Scott Cleland is the founder and president of Precursor, LLC, a research and consulting firm, specializing in the techcommunications sector, whose mission is to "help companies anticipate change for competitive advantage." 
Corporate backing and "payola punditry" charges
NetCompetition.org and Precursor are funded by a wide range of broadband telecom, cable and wireless companies, including: 
- Verizon Wireless
- American Cable Association
- National Cable and Communications Association
In 2009, Cleland "also signed on as a hired gun for Microsoft," reported National Journal. Some have questioned whether Cleland's being "a frequent critic of Google" is encouraged by his corporate backers. 
In 2008, Cleland released a controversial report "alleging that Google 'is by far the largest user of Internet bandwidth,' the company's share of bandwidth usage is rising rapidly, and its bandwidth use 'is orders of magnitude greater than its payment for its cost.'" Not surprisingly, Google disputed the report, but independent voices like Free Press' Tim Karr also faulted what he called Cleland's "payola punditry."  
Scott Cleland served President George H.W. Bush as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for telecom trade matters, and served as a Senior Policy Advisor for Legislative Affairs to then Secretary of State James A. Baker III. In addition, he has served as Director of Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as a Budget Examiner for OMB in the U.S. Executive Office of the President. 
Cleland has a Masters of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and a BA in Political Science from Kalamazoo College. 
Cleland is currently a Member of the United States Department of State, Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy.
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- "Chairman's Bio", NetCompetition.org, accessed December 2007.
- "About us: Members," NetCompetition.org, accessed June 2009.
- "Google Critic Paid By Microsoft," National Journal's "Tech Daily Dose," June 16, 2009.
- Tim Karr, "Sock Puppet Redux," MediaCitizen, February 14, 2007.
Precursor specialized in uncovering long-term industry trends. They shunned price targets and earnings models and the other trappings of the standard Wall Street research firm. And that’s what made Precursor such a good resource: Freed of the tyranny of quarterly earnings estimates, they were able to actually sit back and think. And then they’d write concise,fact-packed research notes, generally no more than a single page in length.