2015 March

FCC Net Neutrality Ideology Out of Step with Internet Reality

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Net Neutrality Series, Regulatory State, Video | 3 Comments

“Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology—where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!” Apple advertisement, 1984.

There are now two Internets. The Internet envisioned by the ideology embodied in the FCC’s new net neutrality rules, and the Internet as it exists in reality. The “net neutral” Internet is “a garden of pure ideology” where content companies “are one people . . . with one cause” and network congestion is merely a figment of the imagination. The real Internet is different — congestion is commonplace and the interests of content owners are divergent.

The pests of reality’s contradictory truths threw the first hammer at the ideological Internet on Monday, when the Wall Street Journal reported that HBO, Showtime, and Sony Corp. want to stream their Web-TV content separately from the “public Internet.” They fear Internet congestion will only get worse as viewers stream more video content and they don’t want to offer consumers a frustrating experience. So they are talking with major broadband providers about having their streaming services treated as managed services that would give consumers the best experience possible. Read More

CBIT Statement on FCC Net Neutrality Release

Posted by | Broadband Internet, Regulatory State | No Comments

Washington, D.C., March 12, 2015 – Fred Campbell, Director of the Center for Boundless Innovation in Technology, issued the following statement regarding the public release of the Federal Communications Commission net neutrality order:

“Just how long is the FCC’s net discrimination order? Four-hundred pages, including Commissioner statements. It turns out that writing discriminatory Internet regulations takes more than a light touch.

And that’s just the beginning. More ink will be spilled during the inevitable court, agency, and commercial battles over the meaning of those 400 pages while Internet investment and innovation suffer the consequences of the ensuing uncertainty.The free and open Internet that once rejected kings, presidents, and voting in favor of rough consensus and writing code has finally been subjugated by the most inexorable master of 20th Century governance — bureaucracy. Rough consensus is now whatever the FCC says, give or take a few hundred pages.

The FCC’s order gives Congress another 400 reasons to reign in the agency’s bureaucratic power grab and adopt a few simple rules for governing 21st Century networks.”

Netflix Bluffed on Net Neutrality and Everyone Lost

Posted by | Broadband Internet | 4 Comments

Last September, the National Journal named Netflix the new face of net neutrality. According to one FCC official, Netflix advocates were “screaming their heads off” last last year demanding that the agency reclassify broadband Internet access as a public utility service under “Title II” of the Communications Act.

Now that the agency has actually imposed Title II on broadband, however, Netflix isn’t happy with the FCC. It turns out that Netflix was merely using the FCC’s regulatory process to pressure ISPs into giving Netflix special interconnection deals.

We should all be outraged to discover that a major shift in our nation’s communications policy was driven by duplicitous corporate maneuvering. But it would be a mistake to blame Netflix for the folly of our policymakers. Corporate posturing and specious arguments designed to gain a corporate advantage are nothing new in Washington, and independent, expert agencies are ordinarily expected to see through it. The fault lies with a White House that was too eager to embrace Netflix’s sound bites for political reasons, and an FCC that was too easily bent to the White House’s will. Read More