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FCC Commissioner McDowell debunks OECD broadband rankings

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell gave an outstanding speech today at the Broadband Policy Summit in which he did the single best job I have seen totally debunking the OECD rankings that purportedly indicate the US is falling behind on broadband.

Commissioner McDowell explains with example after example -- how skewed the OECD methodology is.

  • My personal favorite line in the speech was on how the OECD methodology is skewed against the US:
    • "...even if every existing broadband subscriber in America had a fiber-fed 100 mbps broadband connection, we would only rank 12th."

President candidate Huckabee blindsided on net neutrality

Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was reported on a blog to have "supported" net neutrality in a conference call with bloggers.

  • Don't believe this is his "official" policy position for a minute.
  • When conservative Mike Huckabee learns both sides of this issue and is not blindsided on a conference call on a subject he was unfamiliar with, and which was then grossly mispresented, I am convinced he will not "support" net neutrality.
      • No legitimate economic conservative like Mike Huckabee, who wants to radically downsize the Federal Government, will support a Big Government program to regulate the Internet for the first time.
      • He clearly was not at all familiar with the issue nor that nearly all the biggest funding supporters of net neutrality are liberal groups like Moveon.org who believe in digital socialism and radically reducing intellectual property rights on the web.
      • When Mike Huckabee's campaign staff research this issue, (we recommend they read the one pagers at the top right hand side of the www.NetCompetition.org website) there is no way he will support net neutrality as part of his official campaign.
      • It would be totally inconguous with his other limited Government views.
      • The last thing conservative Mr. Huckabee would want is to put the current "free and open" Internet under Government control.
      • Not gonna happen.

This is another in a long line of supposed "endorsements" of net neutrality that result from NN proponents consistent misrepresentation of the facts and gross use of unsubstantiated allegations of a problem.

Broadband data bills favor Big Government over competition

Senate Democrats are attempting to sneak through the back door what they cannot get through the front door of the "free and open"  policy process.

The Inouye "Broadband Data Improvement Act" is really a long term trojan horse for net neutrality and heavy regulation of broadband.

  • The bill requires that the FCC "establish a new definition of second generation broadband to reflect a data rate that is not less than the data rate required  to reliably transmit full-motion, high definition video." 
    • "Reliable" "high-definition" broadband is certainly not DSL or existing cable modems.

The clever ruse in this innocuous-sounding language is to redefine broadband competition as a total abject failure, and to declare broadband market failure, so the pro-regulatory types can regulate broadband becuase it is not competitive, or is at best a future duopoly.

SaveTheInternet effectively endorses "digital socialism"

SaveTheInternet and net neutrality proponents are losing their populist message discipline, and starting to show their true philosphical colors in blatantly calling for what is effectively "digital socialism."

Andrew Rasiej, the founder of The Personal Democracy Forum, challenged Presidential candidates to become the next "Tech President" in a recent blogpost. It's important to note that his views are mainstream in the net neutrality movement as evidenced by the hearty endorsement they received by SaveTheInternet and by Wired Magazine Blog.

Microsoft-Aquantive increases Google-Doubleclick antitrust focus

I believe Microsoft's purchase of Aquantive will have the effect of increasing antitrust scrutiny of Google-DoubleClick.

  • Listen to this quote in today's Investor's Business daily in an article by Patrick Seitz "In ads, Microsoft chooses a $6 Bil Buy-in":
    • "Microsoft believes consolidation in the ad sector will continue and that there ultimately will be only two meaningful companies in online advertising, says Matt Rossoff, an analyst at independent research firm Directions on Microsoft."

Let me count the ways that quote gives antitrust authorities the willies:

  • First it is their job to not allow industries to become duopolies or acquire market power through acquisition. If that occurs naturally, it is not a problem, but "acquiring" market power is illegal.
  • Second, Microsoft, an expert in market power, is reportedly the one that sees this market trending to two players.
  • Third, to the extent that most all of the business model of the Internet is being driven by the advertising model and Google's spectacular success at that model, Microsoft is indicating that the Internet business is destined to be controlled by two entities that the Government allowed to consolidate.

I can hear the Antitrust authorities sharpening their pencils and flexing their mouse clicking fingers now.

Broadband mapping is a transparent pro-regulation policy scheme

I personally think the Markey proposal to spend $36 million for a "national broadband map" is a monumental waste of taxpayer money and really bad "policy".

  • We don't have even a "national" broadband problem, we have more broadband facilities based competition and investment than any nation in the world.
  • We may have a rural broadband lag, and if a map is needed at all it could only be justified for rural areas and it would only cost a fraction of the $36m.
  • If Chairman Markey proposed a rural broadband map I would be much more muted in my criticism.

However, there is a not so hidden agenda lurking here.

  • A "national" broadband map is a transparent political scheme to re-define the issue so pro-regulation and pro-net neutrality proponents can define away "competition" and current policy success with a stroke of a pen.
  • If they can define away satellite and the 5 national wireless providers as broadband competitors, they can smugly say "I told you so" broadband is really a monopoly/duopoly and declare  competition policy a failure!
  • Then they could have a policy basis for mandating net regulation, subsidies and net neutrality!

The reason they want a national broadband policy is that they want a one-size-fits-all national policy like net neutrality which ensures everyone gets the same broadband service regardless of different needs, wants or means.

  • These "nationalized" regulation visionaries, then can create a role for Big government programs where there is none now.

It still amazes me how Chairman Markey and his fellow Big Government/net neutrality proponents can not see that competition and not regulating the Internet has been a fabulous, albeit imperfect success for the United States.

Broadband mapping is trojan horse for Big Govt. net regulation

Calls by House Telecom Chairman Ed Markey and other Big Government proponents for better "broadband mapping" is simply a "trojan horse" for regulating the Internet. and more government intervention in the marketplace. 

Mr. Markey knows that calling for better data is generally an easy way to build consensus around an issue while staying "under the radar."

  • He also knows that he can skew the process to his policy liking by rigging how the new "map" is supposed to be drawn.

Make no mistake about it, this is Chairman Markey's first step in a grander scheme to have Big government play a much bigger role in the Internet and the digital economy. 

Outstanding FTTH council video on Net Neutrality/Internet Exaflood

I just rewatched the outstanding Fiber to the Home Council's video on the Internet Exaflood.

  • I blogged about it before and will probably blog about it again in the future, because it is the best single five minute explanation, for novices and experts, of how the Internet is changing and improving.

If SaveTheInternet and FreePress was truly interested in a free and open debate on net neutrality they would want to send this outstanding informational video out to their email blast list.

Frontline's Hundt thinks US wireless is too monopolized!

I was shaking my head in disbelief when I read Comm Daily on Reed Hundt's interview on CSPAN's The Communicators series. 

Key quotes:

  • "Hundt is vice chmn. of Frontline Wireless and he used his C-span appearance to challenge the FCC to set rules that will allow Frontline to carry out its business plan."
  • "The wireless industry, which largely grew from auctions held while Hundt was Chairman, has become too consolidated, he said: "Monopolies don't work that hard to compete." Competition is necessary for innovation."

Excuse me? wireless monopolies?

NAACP official slams net neutrality effect on low-income consumers

I wanted to be sure folks saw what Greg Moore, Executive Director of the National NAACP Voter Fund said recently on net neutrality in a commentary piece in the Asbury Park Press

  • "Given the proven impact of broadband prices on its adoption, policies that increase the cost to users should be forbidden. Now, some well-intentioned online activists are pushing regulations called "net neutrality," which would keep costs low for the large Internet content companies but shift the costs of network expansion mostly to consumers."
  • "The effects could be disastrous for low-income and minority communities, pricing them out of the broadband market by guaranteeing a free ride to companies such as Google and eBay while shifting costs for broadband expansion back to consumers. Although net neutrality activists claim to be protecting free speech, net neutrality regulations would effectively silence many minority voices, as low-income communities drop off the online landscape because they can't afford the price of admission."

Extremely well said!

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths