Where's Your Net Neutrality Proposal, Senator Clinton?

by: Matt Stoller

Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 09:27

If anyone has illusions about how horrific Clinton will be as a President, disabuse yourself now.  Here's Clinton's 'Innovation Agenda'.  Notice what's missing?  That's right, net neutrality.

And here's a tip as to what she's really planning.

Establish a national broadband strategy called Connect America

Clinton is citing a program called Connect Kentucky as a national model for expanding broadband penetration.  Connect Kentucky, which is embraced by the telcos as a way of warding off net neutrality and a real internet policy, defines broadband as 256k, which is about 500 times slower than what's in Japan.

It's typical Clinton.  Say you'll end the war, but with residual troops.  Say you'll implement universal health care, but without talking about how you're going to get everyone to buy into it.  Say you'll expand national broadband, but at a speed about five times as fast as dial-up and without net neutrality protections.

UPDATE: I should note that Clinton has been a supporter of net neutrality protections, and she may yet appoint an FCC that ensures net neutrality is enforced.  I just don't think she will, because basing your broadband policies on Connect Kentucky  is an indication that she isn't serious about dealing with the corruption in the system that actually led to the evisceration of net neutrality in the first place.

Matt Stoller :: Where's Your Net Neutrality Proposal, Senator Clinton?

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Net Neutrality (0.00 / 0)
What's so sad for Ms. Clinton is that backing Net Neutrality would have done a great deal to repair her relations with the progressive netroots. This was a key opportunity to embrace a constituency that has serious reservations about her candidacy and to demonstrate her willingness to work with the community that has played a key role revitalizing the Democratic Party in recent years. Instead, in predictable fashion, she's not nearly as progressive as she pretends to be and once again sides with her corporate backers. Yet another reason to be deeply concerned about Hillary.

supports (0.00 / 0)
Clinton does support net neutrality legislation, but it's not clear where her priorities really lie.  This is a big tip off to what she plans to do as President.

[ Parent ]
As you point out in your post... (0.00 / 0)
....this is 'typical Hillary' say you are doing the right thing and then cut the ground out from under that position in favor of your union-busting, MIC supporting, 'Healthcare' insuring backers.

Nope, not me. Hillary Clinton for President?

Thanks but no thanks.

Peace, Health and Prosperity for Everyone.

[ Parent ]
Nice Post (4.00 / 2)
first you rip her for not supporting net neutrality legislation and then you come back and say she does. Which is it? then you say you are not sure about her and summarize about the big 'tip off'. Seems like this post is  just a hatchet job.

And then you paint ConnectKentucky as cover for the telcos when a quick read on several sites including the University of Kentucky and the Council on Postsecondary Education show that it is a Kentucky project backed by the state, business, and community leaders in Kentucky whose mission is to bring broadband to all of Kentucky including smaller cities and rural areas that do not have it now. the project also helps fund providing computer hardware to underprivileged children. And you say it is just cover for the telcos?

Additionally you mention only 256K. You know the challenges of nationwide broadband as you hosted and participated in a discussion on this site (see link below) with several experts including a representative from ConnectKentucky. You know there are equipment investment issues that in some underpopulated and under served places can only support 256k or slightly better investment wise. But yet you don't recognize that 256k is better that what people don't have now.


So for you to try to paint Clinton as only supporting 256k is disingenuous at best given your broader knowledge of the challenges as discussed in that forum.

Again you are just doing a hatchet job on Clinton when you have no idea what it is speed wise that she would support and how a national plan, as opposed to a state plan like ConnectKentucky, would be implemented especially considering that it might have to include the private sector.

[ Parent ]
ConnectKY (0.00 / 0)
256k is 500 times slower than a standard connection speed in Japan.

[ Parent ]
Japan (0.00 / 0)
256kbps * 500 = 2^18 * 2^9 = 2^27 = 128mbps = holy smoke

Average speed recorded by Speedtest.net in Japan:

Connection speed of Japanese friends I know in irc:

Maybe Clinton should could be convinced to spread broadband networks of at least 1-5 mbps. I'm sure that part is negotiable.

I you want health care, work hard. If you want universal health care, vote for liberals.

[ Parent ]
100MB connections in Japan (4.00 / 1)
You can easily buy 100MB in Japan if you want, but you don't have to.  There's competition in Japan.

"I play every night and on weekends, and it's much faster and more stable than other broadband," said Ms. Haruzono, who pays about $55 a month for service that lets her download data at speeds up to 100 megabits a second, roughly what Verizon offersin the United States. "All my friends have fiber connections, too, because they are gamers."

[ Parent ]
I understand that (4.00 / 1)
But this is not Japan.

With American DSL from ATT&T the fastest you can get for the home is 6.0 mbps downstream. So comparing the US to Japan is not apples to apples although I understand it makes your contrast seem more extreme.

Given that we are primarily provided the internet by private companies, as your telco forum pointed out, the speed made available to users in rural areas is dictated by equipment costs. It would make no sense for a telco to install equipment capable of 6.0 mbps or greater to a community that could not financially support the investment in that grade of equipment.

So in the end what we need is heavy government subsidies to wire the entire US with Japan like government supported 100 Mbps. But that is not where we are at right now so the comparisons you make are not fair as is not the hatchet job you did on Clinton. :)

[ Parent ]
Yes, typical Clinton (0.00 / 0)
If the one-paragraph broadband section of the "Innovation Agenda" is all we have to go on, it strikes me as unsurprisingly Clintonian--espousing general principles that are vague and uncontroversial enough to fit within her front-runner strategy. 

I think the general approach taken by ConnectKentucky is a useful component of what needs to be done, regardless of how we approach the bigger and more contentious issues concerning broadband policies.  So it's not surprising that Hillary would include it fairly prominently, but not mention net neutrality, at least in her "first draft."

And while a shortcoming of the KY project is that it defines broadband at a very low speed threshold, this same threshold need not be part of a national version of the "Connect" model of coordinated needs assessment and planning.  And I'm not surprised that Clinton's one-graf summary didn't address this question, which will be a contentious one.

There's a bill moving through committee to address the FCC's broadband data collection.  How the specifics of that bill turn out should be some reflection of current congressional sentiment regarding the balancing of public interest vs. corporate interest in crafting policy the broadband sector.

My view of Clinton is that we won't get a very specific sense of what she'll do as President until she and a new Congress are elected (if that happens).  "Cautious pragmatism" seems to be the overriding driver of her campaign and her statements, positions and actions.  If she's president and has a significantly more Democratic and progressive Congress, I think she'll swing more noticeably in that direction.  If not, I think she'll adapt to what she perceives as political reality.

What? (4.00 / 1)
These posts lately on Hillary seems more fueled by animosity toward her and a lot of "let's fill in the blanks" or "leave out the whole passage" to make her look as bad as possible.

Matt you always came across as thoughtful and contemplative, but these Hillary posts reek of pure frustration and desperate parsing.

Very sad to see...

good faith (0.00 / 0)
I don't like someone like Clinton taking advantage of Democrats' willingness to trust her.  I happen to think that Connect America is a silly program which won't accomplish very much, and I bristle when someone like Clinton says it is a national broadband plan.  It isn't.  And I resent Clinton misleading people about it.  Sorry if you think it's a hatchet job, I have pretty much made it clear that I don't think Clinton operates in good faith to the Democratic base.

I hope I'm wrong.  But Connect America is a good sign that I'm not wrong.

[ Parent ]
Well... (4.00 / 1)
It's typical Clinton.  Say you'll end the war, but with residual troops.  Say you'll implement universal health care, but without talking about how you're going to get everyone to buy into it.  Say you'll expand national broadband, but at a speed about five times as fast as dial-up and without net neutrality protections.

You cite these areas as if they are uniquely owned by Hillary as part of her triangulating master plan. Last time I checked, Obama and Edwards are looking to leave troops (and their differences with Hillary are on the margins IMHO). As for healthcare, Obama doesn't even want to make it mandatory. And Edwards plan, while bold, will be ev-is-cer-at-ed in the general election. As for national broadband, you take Hillary's broad statement of intent (typical of any campaign) and so easily deduce it down to "not doing anything" because the speeds "may" be marginal if, in fact, it mimics that facet of ConnectKentucky. C'mon! Her plan is a good start - especially compared to the extreme vagueness (more like nothingness) coming from Edwards and Obama on this issue (but maybe they have more press releases lauding net neutrality so that makes them AOK).

But to the larger point, you quickly slam her for not including net neutrality in her statement, when a responsible analysis would have done the basic research showing she supports it (and I find it hard to believe you didn't know she did when you made your initial post). I bet Obama and Edwards would have been given the courtesy of a more researched analysis.

And your other post about her on torture, you took part of her statement and slammed her on it when a responsible analysis would have done the basic research to see that the whole statement negates the message you were trying (possibly hoping) to stamp on her. I bet Obama and Edwards would have been given the courtesy of more researched analysis.

You may not trust Clinton, but there are many of us out there that have trouble trusting Edwards and Obama (as the polls show). If you want to sing to the choir, feed them knee-jerk attacks full of holes. But it's not persuading anyone beyond those who already believe.

And I only say this because I generally find your writings very compelling and persuasive. It just pains me to see arguments fueled by emotional disdain for Hillary, not the facts, as if I'm reading Andrew Sullivan's twin brother.

Peace out!

[ Parent ]

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