Net Neutrality

More useful metrics

Terabyte-capacity disk drives will soon be available. A terabyte is 1,000 (actually, 1,024) gigabytes; the PC on your desk probably has 100 or so gigabytes in it; the biggest iPod nano has eight gigabytes. …. The last time the disk drive crossed such a threshold was in 1991, when the first gigabyte drives were introduced. Back then, all that people used computers for was actual work — spreadsheets and such — and it was hard to imagine why anyone would need so much storage. News accounts noted that a gigabyte would store 1,000 copies of “Gone With the Wind,” without ever explaining why you would want to. Those first gigabyte drives were priced in the neighborhood of $2,000, which on Read More ›

Net Neutrality and the realtors

The National Association of Realtors policy enabling traditional brokers to block their web-based competitors’ customers from having full online access to all Multiple Listing Services (MLS) listings, and the antitrust lawsuit that was filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court in Chicago by the Department of Justice, highlight a couple things about proposals to codify a set of network neutrality principles and give the FCC new enforcement authority. One is that the universe of players having an incentive and an ability to control what customers can see and do on the Internet is much larger than communications network providers. No network provider is involved here, and none of the net neutrality proposals would have been of any use. Another is Read More ›

The problem with ‘Net Neutrality’

Congressman Rick Boucher (D-VA) wants Congress to codify a set of Network Neutrality principles and “bestow clear authority” on the FCC to enforce them. Net Neutrality is code for re-regulation. It is a recipe for overturning the Supreme Court’s decision in NCTA v. Brand X Internet Services and for allowing the FCC to apply heavy-handed regulation to every broadband Internet access competitor. Though it may be hard to envision such an outcome under current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, commissioners and chairmen come and go.
Read More ›