Radical supporters of net neutrality have chosen to try and make the mid-term election a national referendum on net neutrality.

To make it easier to track the electoral performance of candidates who have take the PCCC/FreePress net neutrality pledge, here is a Net Neutrality Election Tally Sheet, listing the 95 candidates so that one can print out and record the outcomes on election night.

To put this preview in perspective, net neutrality supporters have been able to get:

  • Only 10 candidates in the 37 U.S. Senate races to take their NN pledge — all Democrats; and
  • Only 85 candidates in 435 U.S. congressional races to take their NN pledge — again all Democrats.

To get a handle how the PCCC/FreePress net neutrality supporters are projected to fare on election night Tuesday, the Tally Sheet includes the election predictions of the non-partisan independent Cook Political Report:

  • Of the 10 Senate NN pledgees:
    • 0 are safe/likely/leaning Democrat:
    • 7 are safe/likely/leaning Republican;
    • 3 are tossups.
  • Of the 85 House NN pledgees:
    • 0 are safe/likely/leaning Democrat:
    • 83 are safe/likely/leaning Republican;
    • 2 are tossups.

In sum, if the non-partisan Cook Report predictions are close to accurate:

  • Of the 950+ candidates running for Senate or House seats, only 95 or 10% have taken the PCCC/FreePress net neutrality pledge.
  • Of the 95 who have taken the NN pledge, the non-partisan Cook Report projects that 90-95 will likely lose their elections.

Simply, radical supporters of net neutrality once again have vastly over-represented the amount of political and popular support there is for mandated net neutrality, open Internet regulations, or Title II regulation of the Internet.

 

The FCC appears to have a glaring double standard when it comes to applying its “data-driven” policy analysis mantra of the last two years.

On one hand, the FCC seems interested in using its unique “data-driven” form of analysis to assert that the U.S. broadband market, (which based on market data is the most competitive facilities-based broadband market in the world), is not competitive and a market failure, so that the FCC can justify mandating new open Internet/net neutrality regulations and deeming the Internet to be a regulated telephone network.

  • Moreover, the FCC also seems interested in using its unique “data-driven” analysis to assert that the U.S. wireless market, (which is among the most competitive in the world) is not competitive enough to promote enough innovation, so that the FCC can justify new types of FCC wireless innovation regulation.

On the other hand, in retransmission disputes between a cable broadband provider and content provider, the FCC appears to not want to do any “data-driven” analysis at all, because that might show obvious regulatory failure and not the market failure the FCC seems interested in finding most wherever they look in the communications sector.

  • Any data-driven analysis of the retransmission market would show that the market is not the cable monopoly market of twenty years ago, (that the FCC rules still presume), but the most competitive facilities-based multi-channel market in the world, where consumers have four facilities-based choices: cable, DirecTV, Dish, or their telco provider for video.

In sum, in broadband the FCC’s “data-driven” analysis always seems to want to see a monopoly where there is competition, and in retransmission disputes they always want to imagine competition where there are way-out-of-date FCC monopoly assumptions.

  • There appears to be an FCC double standard here that always results in favoring more FCC regulation or control of market outcomes.

If the FCC is going to tout that its policy making is data-driven — shouldn’t it be?

 

The FreePress-led movement calling for net neutrality is floundering badly, like a fish out of water.

  • If FreePress’ net neutrality/Title II agenda was as politically popular and powerful a political movement as FreePress has long represented it to be, we would be seeing evidence of that in this most political of seasons, a week before the mid-term elections.

The reason we now see near zero political support for FreePress’ net neutrality/Title II radical agenda, is that FreePress’ supposed “popular support” never existed at all; it was just a clever FreePress PR facade of “support” propped up by friends in the media and the blogosphere.

To understand the hubris of FreePress’ chicanery, they never had material political support from even their most likely supporters.

  • A little known fact and one that FreePress would like to remain little known, was that even their fellow radicals at Moveon.org did not think net neutrality was an important political priority.
  • In a poll of Moveon.org members at the beginning of 2009, net neutrality did not even make it into the top ten goals for 2009, and the tenth goal on the list only had the support of 5.7% of Moveon.org members who responded.
  • If net neutrality is not even a high priority for FreePress’ closest radical allies, it is obvious that it would be an even lower priority, or not even a priority at all, for the rest of the population.

Seldom have so few fooled so many that their issue had popular support.

 

Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs is wise to publicly debunk Google’s claim that: Google defines “openness” (aka — good), and Apple defines “closedness” (aka — evil).

  • As Google CEO Eric Schmidt said: Google’s concept of “openness” is “much easier to understand by opposition” so he defined Google’s approach as the “inverse” of Apple’s.

Google is right that they are the inverse/opposite of Apple, but not in the way that Google claims — being open/neutral vs. being closed.

  • If one thing is settled, it is that Apple is the epitome of American individualism.
    • More than probably any business leader in modern history, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs individual leadership has defined Apple’s design, focus, innovation, and business model, and made Apple one of the most successful and influential companies on the planet.
  • Another thing that is settled is that Google is the epitome of modern-day collectivism.
    • Google’s well-known collectivist mission is to “organize all the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
    • Google’s well-known collectivist approach makes most all of its products and services, including its Android mobile operating system, free to the masses, while at the same time opposing any concept of individual customer service.
    • Google CEO Eric Schmidt also has clearly declared Google’s collectivist purpose: “The goal of the company is not to monetize anything, the goal is to change the world.

In sum, Apple represents the essence of American individualism, freedom and excellence, and in keeping with that ideology Apple has strong respect for individuals’ privacy, property and safety.

  • In stark contrast, Google represents the essence of modern-day collectivism, and in keeping with that ideology, “openness” supplants individuals’ privacy, “sharing” supplants individuals’ property ownership, and “innovation without permission” supplants individuals’ security and safety.

Google should be very careful about emphasizing how different Google is from companies like Apple which at core respect an individual’s privacy, property and safety.…people will begin to catch on that Google’s open collectivism represents the opposite, the inverse of American individualism…

 

The current harm to consumers from the latest unnecessary incident of retransmission brinksmanship is the clear result of FCC regulatory failure.

Fellow ardent free marketer, Randy May of the Free State Foundation, has a dead on piece that I highly recommend that exposes that the current broadcast retransmission negotiating process — as no “market” that a free marketer would recognize.

  • A set of FCC rules that still fantastically assumes a monopoly video market exists, when one clearly has not existed for well over a decade, creates a profound regulatory failure that distorts the market and harms consumers.

The reason some consumers currently are blacked out from their favorite sports programming is because the FCC has known for a long time, that it has a broken, out-of-date, and counter-productive retransmission negotiation process, and that it has not done anything to bring the process into the 21st century or to correct the dysfunctional imbalance that causes predictable serial disputes that harm consumers.

Simply, if the FCC spent less time on trying to fix potential unproven problems, like net neutrality and Title II regulation for which the FCC does not have legal authority, and more time on fixing actual problems harming consumers on their watch that they do have the authority to fix — American consumers would be much better off.

*****

For more on how easily the FCC could tweak this process and better serve consumers, see: