Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Friday, May 26, 2006

FUDrakers on Net Neutrality

I propose a new, honorary title for the purveyors of net neutrality FUD on behalf of the telco/cable companies -- FUDrakers. It refers to those who throw FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) into the net neutrality debate.

Today's top FUDraker ... Tom Tauke, Verizon's Executive Vice President of
Public Affairs, Policy and Communications.

Here's a choice sample of his FUD delivered while testifying yesterday before the Senate's Commerce Committee hearings on telecom legislation:
"Radical net neutrality proposals would chill the investment climate for broadband networks, deter and delay broadband rollout, and lock in today's Internet architecture and levels of performance ... Now is not the time to adopt new regulations that throw sand in the gears of the fast-growing and changing broadband marketplace."
Is there a single person not in the pay of a telco/cable company who believes that the Internet's development over the past 20 years--during which net neutrality has been the governing rule since Day 1--has been anything but rapid and endlessly innovative?

For that matter, other countries like Iceland, South Korea, Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland have achieved much higher broadband penetration than the US. They are the world's Top 5 in broadband penetration according to OECD data. The U.S. is #12.

Think that's bad? In 2000, the US ranked #3. In 2001, it dropped to #4. At the end of 2005 it was #12, all according to the OECD.

Less penetration, but we're faster right? Wrong. Top cable modems in the US deliver five megabits per second. Broadband connections in countries like Japan and South Korea are often 20 times faster.

Net neutrality has not stopped these countries from bringing faster broadband to their citizens, at speeds much higher than commercially available in the US.

Do Korean companies simply have more money to invest in broadband than Verizon and AT&T? Or is there something else going on here?

Talk to me FUDrakers. I've got my digital FUDflap in place.


Tom said...

I took Mr. Tauke's comments as a strong case for turning the internet over to the government and ending all commercial use of the net.

Look at what else he said in the press release: "the widespread availability of such innovations as home health care monitoring and diagnosis, online education, telecommuting, and communications services for the disabled."

That's pretty scary. It seems to me like Mr. Tauke thinks Verizon should hand their portion over to the government for the sake of the public good.

Should we really be endangering people so that I can get Verizon HDTV? I think it's very altrusit of Mr. Tauke to put the public safety first.

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