You are here

FCC

Welcome back to the "slimmed-down" Open Internet Coalition II

I'd like to welcome back to the playing field, the reconstituted "ItsOurNet Coalition" which inexplicably went away in January, but has now returned as "The Open Internet Coalition!"

Now we finally know what they were doing while they were gone from the scene for four months...

  • They were losing weight.
  • The coalition shed the excess pounds of Microsoft, Yahoo, and Amazon.
    • Who needs them!
    • It must have been too burdensome for Google to have to accomodate these more reasonable and less-regulatory members of the previous ItsOurNet coalition.
  • Now the new "slimmed down" coalition can be faster, more nimble and united around being pro-regulatory for others.
    • The remaining coalition members are a much tighter and cohesive bunch.
      • There's now no one big or bold enough to challenge the Big Dog and ringleader Google. 
      • There's also no one in the coalition who believes in a free market broadband policy.
      • And it is basically companies and groups whose common thread is they have hired up all the under-employed pro-regulatory staffers who hate the telcos and cablecos.
      • The remaining group is of one mind -- their nirvana "democracy".

I was frankly surprised that the new group chose not to be forthright and embrace its new "slimmed-down" public physique.

Google Sr Advisor Al Gore is the ringleader of "Google's Poodles"

Self-described "Internet inventor" and former Vice President Al Gore has a newly released book "The Assault on Reason" in which he comes out of the shadows and into the limelight as a leading public proponent of net neutrality.  

The Save the Internet coalition blogged/bragged about the book in its post: Al Gore: Net Neutrality is the key to a better democracy."  They lifted some Gore quotes that gave them lots of "warm fuzzies" inside:

  • “neutrality should be the central tenet that will set us on a path toward an open, democratic Internet where free speech and free markets are encouraged.â€?
    • Wait a minute. The term "net neutrality" was only coined as late as 2002 by a socialist Columbia Law Professor!
    • But Gore claims to have invented the Internet before 1992!
    • Who's right? 
    • Moreover, Mr. Gore, factually the net has never been neutral.
  • “More than one and a half million citizens contacted Congress and more than eight hundred organizations joined the SavetheInternet Coalition, organized by the upstart media reform organization Free Press, using innovative online mobilization tactics …â€?
    • Thank you Mr. Gore from coming out from the shadows and coming clean by publicly endorsing the efforts of, and tacitly acknowledging your strong ringleader role in managing "Google's poodles",  SaveTheInternet and FreePress.
    • The still unanswered question is how many tens of millions of dollars has Mr. Gore made from his boatload of Google options/warrants granted to him as "Senior Advisor" to Google?"
    • And where are the disclosures in the book that most all of Mr. Gore's multi-ten million dollar net worth is in Google shares -- constituting a huge undisclosed conflict of interest on the issue of net neutrality.    
  • “I truly believe the most important factor is the preservation of the Internet’s potential for becoming the new neutral marketplace of ideas that is so needed for the revitalization of American democracy,â€? he writes. “People are not only fighting for free speech online, but they are also working to keep the Internet a decentralized, ownerless medium of mass communication and commerce.â€?

Why the public interest groups are "Google's Poodles"

Nick Carr wrote a dead-on column in the Gaurdian: "The net is being carved up into information plantations."

His thesis is the irony that as the web adds more and more destinations on line, fewer people seem to be visiting them.

  • He cites statistics that in 2001, the top 10 websites accounted for 31% of page views and that in 2006 that same number grew to  40%.

What's my point? You know I always have a tie in.

This hyper-media concentration that is occurring on the web is much much greater than has occurred in traditional media.

Google admiting its IP kleptomania addiction? first step to recovery?

Scotland's Sunday Herald reports that : "INTERNET SEARCH engine Google is understood to have reached deals with several large UK news groups over carrying their content on Google News."

This news is on the heels of Google settling with Agence Presse and the Associated Press in separate settlements over IP theft.

  • Three data points!
  • Seems like an emerging pattern of tacit admission of guilt to rampant IP Kleptomania.   

The real question is:

  • Has Google made the first step to recovery from it's IP kleptomania by admiting it has an addiction problem?
  • Probably not.
  • Most everyone has heard that to truly recover from an addiction, like Google's pathological theft of everyone's intellectual property, one has to be able to publicly admit a problem exists and is hurting others.
  • Unfortunately, Google seems to still be in denial.
    • Where's the public mea culpa?
    • Sneaking back room settlements/bribes to make a problem go away does not inspire any trust that the stealing will stop.
  • Where's the settlement with:
    • Viacom for its YouTube thefts?
    • With the studios for aiding and abetting illegal downloading of pirated movies?
    • Publishers and authors for copying their works without compensation?
    • For trademark owners who have to pay only Google for keyword extortion so competitor's can't buy competitor's trademarks to send traffic to their site?

Come clean Google.  

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.

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. 

Dismantling Google's reasons why NN should not apply to them

I was able to ask the only question from the audience of the Educause net neutrality panel today.

  • After introducing myself and disclosing that NetCompetition.org is funded by broadband companies, I asked Rick Whit of Google the following very important questions:
    • "If non-discrimination is an important principle of the Internet, why should it not apply to all Internet access technologies in a neutral way?
    • And why shouldn't net neutrality apply to all internet access technologies that have the potential to block content like:
      • Microsoft's ~90% share of the browser market; or
      • Google's 65% share of the search market in the US and Google's 75% market share in Europe? 

Mr. Whit's first weak line of defense was that the term is really "network" neutrality implying it was not about "Internet" neutrality.

  • Oops! Seems Mr. Whit is so new to Google that he hasn't had the time to read Google's very own brief: 
    •  "Guide to Net Neutrality for Google Users

      "Net neutrality" is an issue that will shape the future of the Internet.

      What is Net Neutrality?

      Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. The Internet has operated according to this neutrality principle since its earliest days."

My takeaways from the Educause net neutrality panel

I attended the Educause conference panel today because they made a big deal about how they were going to launch a new white paper with a new compromise on net neutrality that would be "more reasonable."

  • When I arrived and asked about the availablity of the new net neutrality white paper, I was disappointed when informed it was "delayed indefinitely."
  • Seems like this white paper is in the same purgatory of indecision, and "keystone kops-ville",  that the relaunch of the online giant coalition is, the former ItsOurNet coalition which is reportedly now the "Open Net Coalition".
  • Seems like the net neutrality movement is going through a whole lot of handwringing about what to do next.
    • It kind of reminds me of when a barking dog finally catches the passing car. Now what to do?

I was also amused that Educause, this academic oriented forum, did not even attempt to present a balanced panel that represented both points of view on net neutrality.

Pages

Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths