Why Senator Stevens is Right on Net Neutrality [updated]

[after writing this it was made clear to me senator stevens is with the telco’s rather than with us.. in that case i am just as happy that our enemy is our strongest supporter!]

several people emailed me about the actual things the senator said and why
he is off-base. i decided to listen to his speech again, and write down
the points i believe are critical.

senator stevens who everyone is dissing on for his speech on net
neutrality in my book spoke nothing less than brilliant. i will
also tell you, in my opinion, exactly why.

you can find his speech here: http://media.publicknowledge.org/stevens-on-nn.mp3

he nailed down the subject into the point that matters:
business. it’s about profit.

he was faced with techno-babble and vendor-pitches on a technical subject,
and got down to the basics. what it means, and who profits from it.
much like a board of directors, his job is to understand the business and
the management sides of it. our job is to explain it.

i think he may not have understood some of how the internet works, but he
got what matters – what’s being done with it. his analogies of fedex,
packages and tubes are fine as long as they got him to understand the
underlying issues.

i believe that the reason some people don’t like what he said is because
although he had an organized list of points to make, he spoke from the
heart and maybe even a bit annoyed. he wasn’t very american about it, he
was just straight-forward.
further, he spoke of how he got to the conclusions based on what he was
told, instead of just his points, which caused some of us to think less of
him.

all of his quotes are brilliant points, some get to the right conclusions,
but with limited technical understanding. examine them all and see which
ones you disagree with.
my only request is that you wait an hour, look at the quote you didn’t
agree with and try to see his point again. for example, when he speaks of
a commercial net, which is secondary in his speech, he raises it as a
viable option rather than how things work. when he compares the internet
to tubes he is also right, the future requires a stronger infrastructure.

i doubt you will have problems with his other quotes. us tech guys need to
realize it’s all about business, and then maybe we will have an easier
time seeing he understands things better than us.

in my opinion he is one of the best advocates for this issue (against the
legislation and pro net neutrality) i ever heard, and he is pretty
frustrated with what’s going on.

i can only wish some of us understood the internet as well as he does.

quotes of relevance, starting from when he was interrupted:

“no, i’m not finished. i’ve listened for quite some time!”

“those people who want to support these things are the people who want to
use the internet for the end use of their profit, not for the consumer.”

“they are charging in effect [for] what they are [already] delivering.”

“i think network security [and] independence are absolutely essential.”

“the wrong regulatory approach, and posing an heavy-handed regulation
before there is a demonstrated need, is wrong.”

“you are asking for regulation.”

“the people who are streaming for 12 movies at a time or whole books at a
time are not you and me, they are not the consumers, they’re providers.”

“these providers use the internet as a delivery service rather than
communication.”

“i don’t think that anyone here has defined what net neutrality is.”

“we’ve heard that ‘we’re slipping behind. this bill is designed to let let
us go ahead. to expand the whole concept of communication’ and here we have
this one situation where enormous entities want to use the internet for their
purposes, doing what they are [already] doing now!”

“the internet is not something that you just dump something on, it’s not a
big truck. it’s tubes!”

“we have a separate department of defense network now, do you know
why? because they have to get their [information] delievered immediately,
they can’t afford to be delayed by other people. the security of the
united states requires a separate network for defense.”

“i think these people are arguing over whether they can dump all this
stuff on the internet. maybe they are to build a network themselves, maybe
there is a place for a commercial net.”

“the whole concept is [that] we should not go into this until someone
shows there is something that’s been done that really is a violation of
that neutrality.”

gadi evron,
ge@beyondsecurity.com.

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