands that market forces are vastly superior to government regulation and that -- in the absence of a real problem -- inviting government intervention into the market -- is a very scary prospect.

Gloves off on radio show on NN

I did an hour radio interview today on mytechnologylawyer.com today, to give all the best arguments against net neutrality. It was refreshing to have a forum where the clear purpose was to hear the unvarnished anti-net neutrality view becuase they will hear the other side's unvarnished next week when they will host Itsournet.org, Tuesday September 12 at 1PM EST with four pro-net neutrality guests.

It was a very liberating forum as I was given the full time and free reign to lay down the detailed arguments of why NN is such a horrible public policy idea. In particular I was able to debunk in detail how the Internet has never been "neutral" and give a detailed rebuttal of the gross misrepresentation that there is a broadband duopoly or insufficient competition. 

Cable mumbo jumbo ad got under Daily Kos' skin

Gotta love Daily Kos' indignance that Cable is running a very effective anti-net neutrality ad on their beloved Comedy Central show (that by the way has shilled for the NN cause and mercilessly spoofed Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens.) 

How dare cable invade their hallowed neutral ground and horrors speak ill of their beloved net neutrality! It is blasphemy! There should be no cable industry free speech -- only politically-correct speech that agree with approved neutral-dogma! 

DSL fee flap much ado about nothing

I was interviewed on CNBC this AM on Verizon and Bell South dropping their planned new DSL fees in face of FCC pressure.

First, I said this was a political issue not a competitive one. In the politically-charged environment of pending telecom legislation, the companies made the political mistake of getting in the way of the FCC being able to take political credit for some consumers bills going down. The FCC, like any political animal, does not like "rain on their parade."

When the FCC ruled last year that DSL was an unregulated info service like cable (the decision that germinated the net neutrality issue politically) a side effect of that decision was to no longer require that DSL pay a $1-2 a month regulatory fee into the Universal Service fund.   

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths