Say It Ain’t So Joe Nocera

The New York Times indispensable business reporter, Joe Nocera, slipped in a story about net neutrality just before the long holiday weekend.  The normally dependable Nocera—he’s been completely vigilant in his reporting on the financial crisis—really lost his way in his “Struggle For What We Already Have.”

Maybe his Labor Day celebration started a little earlier or our unusually cool late summer weather in the NYC-metro area put him into a more generous state of mind.  For whatever reason, his reading of Google’s recent net neutrality proposal as completely benign is not worthy of his reporting.

He got a few things really wrong. One, there was no mention of Google-Verizon’s Advanced Services— the private Internet. Two, the language for non-discrimination in the Voozle contrivance was intentionally weakly worded, and this was not, as he implied, an issue only for the idealistically pure. Three, cable television is not really the model for the Internet, and, um, there actually is non-discrimination language in the relevant Title VI statutes, forced on the cable providers by angry consumers and content providers.

I guess Nocera got me a little upset.  Continue reading

"Sergey, I am your father"

Is this what Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg metaphorically whispered into the Google founder’s ear?  I’m still reeling from the Google-Verizon non-aggression pact and what it will mean for a  competitive and open Internet.  Some have pointed out that the proposal is merely a regurgitation  of the FCC’s six freedoms for an open Internet.

True, but up to a point.Continue reading

Meet Our New Regulators: Verizon and Google

So there wasn’t an agreement between Google and Verizon, as reported by The New York Times, on price tiers. Instead the two companies released a modest proposal and legislative framework for an open Internet.  I like the boldness of their end-run around that puny regulatory agency, the FCC, by directing their demands, oops I mean request, to Congress.

Google-Verizon has more advice for the FCC after the jump.Continue reading

Is Google Voice Net Neutral?

Not according to, er, AT&T.  “Intellectual contradiction” and “noisome trumpeter” and other mean words were lobbed at Google by AT&T in a letter to the FCC in September 2009.  You get a little dizzy reading this contrivance especially when AT&T is holding this search provider’s feet to the fire by quoting an  FCC policy statement on Internet competition: “consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service.”

Wow, so does that mean AT&T is suggesting that the FCC should be regulating Internet applications to promote competition?

This would all be another day-in-the-life of squabbling service providers—read below the he-says-she-says between AT&T and T-Mobile over competitive pricing for TDM-based backhaul — but this is Google, and Google Voice is now open to the public.Continue reading

The Real FCC Plot: Open Internet Access

After the FCC lost its net neutrality case against Comcast, I put on hold a project to review a series of YouTube videos involving Chairman Genachowski. The rough plan was to gain some insight as to how the FCC would approach net neutrality, open internet, and universal access based on Genachowski’s public statements. I wasn’t going to do this alone, instead I would enlist the resources of Crowdflower’s cloud workers to help with the analysis.

That was ages ago (last month). Since then the FCC has announced its plan to place has placed broadband transmission under Title II regulation and has regained the net neutrality high ground. And in response, one well known, respected FCC watcher, Glen Beck, has said that the President plans to regulate the Internet and control the “misinformation” through net neutrality—there was also some talk about Marxism and public utilities.

This was enough to spur me into action and get those videos scanned for certain keywords.Continue reading

Ancillary Authority, Estoppel Gotchas, and New Statutes

I had two shots of espresso and then  tackled  a few parts of the U.S. Court of Appeals decision favoring Comcast.   I am an  informed technologist with no legal training.   It does appear to this blogger that the FCC’s case was—sigh—very weak.

In navigating this legalistic obstacle course and trying to unravel the thinking of a a generation of technology challenged attorneys, you are forced to make the unlikeliest of associations. First, telecommunications means voice and cable TV, but not data.  Data is called information services, and voice can be an information service when it is VoIP.  (Hmm, not sure I want to know how the FCC viewed the phone systems’ digital TDM protocols.)

And then voice has something like cooties, and can contaminate the data part, turning it into telecommunications. Follow?Continue reading