George Ou Sets the Record Straight on Bandwidth Usage Caps

by on August 29, 2009 · 7 comments

Make sure to read George Ou’s two recent articles over at the Digital Society blog setting the record straight about broadband usage caps: “Putting American Bandwidth Caps into Context” and “We Need to be Reasonable about Broadband Usage Caps.”   George is one sharp cookie. I particularly like the way he takes apart Free Press for their hypocrisy on this issue, something I have commented on here before after George brought it to my attention. See:

… and here’s some older material on the issue…

  • brettglass

    Free Press is, indeed, hypocritical on this issue.

    The group appears to have two motivations. Firstly, it appears to receive large amounts of funding — directly or indirectly — from Google, and thus favors regulations which would tip various playing fields in favor of Google. Secondly, it appears to favor the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine. However, since it believes that “new media” such as the Internet will supplant old media such as newspapers and television, it is focusing upon reinstituting the doctrine in this new medium — and upon doing so, by stealth, under a new name: “network neutrality.”

    Of all the groups which are lobbying for “network neutrality,” Free Press' definition of this ill defined term is the most radical. It is against throttling of bandwidth, shaping of Internet traffic, AND metered billing of bandwidth; in short, it is against any possible business model that might allow Internet service providers to align their charges with their costs and thus be financially sustainable. Why? Because if ISPs cannot remain financially viable, it will naturally lead to nationalization of the Net (something which Obama's chief technology advisor, Susan Crawford, has advocated). If this occurs, lobbying groups like Free Press can engage in “regulatory capture” and impose their own agendas upon the Net. They can also impose the agendas of their corporate supporters, which include Google, in exchange for continued contributions.

  • brettglass

    Free Press is, indeed, hypocritical on this issue. It is that way intentionally, because it serves the group's goals.

    The group appears to have two motivations. Firstly, it appears to receive large amounts of funding — directly or indirectly — from Google, Amazon, and other Internet content providers, and thus favors regulations which would tip various playing fields in favor of those contributors. Secondly, it appears to favor the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine. However, since it believes that “new media” such as the Internet will supplant old media such as newspapers and television, it is focusing upon reinstituting the doctrine in this new medium — and upon doing so, by stealth, under a new name: “network neutrality.”

    Of all the groups which are lobbying for “network neutrality,” Free Press' definition of this ill defined term is the most radical. It is against throttling of bandwidth, shaping of Internet traffic, AND metered billing of bandwidth; in short, it is against any possible business model that might allow Internet service providers to align their charges with their costs and thus be financially sustainable. Why? Because if ISPs cannot remain financially viable, it will naturally lead to nationalization of the Net (something which Obama's chief technology advisor, Susan Crawford, has advocated). If this occurs, lobbying groups like Free Press can engage in “regulatory capture” and impose their own agendas upon the Net. They can also impose the agendas of their corporate supporters, which include Google, in exchange for continued contributions.

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