March 4th, 2008

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Analysis of the Media and Obama

Has the media been too soft on Obama? The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism does very nice week by week snapshots of the election and coverage.

According to PEJ, if Obama had a free ride previously, it was over last week. Partly due to Clinton complaints, and partly due to the perception that Obama is now the front runner, his past record and general fitness as a candidate was the major campaign story last week. Followed by media self-analysis over whether they had gone too soft on Obama. Also of note, with McCain almost certainly the nominee for the Rs, he is declining in press coverage.

Analysis here:
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AT&T Raises Copper Loop Wholesale Rate

Interesting piece. Need to consider whether it is purely market power or cross-subsidy (which is market power of a different sort if you don't lose customers).

The article says the actual cost of providing DSL wholesale or retail is going down, as prior investment to condition the lines is depreciated and the cost of equipment generally drops. Could be. But I'd want a lot more info on the pricing structure and whether DSL is subsidizing U-verse build out. Or, to put another way, AT&T may be raising the price in one business line to cover loses in other business lines.

To a certain extent, the ability to get away with that is itself a form of monopoly (or monopsony) rent, since if the DSL sector were competitive they would lose customers by failing to pass on the savings (which, in a competitive market, other firms would do). But there are other mechanics at work here, including the impact of bundling, and the balance between driving out DSL retail competitors who lease copper v. losing customers (including the retail customers of the wholesale customers) to cable.

Data is good. I wish I had some.
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And people wonder why the world doesn't trust us to run the DNS root

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the Treausry is charged with enforcing our rules about not doing commerce with certain countries. Apparently, OFAC has now started applying this to US-based internet registrars.

What is more interesting is what happens when they start applying it to US-based DNS registries. That includes not merely .com, .org and .net (and .biz and .name), but potentially all country code top level domains (CCTLDs) that are stored in the A Root. The A Root is maintained by Verisign (a U.S.-based contractor) and is generally managed by the IANA, a U.S. contractor.

I do not think we are making the rest of the world very comfortable with us.