Go Lean Commentary
The world has changed! Much of the world’s media content is now being delivered via internet protocols (IP). In 1999, the telephone company Qwest Communications* ran a television commercial depicting that soon every movie ever made would be available on the internet for easy retrieval – see VIDEO below in Appendix A. The world is not at this point … just yet. But it will be for our children.
This commentary is a melding of ICT (Internet & Communications Technology), media, television, economics, competition and future forecasting – this is a big deal for the US … and the Caribbean. With the internet as the delivery vehicle, there must now be oversight of the information super-highway. Too much – as in the future for our children – is at stake.
One aspect of that oversight is the principle of net neutrality, allowing all internet traffic to be managed uniformly; (see Appendix B below). This has been the standard since the emergence of the commercial internet. The possibility of abolishing net neutrality has been of great debate as of late, with the American authorities – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – ruling on the continuation of the net neutrality policy. The ruling demonstrates that the two decades of laissez-faire policy by the FCC is now being supplanted with a more broad authority over the Internet.
Title: US Internet providers hit with tougher rules, plan challenges
By: Alina Selyukh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators on Thursday approved the strictest-ever rules on Internet providers, who in turn pledged to battle the new restrictions in the courts and Congress, saying they would discourage investment and stifle innovation.
The rules, which will go into effect in coming weeks, are expected to face legal challenges from multiple parties such as wireless, cable and other broadband companies and trade groups that represent them.
Experts expect the industry to seek a stay of the rules, first at the FCC and then in courts, though the chances for success of such an appeal is unclear.
The new regulations come after a year of jostling between cable and telecom companies and net neutrality advocates, which included web startups. It culminated in the FCC receiving a record 4 million comments and a call from President Barack Obama to adopt the strongest rules possible.
The agency’s new policy, approved as expected along party lines, reclassifies broadband, both fixed and mobile, as a more heavily regulated “telecommunications service,” more like a traditional telephone service.
In the past, broadband was classified as a more lightly regulated “information service,” which factored into a federal court’s rejection of the FCC’s previous set of rules in January 2014.
The shift gives the FCC more authority to police various types of deals between providers such as Comcast Corp and content companies such as Netflix Inc to ensure they are just and reasonable for consumers and competitors.
Internet providers will be banned from blocking or slowing any traffic and from striking deals with content companies, known as paid prioritization, for smoother delivery of traffic to consumers.
The FCC also expands its oversight power to so-called interconnection deals, in which content companies pay broadband providers to connect with their networks. The FCC would review complaints on a case-by-case basis.
Republican FCC commissioners, who see the new rules as a government power grab, delivered lengthy dissents. Their colleagues in Congress hope to counter the new rules with legislation. All five FCC members are expected to testify in the Senate on March 18.
Large Internet providers say they support the no-blocking and no-discrimination principles of the new rules but that the FCC’s regulatory path will discourage investment by lowering returns and limiting experimentation with services and business plans.
Some smaller telecoms, such as Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc , have argued new rules will have little impact on investments. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on Thursday agreed.
“The (Internet service providers’) revenue stream will be the same tomorrow as it was yesterday,” he said at the FCC meeting.
“I have spent a lot of time in public policy, and today is the proudest day of my public policy life,” he later told reporters.
Legal experts and industry lobbyists say corporate lawyers are waiting for the FCC to publish the specifics of the rules, a document more than 300 pages long. Lawsuits can be filed after the rules are recorded in the Federal Register, likely days later.
Wheeler sought to address in the new rules some Internet providers’ concerns, proposing no price regulations, tariffs or requirements to give competitors access to networks.
Cable and telecom shares saw muted reactions on Thursday. They had jumped earlier this month when Wheeler confirmed long-bubbling expectations that he would seek a tougher regulatory regime, with some adjustments to the network needs.
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Additional reporting by Malathi Nayak and Andrew Chung; Editing by Christian Plumb and Ken Wills)
Source: Reuters News Wire Service – Retrieved February 26, 2015 from:
- Broadband Investors Should Wake Up to Net Neutrality – The Wall Street Journal
- In landmark decision, US plan bans two-speed Internet – AFP
- Net Fix: 8 burning questions about Net neutrality – CNET
VIDEO: Net Neutrality: How Open-Internet Activists Won Big – http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/internet/net-neutrality-how-open-internet-activists-won-big-n313406
This article aligns with the book Go Lean…Caribbean. We learn a lot of lessons from this discussion. It reflects the regional oversight that the book envisions for the Caribbean region. Will there be the need for net neutrality discussions and reform for the Caribbean? Will competition policy be set to cater to private or corporate special interests? The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to navigate issues like these for the Greater Good. This CU roadmap is designed to elevate Caribbean society by these three prime directives:
- Optimization of the economic engines; growing the regional economy to $800 Billion and creating 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
- Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines, utilizing a separation-of-powers with member-states.
All 3 of these directives of the Go Lean roadmap have deliveries on the internet, as this covers telephone, cable, broadband, Wifi and satellite. Offering some of these services to a regional market would garner extended competition, better pricing and more offerings. This is why the book posits that some issues are too big for any one member-state to manage alone – especially with such close proximities – there are times when there must be a cross-border, multilateral coordination. Such an important attribute affects our youth, more so than any other stakeholders. This vision is defined early in the book (Pages 11 – 14) with these statements in the opening Declaration of Interdependence:
viii. Whereas the population size is too small to foster good negotiations for products and commodities from international vendors, the Federation must allow the unification of the region as one purchasing agent, thereby garnering better terms and discounts.
xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.
xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law…
xxvi. Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.
xxvii. Whereas intellectual property can easily traverse national borders, the rights and privileges of intellectual property must be respected at home and abroad. The Federation must install protections to ensure that no abuse of these rights go with impunity, and to ensure that foreign authorities enforce the rights of the intellectual property registered in our region.
xxx. Whereas the effects of globalization can be felt in every aspect of Caribbean life, from the acquisition of food and clothing, to the ubiquity of ICT, the region cannot only consume, it is imperative that our lands also produce and add to the international community, even if doing so requires some sacrifice and subsidy.
The Go Lean roadmap calls for the market organizations and community investments to garner economic benefits from the single market that could not be derived otherwise. The roadmap posits that having a larger market allows more leverage and more impetus to facilitate the roadmap’s quest to make the Caribbean region a better place to live, work and play.
One tenant of a free market economy is the emergence of a “better mousetrap”. This idiom asserts that the world would beat a path to the door of that mousetrap. But if the cable companies get their way, they would be able to enter the “room of business opportunity”, then “lock the door behind them” to ensure no one else could enter. This paradox would be unproductive for future growth with the internet and the attendant functions of electronic commerce.
The subject of net neutrality in the US is just another example of American crony-capitalism where public policy is often hijacked to benefit private parties. Consider this chart of well-documented cases of bad corporate behavior:
|Big Media||Cable companies conspire to keep rates high; textbook publishers practice price gouging; Hollywood insists on big tax breaks/ subsidies for on-location shooting.|
|Big Oil||While lobbying for continuous tax subsidies, the industry have colluded to artificially keep prices high and garner rocket profits ($38+ Billion every quarter).|
|Big Box||Retail chains impoverish small merchants on Main Street with Antitrust-like tactics, thusly impacting community jobs.|
|Big Pharma||Chemo-therapy cost $20,000+/month; and the War against Cancer is imperiled due to industry profit insistence.|
|Big Tobacco||Cigarettes are not natural tobacco but rather latent with chemicals to spruce addiction.|
|Big Agra||Agribusiness concerns bully family farmers and crowd out the market; plus fight common sense food labeling efforts.|
|Big Data||Brokers for internet and demographic data clearly have no regards to privacy concerns.|
|Big Banks||Wall Street’s damage to housing and student loans are incontrovertible.|
|Big Weather||Overblown hype of “Weather Forecasts” to dictate commercial transactions.|
|Big Real Estate||Preserving MLS for Real Estate brokers only, forcing 6% commission rates, when the buyers and sellers can meet without them.|
The Go Lean roadmap places a lot of focus on ICT, electronic commerce, and the landscape to incentivize youth participation in a Caribbean future.
Now is the time for all of the Caribbean to lean-in to the following community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies detailed in the book Go Lean…Caribbean to deliver the solutions to elevate the Caribbean region through ICT and electronic commerce: as follows:
|Community Ethos – People Respond to Incentives||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Governing Principle – Lean Operations||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Governing Principle – Return on Investments||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Foster Genius||Page 27|
|Community Ethos – Promote Intellectual Property||Page 29|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Bridge the Digital Divide||Page 31|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing||Page 35|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good||Page 37|
|Strategy – Confederate into a Single Market||Page 45|
|Strategy – Mission – Embrace the Advances of Technology||Page 46|
|Strategy – Agents of Change – Technology||Page 57|
|Strategy – Agents of Change – Climate Change||Page 57|
|Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy||Page 64|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Communications and Media Authority||Page 79|
|Implementation – Foreign Policies at Start-up||Page 102|
|Implementation – Ways to Deliver||Page 109|
|Implementation – Ways to Benefit from Globalization – Technology Equalization||Page 119|
|Planning – Big Ideas – 10 Big Ideas – #8 Cyber Caribbean||Page 127|
|Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy||Page 151|
|Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs||Page 152|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Education – Promotion of e-Learning||Page 159|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance – e-Government & e-Delivery Deployments||Page 168|
|Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract – Technology/Efficiencies||Page 170|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Communications – Regulate Media Industrial Complex||Page 186|
|Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology – Intellectual Property Protections||Page 197|
|Advocacy – Ways to Foster e-Commerce – e-Payments & Wifi Facilitations||Page 198|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Main Street – Wifi & Mobile Apps: Time and Place||Page 201|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Monopolies – Utilities to Oversee ICT/New Media||Page 202|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Youth – Foster Work Ethic for ICT||Page 227|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Urban Living – Broadband for Work-at-Home||Page 234|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Rural Living – e-Learning to Mitigate Relocations||Page 235|
|Appendix – Copyright Infringement – Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights||Page 351|
The book Go Lean…Caribbean, and aligning blog-commentaries assert that the region can be a better homeland, improving on economic, security and governing engines. The region can be elevated by embracing ICT and forging more industrial development in cyber-space. This is essential to project to the Caribbean youth that they can prosper where they are planted here at home, because of the regional, technocratic efforts/successes.
Previous blogs/commentaries also exclaimed societal benefits from pursuits in regional coordination; consider this sample of previous blogs:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4308||Regional Coordination for Emergency Telephone Number, like “911”|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3974||Model for Regional Internet Excellence: Google|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3881||Regional Coordination for Cyber Security|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3090||Model of Regionalism: Europe – All Grown Up|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2887||Caribbean Region Must Work Together to Address Rum Subsidies|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2171||Regional Sports Role Model for Broadcast Networks|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=888||e-Government: Taking the Town Square Digital to Reinvent Government|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=308||CARCIP – Regional Effort Foster Technology Innovations|
The Go Lean book posits that the internet can level the playing field (Page 119), allowing small institutions to compete with larger ones; and small states to compete with larger ones. The assertion is that ICT must be regulated – as a utility- at the regional level for the Caribbean Greater Good, as there are too many instances with overlapping radio spectrum. Instead of managing this process with bilateral treaties – the status quo – the Go Lean approach is a confederation treaty with all 30 member-states; the CU would regulate internet broadband providers as public utilities in a separation-of-power structure with the federal agency versus member-states.
The region needs the delivery of this Go Lean roadmap. More innovation will emerge with the internet; and we need some of that innovation locally in the Caribbean. Without the equalizing effects of technology/ICT, we will be rendered even more inconsequential for the future. Then our youth will not be inspired to invest in their homeland. This is sad for the youth and even more sad for the homeland.
The quest of Go Lean/CU is to do the heavy-lifting to make the Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play. This is conceivable, believable and achievable!
A. VIDEO: Qwest TV Commercial 1999 – http://youtu.be/xAxtxPAUcwQ
Uploaded on January 30, 2012 – Remember how absurd this seemed in 1999 before the internet really took off? When the weary traveler asked the front desk what entertainment was available, the response was: “all rooms have every movie ever made in any language anytime, day or night.”
* Qwest Communications International, Inc. is now superseded as a corporate entity; it was acquired in 2010 and continues as CenturyLink, Inc.
B. Net Neutrality
This is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication. The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003 as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier.
There has been extensive debate about whether net neutrality should be required by law, particularly in the United States. Debate over the issue of net neutrality predates the coining of the term. Advocates of net neutrality such as Lawrence Lessig have raised concerns about the ability of broadband providers to use their last mile infrastructure to block Internet applications and content (e.g. websites, services, and protocols), and even to block out competitors. On the contrary, opponents claim net neutrality regulations would deter investment into improving broadband infrastructure and try to fix something that isn’t broken.
Net neutrality proponents claim that telecom companies seek to impose a tiered service model in order to control the pipeline and thereby remove competition, create artificial scarcity, and oblige subscribers to buy their otherwise noncompetitive services. Many believe net neutrality to be primarily important for the preservation of current internet freedoms; a lack of net neutrality would allow Internet service providers, such as Comcast, to extract payment from content providers like Netflix, and these charges would ultimately be passed on to consumers. Prominent supporters of net neutrality include Vinton Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet Protocol, Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web, law professor Tim Wu, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Tumblr founder David Karp, and Last Week Tonight host John Oliver. (See John Oliver VIDEO in Appendix C). Organizations and companies that support net neutrality include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Greenpeace, Tumblr, Kickstarter, Vimeo, Wikia, and others.
Net neutrality opponents from the likes of IBM, Intel, Juniper, Qualcomm, and Cisco claim that net neutrality would deter investment into broadband infrastructure, saying that “shifting to Title II means that instead of billions of broadband investment driving other sectors of the economy forward, any reduction in this spending will stifle growth across the entire economy. Title II is going to lead to a slowdown, if not a hold, in broadband build out, because if you don’t know that you can recover on your investment, you won’t make it.”  Prominent opponents also include Netscape founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, co-inventor of the Internet Protocol Bob Kahn, PayPal founder and Facebook investor Peter Thiel, Internet engineer and former Chief Technologist for the FCC David Farber, Broadcast.com founder Mark Cuban, and Nobel Prize economist Gary Becker.
Examples of net neutrality violations include when the Internet service provider Comcast intentionally slowed peer-to-peer communications.
C. VIDEO – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Net Neutrality (HBO) – http://youtu.be/fpbOEoRrHyU
Published on June 1, 2014 – Cable companies are trying to create an unequal playing field for internet speeds, but they’re doing it so boringly that most news outlets aren’t covering it.
John Oliver explains the controversy and lets viewers know how they can voice their displeasure to the FCC. (Content warning: Some profanity!)