Good reads – 06 22 10

1. BBC on broadband regulation in the US

BBC News had a short piece on the policy battles surrounding broadband regulation in the US, with many of the key players in place, the Federal Communications Commission and the courts, of course, but also telecom providers like ATT&T and Verizon versus internet companies like Goolge and Amazon, all arguing their side of the net neutality issue. Precious few citizen groups quoted in this debate, I have to say.

“It’s a tough road ahead and the telcos are going to fight this to the death,” [Public Knowledge] communications director Art Brodsky told BBC News. “AT&T in the first quarter of this year spent $6m on lobbying. That is one company. One quarter. Compare that to Google which spent $4m in the whole of last year.””

In this article, the carriers/teleco’s got more for their lobbying/PR money–at least, the last third of the¬† story is spent on a report that argues “that a 10% reduction in investment by broadband providers would cost more than 500,000 jobs before 2015” (funny they should scare lawmakers with jobs of all things, during a recession)–without wondering if perhaps a move away from net neutrality and common carrier provisions might also cost jobs by undermining what Jonathan Zittrain calls the “generative internet”.

2. Financial Times notes that Google could undermine Demand Media’s model

Lots of people are writing about the potential conflicts between the business model of legacy content creators (news organizations) and search companies like Google, now it looks the internet giant is also in potential tension with new content creators (Demand Media, Associated Content-type players).

The FT has this, for example: “a recently granted patent to Google that appears to replicate one part of what has made Demand’s approach to content so successful could spoil the party. Google’s patent on “identifying inadequate content”, co-authored by some of the search group’s leading thinkers, including Hal Varian its chief economist, details a similar system that analyses search engine queries to spot topics of high interest which are not readily available from publishers.”

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