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The double standard

Reading Techmeme this morning and came across two stories that gave me a bit of the heebie jeebies.

1. Carriers aren’t happy with the FCC Chairman’s position on net neutrality

ATT & VZW believes net neutrality should apply to wired broadband service providers but not mobile carriers. I believe that is a double standard.

Mobile carriers use cable’s broadband network, without permission, as a dumb pipe with their 3g microcells (femtocells). What would happen if TWC or Comcast blocked ATT microcells connectivity. Answer: ATT would be pissed.

Here’s what FCC Chairman Genachowski said yesterday:

This means they cannot block or degrade lawful traffic over their networks, or pick winners by favoring some content or applications over others in the connection to subscribers’ homes. Nor can they disfavor an Internet service just because it competes with a similar service offered by that broadband provider. The Internet must continue to allow users to decide what content and applications succeed.

This principle will not prevent broadband providers from reasonably managing their networks. During periods of network congestion, for example, it may be appropriate for providers to ensure that very heavy users do not crowd out everyone else. And this principle will not constrain efforts to ensure a safe, secure, and spam-free Internet experience, or to enforce the law. It is vital that illegal conduct be curtailed on the Internet.

That’s exactly right Julius.

2. Microsoft Poaching Apple Store Managers and Sales Staff.

This one is more like a rumor. And I have no idea if it’s true or not. But here’s the thing. Microsoft recruits from it’s competitors all the time. As does Apple. As does Google. etc. Competition is good and crazy competition is even better.

But here’s my issue: if you work for Microsoft you are required to sign an employee non-compete agreement (boo!). That means Microsoft won’t let you easily leave and join a competitor but they have no problem hiring from the competition.

That’s a double standard too and I don’t agree with that.

N.B: I don’t want to sound righteous here. I’m sure I am guilty of my own double standard from time to time. But I am passionate about these two issues (net neutrality & non-competes) so I had to point them out.