FCC Chairman Mis-quoted, Slashdot and Digg suffer foot in mouth

By | March 23, 2006

Addition: After a great deal of digging I discovered two things about the contested quote. One, not to toot my own horn but I was clearly right on this being misquoted. Two, he made these statements at CES in a Q&A session with Gary Shapiro not at TelecomNEXT as originally stated in every other source. Check out the video for yourself on Yahoo, the comments are about one-third of the way in.

I also just added a chopped version of the video in Xvid format for those who don’t want to scroll through and download a 200mb video, its 19mb. Get it here. or as a Torrent Here Excuse the crummy conversion, I’m no video editing professional.
Well, the big debate online for the day has been a blogger who quoted the FCC chairmen Kevin Martin as saying he favors a tiered internet. In other words saying he favors backbone providers using traffic prioritization based on the “priority fee” that companies wish to charge companies like google. This quote was taken completely out of context however, and as it turns out is clearly incorrect.

If this blogger had bothered to actually read the entire speech he would have realized that Mr. Martin had used the word levels to refer to tiered internet speeds for broadband. In other words he was saying he supports providers that that wish to offer multiple speeds of internet to their users, say 7mbit vs 5mbit DSL or Cable. Allow me to paste the entire section of the speech here:

However, Martin also added that he supports network operators’ desires to offer different levels of broadband service at different speeds, and at different pricinga so-called “tiered” Internet service structure that opponents say could give a market advantage to deep-pocket companies who can afford to pay service providers for preferential treatment.While Martin said that consumers who don’t pay for higher levels of Internet service shouldn’t expect to get higher levels of performance, he did say in a following press conference that “the commission needs to make sure” that there are fair-trade ways to ensure that consumers “get what they are purchasing.”

Note how he never even used the word tiered to describe broadband speeds. The reporter added tiered on in a comment and then never even properly enclosed Mr. Martins’ words in quotes to clearly differentiate between them. I think its fairly obvious that what he meant when I strike out the reporters comments and just leave his.

He then goes on to say that the FCC will make sure that consumers are getting the speed they pay for. Earlier in the speech he refers back to the recent FCC crackdown on ISP Madison River for blocking Vonage service from its customers when Vonage refused to pay additional for access to its network. Its fairly evident that this statement suggests that the FCC is strongly against providers offering tiered internet access.

As an addendum I would like to mention that he made these comments during a Q&A session at CES with Gary Shapiro not at TelecomNext as everyone has been suggesting.

2 thoughts on “FCC Chairman Mis-quoted, Slashdot and Digg suffer foot in mouth

  1. Thatedeguy

    That’s one thing that I’ve noticed a lot of lately is the traditional media sources misquoting and adding things to quotes in order to give a little buzz to their non-blog media outlet.

  2. Prestie

    Indeed, Preston Gralla, the blogger who posted this, is liar. He has a history of posting lies combined with sensationalist bullshit.

    Examples:

    1. Google Print: http://www.networkingpipeline.com/blog/archives/2006/03/google_still_tr.html

    CLAIM: “Google Print, in which Google scans books without copyright holders’ permissions and makes them available to anyone on the Web.”

    FACT: It only makes a few pages available to the user.

    2. Google+AOL: http://www.networkingpipeline.com/blog/archives/2005/12/has_google_beco.html

    CLAIM: “and won’t label any of those links advertising, or call the preferred listings advertising, even

    though they clearly are ads”

    FACT: “Technically, AOL will pay for those links, which will be identified as advertising”

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