Over at the Fierce Telecom website, someone posted an article today criticizing a new paper by Scott Cleland of NetCompetition.org. Scott’s paper (which I have not read) apparently asserts that Google uses 21 times more bandwidth than it pays for. The criticism gets rather ad hominem, using words like “stupid,” “moron” and “telecom shill” to describe the study and its author.
But what really caught my attention was Fierce Telecom’s description of NetCompetition.org:
Cleland’s Netcompetition.org subsidiary is funded by broadband telecom, cable, and wireless companies, including AT&T, Comcast, Qwest, Sprint, Verizon, US Telecom Association, some token chamber of commerce representation, and the Manhattan Libertarian Party.
My recollection is that in March 2007, the Manhattan Libertarian Party hosted a forum about net neutrality, which included a speaker from NetCompetition.org. It is entirely possible that around that time, we passed some resolution endorsing their efforts, although I don’t recall the specifics. What I can say with 100% certainty is that the Manhattan Libertarian Party does not and never has funded NetCompetition.org. As the saying goes, we’re so poor, we can barely afford to pay attention.
Looking at the NetCompetition.org member list just now, I see the Manhattan Libertarian Party is listed among those who “support the mission and efforts of the NETCompetition.org e-forum.” That’s entirely possible, since we are all for free markets and competition, but I don’t recall us formally becoming members. I do know that any such “support” is entirely theoretical, not financial.