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Tactics (was: Re: Re: Upcoming conference on "Broadband Census for America")
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 9 Aug 2008 17:30:48 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: Lauren Weinstein <lauren () vortex com>
Date: August 9, 2008 12:39:01 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Cc: lauren () vortex com
Subject: Tactics (was: Re: [IP] Re: Upcoming conference on "Broadband Census for America")


Dave,

Perhaps in the future you should warn us when you forward a message
from "Brett Glass #2" as opposed to "Brett Glass #1".  BG#2, as
below, now pushes for laws to ban certain antitcompetitive behaviors
by large carriers that he believes (and I would agree) tend to
negatively and unfairly impact his business.  But BG #1 -- the Brett
Glass that we usually see who often refers to proponents of network
neutrality with the term "network nutrality," argues against any
laws or regulations that would protect consumers from unfair or
anticompetitive tactics by those same ISPs.

Brett argues that such laws or regulations would be an unfair
intrusion on his rights as a private business owner to operate in
*whatever* manner he sees fit while providing commercial services
and "controlling his network."  He asserts this even when it is
suggested that small and limited operations such as his might well
be exempted from various of the proposed regulations.  "Who are you
to tell us how to operate our businesses?" is his favorite refrain.
Well, at least one of the more polite versions.  He also constantly
insists that there's *plenty* of ISP competition in the U.S.,
pointing out the large number of (often very small) wireless ISPs,
despite the fact that practical limitations and costs make them an
untenable choice for most consumers.

Seriously, the problem isn't just Brett -- he truly is between a rock
and a hard place with his small WISP being squeezed by the unfair
tactics of the big boys.  But highly "compartmented" arguments such
as his are a hallmark of many non-neutrality advocates, who are all
in favor of laws that help their bottom lines, but dismiss and
belittle attempts to provide operational fairness and practical
competition to the ISP marketplace that the vast majority of
Internet users must deal with every day.

--Lauren--
Lauren Weinstein
lauren () vortex com or lauren () pfir org
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
http://www.pfir.org/lauren
Co-Founder, PFIR
  - People For Internet Responsibility - http://www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, NNSquad
  - Network Neutrality Squad - http://www.nnsquad.org
Founder, PRIVACY Forum - http://www.vortex.com
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com

- - -


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Begin forwarded message:

From: Brett Glass <brett () lariat net>
Date: August 8, 2008 11:17:06 PM EDT
To: "Drew Clark (Broadband Census)" <drew () broadbandcensus com>, dave () farber net
Subject: Re: [IP] Re: Upcoming conference on "Broadband Census for
America"

At 11:25 AM 8/8/2008, Drew Clark (Broadband Census) wrote:

With respect to the issue data confidentiality, it's important to
separate out several issues here:

(1) The names of carriers and the locations in which they offer
services, by ZIP code.

(2) The number of subscribers that carriers have in a particular ZIP
code.

The Form 477 of the Federal Communications Commission requires that
carriers submit both types of information to the FCC.

I agree that category (2) may well be confidential information. I do
not believe that category (1) can be considered confidential.

As a wireless ISP, I believe that the exact extent of my coverage is,
and should
be, proprietary information. Competitors -- especially large ones --
are capable
of targeting consumers literally house by house, and certainly block
by block.

The web site that I run, http://BroadbandCensus.com, is an attempt
to combine information about broadband from various sources. In
addition to "crowdsourcing" data from internet users, we are
combining public information from the FCC's Form 477,

The FCC should not provide disaggregated information from Form 477, as
this would
allow the sort of anticompetitive practices I've mentioned. If you are
in favor
of widespread broadband deployment, competition, and choice, you
should not attempt
to give large competitors tools with which to attack us.

It is important to note that Form 477 data released by the FCC does
_not_ include the names of the carriers.

No, but this can be inferred easily.

Who would benefit more from public disclosure about the locations,
technology types, promised speeds and prices: small carriers or big
carriers? I don't know.

Brett clearly feels that small carriers would suffer. I know of
others who disagree with him.

I would wager that they are large carriers.

With regard to the conference on September 26, 2008, that is being
sponsored by BroadbandCensus.com, Carnegie Mellon University, the
University of Texas at Austin's Robert S. Strauss Center, and the
Virginia Tech eCorridors Program, we plan to make the list of our
panel speakers available within the coming weeks. Although space on
the conference agenda is tight, the program committee is open to
including others.

The current agenda contains no one who is actually in the business of
providing
Internet service. This is a terrific deficiency. If you do not involve
ISPs,
discussion is pointless because there is no one there who is actually
rolling out
broadband. I would encourage you to add multiple ISPs -- not just one
and not
just large ones -- to your agenda.

The goal of the conference, as stated on http://broadbandcensus.com/blog/?p=331
, is to "invite government officials, academic researchers and other
key stakeholders to a half-day conference on collecting and sharing
public data about high-speed internet access."

Are ISPs not "key stakeholders?"

With regard to issue of the Freedom of Information Act that Brett
raises:

It is correct that an organization for which I previously worked --
the Center for Public Integrity -- filed a lawsuit seeking the
disclosure of the Form 477 database. As the suit proceeding, the
Center dropped its request for data in category (2), and instead
sought the data in category (1).

The revelation of such data has no bearing on public integrity. Those
bringing the
lawsuit should also contemplate what would happen if such data was
publicly
available. I, for one, would expect to find myself in the crosshairs
of marketing
campaigns by Qwest, Bresnan Communications, third party DSL providers,
and
companies attempting national wireless rollouts (e.g. Clearwire).

Perhaps if you pushed as hard to outlaw anticompetitive tactics as you
are to
obtain data which could (at the moment aid them), there would come a
time when
we did not have to play our cards so close to our vest.

--Brett Glass




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<html><body style=3D"word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webk= it-line-break: after-white-space; "><br><div><br><div>Begin forwarded messa= ge:</div><br class=3D"Apple-interchange-newline"><div><div style=3D"margin-= top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><font = face=3D"Helvetica" size=3D"3" color=3D"#000000" style=3D"font: 12.0px Helve= tica; color: #000000"><b>From: </b></font><font face=3D"Helvetica" size=3D"=
3" style=3D"font: 12.0px Helvetica">Brett Glass &lt;<a href=3D"mailto:brett=
@lariat.net">brett () lariat net</a>></font></div><div style=3D"margin- top: 0p= x; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; "><font face=3D= "Helvetica" size=3D"3" color=3D"#000000" style=3D"font: 12.0px Helvetica; c= olor: #000000"><b>Date: </b></font><font face=3D"Helvetica" size=3D"3" styl= e=3D"font: 12.0px Helvetica">August 8, 2008 11:17:06 PM EDT</font></ div><di= v style=3D"margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-l= eft: 0px; "><font face=3D"Helvetica" size=3D"3" color=3D"#000000" style=3D"= font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #000000"><b>To: </b></font><font face=3D"Hel= vetica" size=3D"3" style=3D"font: 12.0px Helvetica">"Drew Clark (Broadband = Census)" &lt;<a href=3D"mailto:drew () broadbandcensus com">drew () broadbandcens= us.com</a>>, <a href=3D"mailto:dave () farber net">dave () farber net</a></ font><= /div><div style=3D"margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin- bottom: 0px; = margin-left: 0px; "><font face=3D"Helvetica" size=3D"3" color=3D"#000000" s= tyle=3D"font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #000000"><b>Subject: </b></ font><fon= t face=3D"Helvetica" size=3D"3" style=3D"font: 12.0px Helvetica"><b>Re: [IP= ] Re: Upcoming conference on "Broadband Census for America"</b></ font></div=
<div style=3D"margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; marg=
in-left: 0px; min-height: 14px; "><br></div> </div><div> At 11:25 AM 8/8/20= 08, Drew Clark (Broadband Census) wrote:<br> &nbsp;<br> <blockquote type=3D= "cite" class=3D"cite" cite=3D"">With respect to the issue data confidential= ity, it's important to separate out several issues here:<br><br> (1) The na= mes of carriers and the locations in which they offer services, by ZIP code= .<br><br> (2) The number of subscribers that carriers have in a particular = ZIP code.<br><br> The Form 477 of the Federal Communications Commission req= uires that carriers submit both types of information to the FCC.<br><br> I = agree that category (2) may well be confidential information. I do not beli= eve that category (1) can be considered confidential.</ blockquote><br> As a= wireless ISP, I believe that the exact extent of my coverage is, and shoul= d<br> be, proprietary information. Competitors -- especially large ones -- = are capable<br> of targeting consumers literally house by house, and certai= nly block by block.<br><br> <blockquote type=3D"cite" class=3D"cite" cite= =3D"">The web site that I run, <a href=3D"http:// BroadbandCensus.com">http:= //BroadbandCensus.com</a>, is an attempt to combine information about broad= band from various sources. In addition to "crowdsourcing" data from interne= t users, we are combining public information from the FCC's Form 477, </blo= ckquote><br> The FCC should not provide disaggregated information from Form= 477, as this would<br> allow the sort of anticompetitive practices I've me= ntioned. If you are in favor<br> of widespread broadband deployment, compet= ition, and choice, you should not attempt<br> to give large competitors too= ls with which to attack us.<br><br> <blockquote type=3D"cite" class=3D"cite= " cite=3D"">It is important to note that Form 477 data released by the FCC = does _not_ include the names of the carriers. </blockquote><br> No, but thi= s can be inferred easily.<br><br> <blockquote type=3D"cite" class=3D"cite" = cite=3D"">Who would benefit more from public disclosure about the locations= , technology types, promised speeds and prices: small carriers or big carri= ers? I don't know.<br><br> Brett clearly feels that small carriers would su= ffer. I know of others who disagree with him.</blockquote><br> I would wage= r that they are large carriers.<br><br> <blockquote type=3D"cite" class=3D"= cite" cite=3D"">With regard to the conference on September 26, 2008, that i= s being sponsored by BroadbandCensus.com, Carnegie Mellon University, the U= niversity of Texas at Austin's Robert S. Strauss Center, and the Virginia T= ech eCorridors Program, we plan to make the list of our panel speakers avai= lable within the coming weeks. Although space on the conference agenda is t= ight, the program committee is open to including others. </ blockquote><br> = The current agenda contains no one who is actually in the business of provi= ding<br> Internet service. This is a terrific deficiency. If you do not inv= olve ISPs,<br> discussion is pointless because there is no one there who is= actually rolling out<br> broadband. I would encourage you to add multiple = ISPs -- not just one and not<br> just large ones -- to your agenda.<br><br>= <blockquote type=3D"cite" class=3D"cite" cite=3D"">The goal of the confere= nce, as stated on <a href=3D"http://broadbandcensus.com/blog/? p=3D331"> htt= p://broadbandcensus.com/blog/?p=3D331</a>, is to "invite government officia= ls, academic researchers and other key stakeholders to a half-day conferenc= e on collecting and sharing public data about high-speed internet access."<= /blockquote><br> Are ISPs not "key stakeholders?"<br><br> <blockquote type= =3D"cite" class=3D"cite" cite=3D"">With regard to issue of the Freedom of I= nformation Act that Brett raises:<br><br> It is correct that an organizatio= n for which I previously worked -- the Center for Public Integrity -- filed= a lawsuit seeking the disclosure of the Form 477 database. As the suit pro= ceeding, the Center dropped its request for data in category (2), and inste= ad sought the data in category (1).</blockquote><br> The revelation of such= data has no bearing on public integrity. Those bringing the<br> lawsuit sh= ould also contemplate what would happen if such data was publicly<br> avail= able. I, for one, would expect to find myself in the crosshairs of marketin= g<br> campaigns by Qwest, Bresnan Communications, third party DSL providers= , and <br> companies attempting national wireless rollouts (e.g. Clearwire)= .<br><br> Perhaps if you pushed as hard to outlaw anticompetitive tactics a= s you are to<br> obtain data which could (at the moment aid them), there wo= uld come a time when<br> we did not have to play our cards so close to our = vest.<br><br> --Brett Glass<br> </div> </div><br><div style=3D"padding:0 4p=
x 4px 4px;background-color:#fff;clear:both" bgcolor=3D"#ffffff">
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