The Top 10 net neutrality influencers

Since we couldn’t make it to Aspen this year to participate in the expected discourse on one of our favorite topics — network neutrality — we here at Sidecut Reports humbly offer our “Top 10” list of net neutrality influencers, the people leading the debate into 2009, what we are calling Phase II of the net neutrality deliberations.

With no further ado, the drumroll please:


The movers and shakers in the net neutrality debate, as of August 2008:

1. Jim Cicconi, AT&T — Still the man with the most pawns and the best grasp of the board.

2. Kevin Martin, FCC Chairman — A lame duck, but with a few big quacks left.

3. Rick Whitt, Google — Looks like Phil Mickelson, and his company plays policy like Phil — sometimes a champion, sometimes hitting from behind the concession stand and off a tree. Capable of major victories, but still not Tiger-solid.

4. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass. — Driving the House Bus. A big bus but not a tank.

5. Joe Waz, Comcast — I get knocked down, then I get up again… just like another famous fighter from Philadelphia?

6. Ben Scott, Free Press — Riding the big wave of momentum. How long can the Silver Surfer stay afloat?

7. Lawrence Lessig, Stanford — Always effective as the lone voice storming the castle; can he compromise if he is on the other side of the ruling walls?

8. Tom Tauke, Verizon — Maybe not even the real source of power at Verizon but a former congressman who knows which strings to pull. Can pull hard with Ivan Seidenberg behind him.

9. Blair Levin, Stifel, Nicolaus — If not the next FCC commissioner, he will know who it is before anyone else (and will explain why to Wall Street).

10. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. — First he has to win. Then Reed Hundt’s troops can take over.

Honorable Mention: Tim Wu, Columbia Law School; Kyle McSlarrow, NCTA; Eric Schmidt, Google; Walter McCormick, USTA; Chris Libertelli, eBay/Skype; Gigi Sohn, Public Knowledge; Jessica Rosenworcel, Senate Commerce Committee; Jonathan Adelstein, FCC; Phil Weiser, University of Colorado; Preston Padden, Disney.

Need to know more about net neutrality, or why such leading influencers think that 2009 will be a big year for possible passage of net neutrality legislation? Then order our Sidecut Report on Net Neutrality, which contains complete analysis of the recent FCC decision, as well as a net neutrality timeline and interviews with all the top players in the debate.

About Paul Kapustka

Paul Kapustka is a longtime journalist who has spent more than two decades covering the information technology business, Paul most recently has been focusing on mobility and how it has changed the computing and collaborative landscape. His newest project outside Mobile Enterprise 360 is a research and analysis operation called WiFi Journal. He is also editor in chief of Mobile Sports Report, which covers the intersection of mobile technology and sports business. Paul is also the founder of Sidecut Reports, a research firm that covered the emergence of 4G technology in the cellular marketplace.