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You're really stretching here, Karl, by maintaining that the news reports last week got things right.From Bloomberg on Friday:
Verizon Communications Inc. and Google Inc. have struck their own accord on handling Internet traffic, as both participate in talks by U.S. officials on Web policy, two people briefed by the companies said.From the Washington Post on Friday:
The compromise as described would restrict Verizon from selectively slowing Internet content that travels over its wires, but wouldnt apply such limits to Internet use on mobile phones, according to the people, who spoke yesterday and asked not to be identified before an announcement.
Google and Verizon have come to an agreement on how network operators can manage Web traffic, according to two sources briefed on their negotiations.From Dave Burstein of DSL Prime last Wednesday:
The agreement, expected to be announced within days, comes as the Federal Communications Commission tries to get major Internet content firms and network service providers to strike a deal on disputed points of so-called net neutrality rules. It's unclear how the deal will affect the direction of those discussions.
Meanwhile, Verizon and Google are discussing a separate peace that will make the FCC irrelevant. Hmm.
The NY Times article stunk, and only because it confused managed service prioritization with "paid tiers" and paid prioritization of residential services. The rest of the leaks (which simply stated a deal was coming, and likely wouldn't apply to wireless) were correct. Google and Verizon simply focused on the Times story error as PR deflection to downplay the breadth of the talks and vilify the press. Meanwhile this very clear PR talking point about this "not being a business deal" is strange and irrelevant, given the thrust of the policy arrangement (or whatever you'd like to call it) is clearly focused on keeping neutrality rules away from wireless to protect the Android/Verizon business deal....
Re: Really? Due respect, but all of those stories strongly suggest--though in admittedly less direct terms than the NYTimes piece--that this is a "deal" in the business sense that binds Verizon and Google together, though the NYTimes was the only one that mentioned paid prioritization.
You seem to be saying that the main substance of those articles was that "a deal was coming, and likely wouldn't apply to wireless." I think, however, that that misses the actual substance. The substance of the major articles was that a *business* deal that would explicitly bind Verizon and Google was coming--and subsequent coverage echoed that impression, which turned out to be wrong.
Bloomberg: "The compromise as described would restrict Verizon from selectively slowing Internet content that travels over its wires, but wouldnt apply such limits to Internet use on mobile phones."
Cecilia Kang: "Specifically, Google and Verizon's agreement could prevent Verizon from offering some prioritization to the biggest bidders who want better delivery of content on its DSL and fiber networks, according to the sources. [...] And Verizon could offer some managed services -- better quality to some Web sites such as those offering health care services, the sources said. But some analysts speculate that managed services could also include discounted YouTube and other services to FiOs customers at better quality."
Maybe they didn't mean to imply that Verizon and Google would be the only companies affected, but it reads that way to me, and it read that way to many of the bloggers who cited those stories.
All I'm trying to say is that you seem to be unwilling to acknowledge that those articles created a false impression about what was being discussed. I find that unwillingness puzzling.
All of that aside, you seem to assume that you know where I'm coming from, but you don't. I don't disagree with any of your analysis about what it means: I think the proposal is an effort by these two companies to mitigate the need for rigid neutrality rules, and it will result in toothless rules that make nobody happy but let everybody save face. And I'm personally not crazy about it.
I don't think making rules from on high works particularly well, whether it's companies making the rules or government. We'll either end up with bad regulation because companies make it themselves and shield themselves from the market repercussions, or we'll get bad regulation because a bloated, inefficient agency makes it, market forces be damned. Between those two evils, I pick the one with less government involvement because I'm a libertarian and that's how I roll; I think it's generally easier to correct bad private action than bad government policies in our legal system.
I like the neutral open Internet, and I personally believe that freer markets are the best way to preserve it without hamstringing innovation. But I don't think a free market solution is on the table though, so hopefully I'll be proven wrong. I'm skeptical though--about as skeptical as you are about the prospects of effective regulation ever getting enacted in the first place.
[And yes, after reading BBR for several years, today I was confused enough to sign up and leave a comment, because I don't understand why he is insisting that the reports last week were essentially right, when it seems very clear to a lot of people that they were all essentially wrong. But I'm not trying to question his motives or have a gotcha-moment--I've been trying to come up with a plausible explanation, and I just can't. Maybe I'm just misreading him, in which case clarification would be welcomed!]
You seem to be saying that the main substance of those articles was that "a deal was coming, and likely wouldn't apply to wireless." I think, however, that that misses the actual substance.No, it doesn't. Your point (which I can only assume is Verizon's point, since you're operating as a paid PR agent with Verizon Communications as a client, yes?) is that the news media was wrong. Most of them weren't. Most of them simply reported that Verizon and Google were in talks on a network neutrality framework that excluded wireless and existed (to a large degree) outside of the FCC negotiations process that involved other -- albeit limited -- participants.
Maybe they didn't mean to imply that Verizon and Google would be the only companies affected, but it reads that way to me, and it read that way to many of the bloggers who cited those stories.This is a deal negotiated solely by Verizon and Google, I think people can draw their own conclusions here.
All I'm trying to say is that you seem to be unwilling to acknowledge that those articles created a false impression about what was being discussed. I find that unwillingness puzzling.I think you underestimate the intelligence of the public. I think most PR people do, given they spend so much time having to consider the lowest common denominator in crafting messages. The goal of this proposal if fairly clear, to any objective, fairly smart person who considers Verizon and Google's Android relationship and then makes the (deeply mathematical) observation that this proposal fails to cover wireless.
Let's say theoretically that I had several sources today tell me the leak itself originated from Verizon. Would this same intense scrutiny of the media still apply? Or would that scrutiny (theoretically, of course) be driven by the fact the news outlets didn't parrot Verizon's perspective precisely as they were told to? Again, theoretically speaking.
Re: Really? I just can't say enough how much I agree with your analysis of the proposal and the prospects for a legislative or regulatory solution that makes anybody happy. Yes, they're avoiding tougher regulation. Yes, Google's interest in the agreement is Android. No, it almost never ends up being what anyone wants it to be. Those are all realities on which we very much agree. Pretty standard, predictable actions from companies that don't like where a legislative or regulatory process is headed: lead the charge on a compromise so they can be the good guy.
Pretty much the only point on which we don't agree is last week's reporting. I don't care that the news media got it wrong. They get lots of stuff wrong. I'm just using the occasion of their wrongness to ask why, when so many people seem to see that they were wrong, you personally won't concede that point. It just struck me as odd and off-putting to the point that I wanted to comment. I check in on this site a couple times a day, and I consider it to be a smartly written, insightful, and informative resource. I just thought parts of that post were weird, so I commented. This isn't "intense scrutiny of the media" or its reporting; it was just meant to be superficial scrutiny of your blog post, which is sorta what I thought blog comments were for. You know, theoretically.
Important lesson learned. Sorry to have disturbed your echo chamber.
BTW, if this exchange qualifies as an organized conspiracy in which shills are supposed to be actively criticizing news outlets, it pretty much sucks ass.
I just can't say enough how much I agree with your analysis of the proposal and the prospects for a legislative or regulatory solution that makes anybody happy.Ok, well I'm glad we agree there.
Pretty much the only point on which we don't agree is last week's reporting. I don't care that the news media got it wrong. They get lots of stuff wrong. I'm just using the occasion of their wrongness to ask why, when so many people seem to see that they were wrong, you personally won't concede that point.I just posted three stories that got things right, which you ignored, and/or suggested were wrong because they supposedly called this an "arrangement" or "deal," which is a strange semantic Verizon talking point I can't really speak to because it makes no sense.
I also acknowledged the NY Times story was really awful, but noted that Verizon appears to be singling this story out specifically as part of a larger damage control effort that tries to portray all the coverage as "erroneous," when the reality is that most of the coverage was, in fact, accurate (and may even have originated from Verizon lobbyists).
I'm perfectly willing to accept when I'm wrong on something, but in this case I'm not sure what point I'm supposed to concede, exactly. We're also still not clear if you're talking for yourself, or on behalf of your client Verizon.
Important lesson learned. Sorry to have disturbed your echo chamber.Our users have freely beaten the living hell out of me daily for ten years on a universe of subjects. Our comment section is pretty much as far from an echo chamber as you can get.
Re: Really? Okay, Karl. I guess I'm the only one who didn't understand that when three major news organizations said repeatedly that as part of the DEAL, VERIZON would or wouldn't be allowed to do X, Y, and Z, they were using the word "Verizon" as a proxy for "all ISPs" and "deal" as a substitute for "proposed regulatory framework." Obviously I should be a more creative reader.
Also, since it seems more important to you than anything I'm actually saying, let me be clear: I speak only for myself when I'm writing on the interwebs unless very explicitly disclosed. That's something I take extraordinarily seriously. (Another commenter pointed out my blog, so let me point you more directly to my statement of disclosure, which covers my feelings on this matter: »www.brookeoberwetter.com/disclosure/)
So no, I'm not saying or asking anything on behalf of any client, industry, or person. I'm asking, as a reader, why what seems clear to me (that using "Verzion" and "deal" synonymously with "all ISPs" and "regulatory proposal" is wrong) is not clear to you.
I hate to deprive you of your coordinated-shilling-effort theory, but I'm pretty sure that no one else is looking for clarification about your interpretation of last week's news; just a hunch.
Since clarification isn't forthcoming, I'll just chalk it up to poor, imprecise writing in the articles and perhaps the general decline of the English language and the notion that words have meaning. There we go, I wipe my hands of it.
But while I'm at it, I don't like the proposal. Jim Harper sums up my feelings pretty nicely in the NYTimes today:
The best way to pursue the publics true interest is to keep Verizon, Google, and every other industry player in competition, unprotected by regulation. [...] People want a wide-open Internet, and theyre in a position to demand it as long as there is competition.
Its certainly understandable that Verizon and Google should pursue a stable regulatory regime. Seeking relevance, the F.C.C. has undercut planning and investment by proposing to regulate the Internet the way telephones used to be. Thank goodness that plan is failing.
Rather than carry out industry-approved regulation, the F.C.C. should just go away. It should have no part of regulating the Internet, even if industry wants it.