Monday, August 20, 2007

The Power of a Slogan or Phrase

Mike Nelson, a former White House technology policy advisor in the Clinton administration now affiliated with IBM, offered the following advice on the Washington political process: distill your message into a slogan or phrase that can fit on a bumper sticker.

Officials in the AT&T Bell System knew this when they sought to prevent the separation of telephone handsets from telephone service. They argued that allowing consumers to own their own phone would violate "systemic integrity" and "harm" employees. In response to proposals to break up the Bell System, they argued "the system is the solution." Who would want to allow competition to harm networks and people?

Responding to consumer dissatisfaction at customer "service" and two year lock in contracts as well as the proposal to allow freer use of handsets, the wireless sloganeers again invoke technical harm as one good reason not to allow handset flexibility.

In the 1970s as now the risk of technical harm can easily be reduced or eliminated. Locking cellphones to one network, disabling handset features and preventing a seocndary market for cheap phones are anticompetitive plain and simple.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Two Recent Powerpoint Presentations on Net Neutrality and DRM

If your interested in network neutrality my latest thoughts on the subject are available at:
and as a powerpoint presentation at:

I also examine net neutrality in the context of Digital Rights Management achieved through deep packet inspection:; powerpoint presentation at:

I always appreciate thoughtful questions and comments.