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Kevin Werbach: We’ve just posted the full video from John Kneuer’s Supernova session on spectrum and broadband policy, with the subsequent lively audience conversation around network neutrality:

Cook’s Edge: I have posted a good bit about Kneuer. I watched the video fragment. And I watched the whole video that Kevin just posted. The whole video is very much worthwhile watching. It puts what the Bush Administration is doing to our economy in perspective. These peopel know only one thing. The Chicago school’s abstract justiication of so called free markets which of course are not free but are rigged to perpetuate the old technology of the last century. But the language is one of religion not reasonable economics or technology. And they have no understanding of what the pre Chicago school would call a natural monopoly. Or of what used to be called common carrier. Their framing as Doc Searls points out is alien to our own and to anyone who understands telecom as a utility system undergirding the rest of the economic system of the nation. Their conept is that they will run the printing presses and the rest of the world will accept our paper forever. Not likely. A day of reckoning will come.

Fred Goldstein: Thanks for posting that, Kevin.

Hearing Kneuer speak, I can now say that the man is truly, deeply demented. He may be totally delusional, or he may be totally cynical, but in any case what he’s saying is so totally divorced from reality that he comes close to qualifying for a DSM diagnosis.

The gist of his position — and he’s a mouthpiece for the Bells here, make no mistake about it — is that the *transmission owners* should be in control of the *applications*. Therefore the *application providers* are expected to participate at an auction and bid against ATT and VZ for radio spectrum, rather than have the right to lease facilities from a utility telco and run applications above it. And users are supposed to choose an access provider based on what applications they want to run. Perhaps they’ll need multiple wires, to run multiple applications. Sort of like the phone network, pre-Kingsbury (government regulation requiring interconnection, in 1913, when local telephony was still competitive), when you needed both a manual Bell phone and a maybe-dial Independent phone in order to call both carriers’ customers.

He then answers questions by saying that unbundling was bad, because it specified “rates, terms and conditions” for access, and that is not a “marketplace” approach. He defines common carriage as “arbitrage”, and — Chicago school fanatic that he must be — that is assumed to be bad, unless it’s done by Wall Street of course. Well, droit de seigneur is not a marketplace approach either, but that’s precisely what he’s calling for. His so-called free market economics are a plain fraud, very transparent, and nothing but a tired recitation of early Reaganaut slogans. He didn’t directly answer many questions.

He reminds me of Edward “Jet” King, who ran (successfully, but only for one term) for governor of Mass. in 1978. Eddie Jet had a 5-point campaign platform, a sort of prototype Social Conservative manifesto. At the debate, no matter what he was asked, he recited his five points (anti-abortion, pro-death penalty, etc.) because that was what he was campaigning on. It was, I think, a prototype for later Republican right-wing campaigns. John K had a one-size fits all answer.

The crowd was very polite, given what he was saying. He deserved a big pie in the face, because he’s nothing but a clown in a fancy suit.

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