FCC has votes to approve “open Internet” proposal

posted at 10:15 am on December 21, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has the three votes needed to approve his “open Internet” proposal that will expand FCC authority to the private networks that form its backbone.  Despite calls from both conservatives opposed to FCC jurisdiction in this area and Net Neutrality advocates angry that Genachowski watered down their own proposals, the other two Democratic appointees will vote in support of the proposal, CBS reports:

New rules aimed at prohibiting broadband providers from becoming gatekeepers of Internet traffic now have just enough votes to pass the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday.

The rules would prohibit phone and cable companies from abusing their control over broadband connections to discriminate against rival content or services, such as Internet phone calls or online video, or play favorites with Web traffic.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski now has the three votes needed for approval, despite firm opposition from the two Republicans on the five-member commission. Genachowski’s two fellow Democrats said Monday they will vote for the rules, even though they consider them too weak.

Mitch McConnell warns Genachowski and the Obama administration that that fight isn’t over in a video released last night:

I’m Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader in the U.S. Senate.

The Internet is a platform for innovation. Every day entrepreneurs, including many in Kentucky, offer new services to millions of Americans, like yourself, who use the internet on a daily basis – and are using it right now to watch this video. Our economy has benefited from the rapid growth of the Internet, and that’s due in large part to the lack of government involvement.

But that could soon change. The Obama Administration, which has already nationalized health care, the auto industry, insurance companies, banks and student loans, now wants to brazenly control how Americans use the Internet by establishing federal regulations on its usage. This would harm investment, stifle innovation and lead to job losses.

I, along with several of my colleagues, have urged the FCC Chairman to abandon this flawed approach. But we need your help. Please share this video with your friends on the Internet.

The Internet is a valuable resource and it must be left alone.

The new rules will come under scrutiny almost immediately in the upcoming Congress. Even the Democratic-run Congress objected to Genachowski’s first attempt at claiming jurisdiction over the Internet, as did the courts. A Republican-run House will look even more skeptically at expanded claims of jurisdiction by an agency, especially when Congress has previously refused to grant that jurisdiction.

The principle is still the same. Genachowski’s approach equates the Internet to telephone service and the 1934 Communications Act that birthed the FCC and granted it jurisdiction. However, that was a state-approved private monopoly that required regulation in the absence of competition, which the government outlawed prior to breaking up AT&T. The Internet has plenty of competition, especially for end users, who can either get service over the hard wire of their local telephone service, a cable-TV network, or wireless access. In that competitive environment, the FCC has no business dictating the management of private networks.

The proposal may pass today, but the battle will start on January 5th.

Update: The next move may come in court, according to National Journal’s Tech Daily Dose:

Multiple sources have told National Journal that Verizon, the nation’s second largest telecommunications carrier, may seek to overturn the historic open Internet rules to be approved by the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday morning. Sources said the option is on the table, but cautioned that no final decision has been made. The company will review the details of the new “network neutrality” rules set for adoption by the agency’s three Democratic regulators to gauge its next move.

That would allow another court to reiterate what the FCC was told in April, which is that they have exceeded their mandate by imposing themselves on private networks in a competitive market without Congressional approval to do so.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Don’t fund the fcc r’s, simple as that!
L

letget on December 21, 2010 at 10:19 AM

“Shock Claim: Librals Advocating Illiberal Policies,” story at 11.

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 10:20 AM

The FCC is clearly overstepping the boundaries of their authority.

Carl on December 21, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Looks like we’re going to have to invent yet another way to communicate and get the truth out.

stenwin77 on December 21, 2010 at 10:21 AM

The proposal may pass today, but the battle will start on January 5th.

I’m sure Scott Brown and Lamar Alexander will have our backs on this one, too.
/s

steebo77 on December 21, 2010 at 10:21 AM

So much crap is being passed in this lame-duck session. I daresay the democrats are now passing so much of their cherished bills and regulations that they probably wish all year could be a lame-duck year. This is just really disheartening.

KickandSwimMom on December 21, 2010 at 10:21 AM

So long as companies like Comcast operate monopolies in American markets, net neutrality rules will be necessary. Imagine AT&T dropping your calls purposefully, in the event you dial a Verizon store number…that’s what Comcast will do to your netflix connection when their competitor roles out. Oh, don’t have a choice in your market for broadband?? You’re sh!t out of luck.

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:21 AM

The FCC FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is clearly overstepping the boundaries of their authority.

Carl on December 21, 2010 at 10:20 AM

DOOF on December 21, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Don’t fund the FCC.

Seriously – let’s eliminate this organization. People say that we need to cut right to Social Security and Medicare to really cut the deficit.

That may be … but I say … before we go there – how about expanding a bit of Liberty for Americans and tanking the FCC? The NEA, the PBS and NPR … and the ATF too!

“Imagine there is no FCC … it’s easy if you try!”

HondaV65 on December 21, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Looks like we’re going to have to invent yet another way to communicate and get the truth out.

stenwin77 on December 21, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Rumor has it that Genachowski is going after smoke signals and carrier pigeons next.

steebo77 on December 21, 2010 at 10:25 AM

I’m sure Scott Brown and Lamar Alexander will have our backs on this one, too.
/s

steebo77 on December 21, 2010 at 10:21 AM

I’m really peeved at myself for sending money to Scott Brown for his election. He has lived in my home town for many years, and I thought that finally a conservative would come out of Mass. How wrong I was. However, in reading comments in the Boston Globe to an article announcing his support of the START treaty, the public up there is very supportive of him. So in all fairness he is representing his constituency, but he sure as hell is no conservative by any stretch of the imagination. The tea party was snookered by him.

KickandSwimMom on December 21, 2010 at 10:26 AM

There are two battles being fought here; one is the allocation of a scarce resource (network capacity) and the other is political (the collusion of combines, cartels, and the politicians who write the laws).

No business wants to risk capital in an uncertain expansion of capacity. It is the natural inclination of established businesses to attempt to gain advantage over their peers, or upstart competitors by gaining influence with the politicians who have seized the authority to write laws.

The best way to allocate scarce resources is the discovery of price in a free market, where supply is balanced against demand by price. A high price, and high profit encourages new sources of supply.

The best political solutions is one where everyone is free to participate in that free market, on equal terms without the hidden controls of private collusion.

Skandia Recluse on December 21, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Silencing the Right,it gets worse!

Perfect: Al “Diamond Merchant” Sharpton to Help FCC Design New Rules to Censor Conservative Talk Radio
Monday, December 20, 2010
============================

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2010/12/perfect-al-diamond-merchant-sharpton-to.html

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Some needs to explain to Little Julius “Seizure” Genachowski here that it would be better if he and his bureaucratic FCC cronies keep their collective mitts out of the Internet, as the majority of people are going to see this action by the FCC as an intentional encroachment by government into what amounts to the last sanctuary of freedom of speech and expression left, and no one is going to take this one lying down like we have with everything else the government has managed to botch up!

I just hope the Republicans stick to their guns and not let this idiocy be allowed to see the light of day!

pilamaye on December 21, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Reason TV: Will Net Neutrality Save the Internet?

http://www.theospark.net/2010/12/reason-tv-will-net-neutrality-save.html

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:28 AM

KickandSwimMom on December 21, 2010 at 10:26 AM

I think he was worth the initial investment to take the “Kennedy seat.” The shock of that and the loss of the 60th vote was worth a donation at the time.

He does not deserve any more Tea Party money, though. Let him get RINO money.

Wethal on December 21, 2010 at 10:29 AM

I really need to get on the HAM radio network.

Clearly more government control is necessary.

Bishop on December 21, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Seriously – let’s eliminate this organization. People say that we need to cut right to Social Security and Medicare to really cut the deficit.

HondaV65 on December 21, 2010 at 10:25 AM

There is something to be said for cutting other agencies before going after SocSec and Medicare. Show the American people that you can shrink the federal government without affecting their lives (i.e., the sky will not fall). It may make future, and more significant cuts, easier.

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 10:30 AM

When the House is working on the approprations for the FCC, it can haul Julius to a public hearing and ask him to explain why they should appropriate any money for this. Or for the FCC.

Wethal on December 21, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Can this all not wait till after the New Year,
after all,the Left has/and still does,the major
ity and its,ram it through,baby!!

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:31 AM

When will the mass of Americans notice that democrats are authoritarian tyrants? One shudders to imagine the nation these people would have us live in absent the remaining few checks on their power.

Rational Thought on December 21, 2010 at 10:33 AM

And so we take yet ANOTHER step towards socialized Europe.

Will anybody notice outside of those who follow politics notice? Doubt it. They’ll simply wake up one day, years from now, and ask “what the hell happened?”

Indy82 on December 21, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Genachowski said in his cofirmation hearing that he would not enforce net neutrality.

I’m shocked…SHOCKED they he would lie.

katy on December 21, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Rational Thought on December 21, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Because trust-busting is the work of authoritarian tyrants…

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:21 AM

This is all rather amusing, considering the number of mobile broadband providers out there. We’re already at the point where one doesn’t really need to subscribe to a fixed Internet connection; all you have to do is get wireless broadband from your own cell phone provider to get your laptop connected anytime, anywhere.

Comcast will never drop Netflix because Netflix will both pay enough for premium pipe access at the highest speeds AND Netflix subscribers will raise holy heck if they tried to downgrade Netflix. All without getting the meddlesome FCC involved.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Team Hope……………………..

Killing the internet,

Killing the Economy,

Kontrol is the name of da Liberal Game!!

Oh,and besides,there is just way tooooooooooo much info
on da net,like shinning the light of Truth on da Democrats!

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Wait…Democrats voting to expand the government’s reach into the Internet?

You don’t say.

I don’t think it’s accurate to call these people liberals anymore.

Liberal means “towards liberty/freedom.” These people don’t want freedom, and certainly don’t move towards it. They want control and the limiting of freedom by unaccountable government agencies.

Good Lt on December 21, 2010 at 10:39 AM

I oppose the FCC proposed rules. However, Ed, your observation about sufficient competition is in error. We have choices in technology – WISP, Cable, DSL, etc. But if you look at a service map where those technologies lay, you will find little overlap except in the top 50 MSA’s. So in what is much of Red State America we have defacto monopolies to service.

Dr. Dog on December 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Comcast will never drop Netflix because Netflix will both pay enough for premium pipe access at the highest speeds AND Netflix subscribers will raise holy heck if they tried to downgrade Netflix. All without getting the meddlesome FCC involved.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM

You must not understand how monopolies work. When you can only buy comcast broadband, no amount of “raising hell” makes a difference. People have already raised hell over throttling of bandwidth; it doesn’t matter.

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Rational Thought on December 21, 2010 at 10:33 AM
Because trust-busting is the work of authoritarian tyrants…

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM

ernesto:Watch the Reason TV vid I posted,you will be
enlightened….or not!!

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM

So in what is much of Red State America we have defacto monopolies to service.

Dr. Dog on December 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Shhhh! Trust-busting is for authoritarian tyrants…why do you hate freedom??

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:43 AM

So long as companies like Comcast operate monopolies in American markets, net neutrality rules will be necessary. Imagine AT&T dropping your calls purposefully, in the event you dial a Verizon store number…that’s what Comcast will do to your netflix connection when their competitor roles out. Oh, don’t have a choice in your market for broadband?? You’re sh!t out of luck.

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Nice straw-man argument there Obama. How about we leave the straw-man in the closet with the rest of the Halloween decorations and concentrate on problems that actually exist.

Logboy on December 21, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Because trust-busting is the work of authoritarian tyrants…

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM

So let’s create a disincentive to other players enter the market. The FCC message is that you will not control your assets if you enter this market.

Just make sure that other players can easily enter the market. Ensure mobile providers have amble spectrum. Ensure that fixed wireless has spectrum.

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Ya know,sooner than later,the Progressive Socialists
WackJobs will introduce,NO ELECTIONS,after all,it
would save money,less of a distraction,and one PARTY
POWER would be more effective and effecient!!(sarc).

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:46 AM

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Netflix comprises about 20% of ALL Internet downloads RIGHT NOW. What on earth would make you think Comcast (or Verizon, or whomever your local DSL provider is) would risk trying to slow that down? All Comcast wants is the ability to charge Netflix premium prices for premium Quality of Service. And Netflix’s current public posturing is that they don’t want to pay those extra prices.

Even though everyone from Wall Street to the officious FCC knows it’s in Netflix’s best economic interest to pay those premium prices for premium Quality of Service.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Taken individually, Acts like the Net Neutrality, TSA scanners, expansion of the Patriot Act for domestic spying, et. al. are bad enough…but when you step back and look at the bigger puzzle, you realize that there is a big picture; and it’s an ugly picture.

We are slowly (incrementally) devolving into a facist police state.

PatriotRider on December 21, 2010 at 10:47 AM

With every passing day, the assault on liberty continues. How long before it’s all gone?

search4truth on December 21, 2010 at 10:47 AM

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Comcast a monopoly??? Are you kidding? Please explain how I have TV, phone and internet withour paying a single dime to Comcast (or TIme-Warner)?

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 10:47 AM

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM

The video still ignores the fact that in many American markets, there is no choice of broadband provider. In most cases, this monopoly provider is Comcast. They’ve already launched an offensive against Netflix’s newest proposed service. Comcast has its own interest in streaming video, as it putting the finishing touches on acquiring NBC Universal. Why is this a good scenario, in your eyes?

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Everything is just so unfair,victimization of
da minorities,and GettingEvenIsmWithIsm of the
End justifies the Means!

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Even though everyone from Wall Street to the officious FCC knows it’s in Netflix’s best economic interest to pay those premium prices for premium Quality of Service.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 10:47 AM

I would guess that TV service providers will eventually cut deals with companies like Netflix to offer their customers package deals. For example, buy Comcast service and get “free” Netflix subscription. I could also see Comcast buying Netflix, or netflix-like company.

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 10:50 AM

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Because you live in a market without a Comcast monopoly??? “CERTAIN MARKETS” was the operative phrase in that comment.

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Dr. Dog on December 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Rapid City, SD is as RedState as it gets. For a community of about 100K, it has TWO competitive cable providers and Qwest offering broadband (despite a decided lack of capacity for Wireless broadband). You’d be surprised how many smaller cities have competitive broadband access.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 10:52 AM

This is lawless, defiant, damaging abuse of power that needs to be loudly repudiated and punished.

When the House is working on the approprations for the FCC, it can haul Julius to a public hearing and ask him to explain why they should appropriate any money for this. Or for the FCC.

Wethal on December 21, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Yes, tie up FCC with investigations and defund it back to bare bones. Meanwhile, Verizon et al. can sue the FCC to hell and back.

petefrt on December 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Or Comcast/Xfinity leverages OnDEMAND as a service above and beyond Netflix, while keeping the ability to access Netflix via their TV pipe.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Rational Thought on December 21, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Because trust-busting is the work of authoritarian tyrants…

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Absolutely, because “Trust-busting” entails government cartels which act as fascistic corporatism, just like the new food regulations will impact small producers to the benefit of big Agro since they raise opportunity costs and consequently drive down small unit production. Thanks for playing, you rent-seeking fascist.

ebrown2 on December 21, 2010 at 10:54 AM

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:42 AM
==============================

Why is this a good scenario, in your eyes?

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:49 AM

ernest:Because so far,with Obama and friends stellar track
record and patternizational behaviour,means,I don`t
trust this current American Administration!!

Every thing,is Liberal Agenda Driven,they don`t give
a rats ass for the American Voter,unless your not
their enemy!!

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Because you live in a market without a Comcast monopoly??? “CERTAIN MARKETS” was the operative phrase in that comment.

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:51 AM

So foster MORE competition. Make it easier for fixed wireless companies to enter the market. Do not put shackles and regulations on broadband providers. Not everything has to be solved with more government.

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 10:55 AM

So let’s create a disincentive to other players enter the market. The FCC message is that you will not control your assets if you enter this market.

Just make sure that other players can easily enter the market. Ensure mobile providers have amble spectrum. Ensure that fixed wireless has spectrum.

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Yep, lovers of fascistic economies like Ernesto hate the potential for real competition.

ebrown2 on December 21, 2010 at 10:56 AM

ebrown2 on December 21, 2010 at 10:54 AM

So we’d be better with monopolies? Really?

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Ten days, only ten more days.

Oldnuke on December 21, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Genachowski’s approach equates the Internet to telephone service and the 1934 Communications Act that birthed the FCC and granted it jurisdiction.

What’s with liberals thinking the internet is like phone service? Remember back in February 2009 when Joe Biden referred to the porkulus website like it was an ’800′ number?

olesparkie on December 21, 2010 at 10:59 AM

So we’d be better with monopolies? Really?

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:56 AM

ernesto:You mean like the Liberal Monoplies,having the
majority to ram things through,and then after
they lose power,they have the audacity to blame
the Republicans for the crap,they couldn`t jam th
rough!!

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:59 AM

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 10:55 AM

How is net neutrality a shackle, when as the Reason video points out, it’s been the de facto SOP?

Either way, Comcast v. Netflix is a perfect example of how monopoly providers will leverage their status to price their competition right out of markets like video streaming. Comcast will charge Netflix their tax, which will, of course, be passed to consumers. Comcast will then offer their competing streaming service for less. Comcast will then pull their NBC/Universal content from Netflix altogether. How is that not anti-competitive? If the rule of law is so important to you people, why are anti-trust laws OK to break?

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Wethal on December 21, 2010 at 10:30 AM

The Federal Government technically only spends $1 million each year on the FCC. The bulk of their budget is paid for in fines and regulatory fees.

FCC BUDGET OF $352.5 MILLION PROPOSED FOR FISCAL YEAR 2011

Provided further, That the sum herein appropriated shall be reduced as such offsetting collections are received during fiscal year 2011 so as to result in a final fiscal year 2011 appropriation of $1,000,000

When it comes to funding, it would appear that the real issue with the FCC is the fact that it is authorized to issue these fines and fees in the first place. Granted, I’m not sure that $350 million in fines and fees collected from telecommunications companies have any appreciable impact on prices paid by consumers downstream, but it is the principle that counts.

steebo77 on December 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Or Comcast/Xfinity leverages OnDEMAND as a service above and beyond Netflix, while keeping the ability to access Netflix via their TV pipe.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM

I will be curious to see what Comcast and other TV providers do with regards to ESPN now offering their channels over the internet. I think is safe to say that sports is what keeps many people paying for TV service. Once you can pay, for example, $100 for all NFL games over the internet and TVs with internet access are common place–they are already on the market–many people will start canceling TV service. I may be one of them.

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 11:01 AM

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:59 AM

No, actually I mean like corporate monopolies. Would you stay focused? You’re like Dr. Strangelove, unable to keep your arm down.

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:01 AM

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Those pesky things called facts always get in the way of liberal arguments.

search4truth on December 21, 2010 at 11:03 AM

With every passing day, the assault on liberty continues. How long before it’s all gone?

search4truth on December 21, 2010 at 10:47 AM

We’re getting close…once all of these unconstitutional laws, acts, rules regulations are in place, all we need is a “national emergency” to “protect the people” and the SHTF will occur.

PatriotRider on December 21, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Ten days, only ten more days.

Oldnuke on December 21, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Oldnuke:I hope were on the same wavelength!:)
========================================================

Cavalry Charge

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE1huPYerp0

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 11:03 AM

FCC= user Fees Content Control

fourdeucer on December 21, 2010 at 11:05 AM

How is that not anti-competitive? If the rule of law is so important to you people, why are anti-trust laws OK to break?

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Again, ensure the customer can switch providers. I am willing to guess that Comcast\Time-Warner has competition in all their major markets. IF their services pisses people off, people will switch. They will than have to change their practicies. They cannot lose the income from their major markets.

Also, losing NBC might not be a bad thing…sans football.

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 11:05 AM

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 11:05 AM

And how does one ensure that customers can switch providers?? As other commenters have stated: anti-trust laws are only tools for authoritarian tyrants

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:07 AM

So much crap is being passed in this lame-duck session. I daresay the democrats are now passing so much of their cherished bills and regulations that they probably wish all year could be a lame-duck year. This is just really disheartening.

KickandSwimMom on December 21, 2010 at 10:21 AM
———
Yeah the last thing you want is the party in power that you don’t like to pass things they said they would pass.

Dave Rywall on December 21, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Liberals, over-reaching their authority, again. Who’d a thought.

GarandFan on December 21, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Dr. Dog on December 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Rapid City, SD is as RedState as it gets. For a community of about 100K, it has TWO competitive cable providers and Qwest offering broadband (despite a decided lack of capacity for Wireless broadband). You’d be surprised how many smaller cities have competitive broadband access.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Exactly, monopolies primarily continue to exist because of government action that preserves them through regulatory rent-seeking. If a genuinely competitive market exists, monopolies cannot sustain themselves without outside force. (which is why big corporations -love- to be thrown into the briar patch of “regulation”)

ebrown2 on December 21, 2010 at 11:09 AM

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 10:59 AM
================
No, actually I mean like corporate monopolies. Would you stay focused? You’re like Dr. Strangelove, unable to keep your arm down.

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:01 AM

ernesto:That is not my arm!

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 11:09 AM

And how does one ensure that customers can switch providers?? As other commenters have stated: anti-trust laws are only tools for authoritarian tyrants

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Ernesto blanks out on a little thing called “competition.”

ebrown2 on December 21, 2010 at 11:10 AM

What’s with liberals thinking the internet is like phone service? Remember back in February 2009 when Joe Biden referred to the porkulus website like it was an ’800′ number?

olesparkie on December 21, 2010 at 10:59 AM

They’re ignorant, freedom-hating morons, basically.

ebrown2 on December 21, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Ernesto, I don’t think you understand the term monopoly and what created monopolies in the past. Take for example the creation of the FCC. The FCC was created to break up the phone company monopoly, but the whole reason for the monopoly in the first place was the fact that the government originally owned the phone lines.

Anyhow, Comcast is not a monopoly. If they are the only ISP in your area (which I guarantee they are not) then the reason is likely either due to a lack of consumer desire for another company or government regulations that make it unprofitable for another company to move in and start up. I’m willing to bet, however, that Direct TV’s Hughes Net is available…though it is a terrible service and I would rather go with Comcast myself.

Here I have the options of Frognet, Intelliwave, and Time Warner Cable for higher access speeds. While TWC has the fastest speeds, I can watch netflix on the lower speeds of Intelliwave if I so desire (actually, that is the service I use). This is all in a small Ohio town of roughly 50,000. I also only included high bandwidth ISPs.

You wanna break up monopolies, then lower the startup costs and regulations for businesses and you’ll find greater competition.

Pattosensei on December 21, 2010 at 11:14 AM

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Since Comcast/Xfinity also charges you for their Internet connection, they won’t do anything. And while Comcast and other cable providers are losing basic cable subscribers, there’s very little evidence to suggest that people will cancel premium subscriptions.

And ernesto: Why would Comcast pull NBC/Universal content from Netflix if Netflix already has, or is going to have, a contract to stream their stuff on Netflix?

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Ernesto blanks out on a little thing called “competition.”

ebrown2 on December 21, 2010 at 11:10 AM

What is competitive about Comcast operating the only broadband service in a given area?

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:14 AM

And ernesto: Why would Comcast pull NBC/Universal content from Netflix if Netflix already has, or is going to have, a contract to stream their stuff on Netflix?

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Because Comcast is planning their own streaming service, obviously.

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:17 AM

This will allow the Obama Administration to dictate how Internet service providers handle the traffic that flows over their infrastructure.

The fact that this policy would violate free speech and property rights does not seem to bother Obama and his minions at all.

After all, it’s for our own good.

But wait, there’s more beneath the surface of this story.

kingsjester on December 21, 2010 at 11:19 AM

And how does one ensure that customers can switch providers?? As other commenters have stated: anti-trust laws are only tools for authoritarian tyrants

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Make it easy for fix wireless providers to enter the market via spectrum availability and affordability. To those that enter the market, let them know that they can control how their assets are used.

The same applies to 4G mobile services.

States can ensure that it is easier/cheaper for companies to install wire (copper or fiber optics) to homes and businesses. Cut the red tape for permits and right to work laws on ensure market prices for labor.

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM

What is competitive about Comcast operating the only broadband service in a given area?

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Do you have a Donkey Coffee in your town? How about a Bill’s Organic Grocer or a Casa Nueve Grill? I’m willing to bet you don’t have Blue Mountain Internet either. Does the fact that you don’t have access to these companies mean that there is a monopoly nearby? No.

I grew up in a town with one stoplight and a pop of 1,500 people. We have one grocery store, Kroger’s. According to your reasoning, Kroger’s is a monopoly because it is the only grocer in my town. Actually, we only have one department store too, Magic Mart. Holy crap, double monopoly! /s

Pattosensei on December 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM

We’ll just have to pressure the incoming Congress to defund the FCC then. The FCC is clearly doing more harm than good at this point.

Aitch748 on December 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:17 AM

And as long as Netflix is willing to pay for their Quality of Service premium with Comcast, that streaming service Comcast is planning is just going to be another service.

Again, unless Netflix is as bullheaded as Cablevision was regarding Fox earlier this year, Netflix IS NOT going to get booted off Comcast’s pipe.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 11:21 AM

The video still ignores the fact that in many American markets, there is no choice of broadband provider. In most cases, this monopoly provider is Comcast. They’ve already launched an offensive against Netflix’s newest proposed service. Comcast has its own interest in streaming video, as it putting the finishing touches on acquiring NBC Universal. Why is this a good scenario, in your eyes?

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:49 AM

BFD. You don’t have to have Internet movies to live a nice life. I’ve managed to live without Netflix at all. I even watch movies on actual DVDs! How horrible! I feel so deprived.

rockmom on December 21, 2010 at 11:23 AM

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Furthermore, if Comcast does boot Netflix, this becomes a great niche entry point for another startup ISP…provided the local government regulations don’t prevent that from happening.

Pattosensei on December 21, 2010 at 11:24 AM

rockmom on December 21, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Me, too.

kingsjester on December 21, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Again, unless Netflix is as bullheaded as Cablevision was regarding Fox earlier this year, Netflix IS NOT going to get booted off Comcast’s pipe.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 11:21 AM

So what, if it is? Who has to have Netflix via Internet to survive??? Why is this worthy of more federal govcernment starngulation of private business? It’s entertainment, for crying out loud!

rockmom on December 21, 2010 at 11:25 AM

I even watch movies on actual DVDs! How horrible! I feel so deprived.

rockmom on December 21, 2010 at 11:23 AM

OMG! What is life coming too!!!!! Some people probably have to drive to a RedBox to rent movies…what a travesty!

WashJeff on December 21, 2010 at 11:27 AM

rockmom on December 21, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Some get spazztic over Netflix because it, supposedly, is a great alternative to having to pay a cable TV subscription. My point is that as long as Netflix is willing to pay for premium access on Comcast’s pipe, then Comcast will NEVER boot Netflix off the pipe. And this is all doable without the officious FCC meddling.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 11:28 AM

It’s amusing how the commies always come out in full force on threads concerning regulatory bodies taking away more of our freedom, especially the stool from Canada.

darwin-t on December 21, 2010 at 11:29 AM

rockmom on December 21, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Because Ernesto is arguing that Comcast is an evil monopoly because it might ban certain sites (Netflix is an example) and there is no other ISP in his area we are arguing according to the premise.

AS to your questions as to why it is worthy of gov’t intervention…it’s not. However, I’ve been trying to demonstrate how Comcast being the only provider in an area is not a true monopoly and will certainly not last as the only provider if it continues to limit access. Another ISP will start up and pull dissatisfied customers away eventually. Until that happens poor Ernest will just have to visit Blockbuster.

Pattosensei on December 21, 2010 at 11:30 AM

For proponents of Net Neutrality I highly recommend these books. I know that Libs typically don’t read much non-fiction but I urge you to just give them a chance.

FDR’s Folly

New Deal or Raw Deal

visions on December 21, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Pattosensei on December 21, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Ernesto bases every thing on the Universe that is NYC. Anything else is backwards assed redneck land.

I really like NetFlix myself.

BigWyo on December 21, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Pattosensei on December 21, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Actually, the FCC was created because of mutual interference between spark gap radio transmitters, and the saturation of the AM broadcast band. There was also the problem of competing telephone companies and in the early days, a subscriber to one company service could not communicate with a subscriber on the other; businesses had to have both services (two telephones) to reach all of their customers.

The resulting telephone monopolies stifled technical advances so much that eventually MaBell was broken up by the Federal Courts.

Skandia Recluse on December 21, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Arguement Ammunition
============================

Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Reason TV: 3 Reasons the FCC Shouldn’t “Touch” the Internet

http://www.theospark.net/2010/12/reason-tv-3-reasons-fcc-shouldnt-touch.html

canopfor on December 21, 2010 at 11:37 AM

BigWyo on December 21, 2010 at 11:35 AM

And last I checked, NYC is served by either TimeWarner (Manhattan) or Cablevision (Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island). Ernesto apparently is in a snit over Comcast/Netflix and his talking points don’t explain why Netflix wants more from Comcast.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 11:38 AM

The resulting telephone monopolies stifled technical advances so much that eventually MaBell was broken up by the Federal Courts.

Skandia Recluse on December 21, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Color me corrected. If I read your post right, you are saying the FCC regulation led to the creation of monopolies? If so, then my point is even stronger.

Pattosensei on December 21, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Don’t worry folks, even though the FCC has no legal authority over the Internet, if any individual tries to sue over this, I am sure a judge would declare we do not have standing.

BierManVA on December 21, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Most folks that discuss this topic massively overthink the issue.

Breaking it down to the basics, there are in fact only two types of traffic on the internet. Ones, and zeros. That describes ALL traffic, in ALL the forms it takes. What is really at issue is the plumbing for those ones and zeros. Which, so far, has been solely a private commercial set of transactions, based solely upon technical standards and capabilities. Capabilites, and capacities, that are market driven. Capability and capacity has increased by market potential, not by government fiat, and there is no indication this will change, at least, so far, in America.

Squabbling over products and services that, today, require certain capacities to be fully realized by the consumer market, when in the future, increases in capabilities and capacities will very likely render such concerns moot, is ridiculous, other than to serve as incentive for the providers of such services to increase their capacities – and using such marketplace squabbling as a justification for government intervention, regulation, and control where none previously existed, is disingenuous at best, sinister at worst.

And the classification of certain groups of ones and zeros as being different from other ones and zeros smacks of the sinister, in that it brings the entire concept of ‘content’ into a discussion where it is, factually, irrelevant.

Governmental control and legalized monopolization were the shackles of innovation and growth to capacity, levels of service, and costs for the dawn of the telecommunications revolution. Any effort to return to even a portion of that model is anything but ‘progress’.

A reminder of the basic, core functions of the FCC needs to be on the ‘to-do’ list for the next Congress, with the power of the purse used to dissuade any ‘creative thinking’ with regard to that mandate by the bureaucrats that work there.

Wind Rider on December 21, 2010 at 11:39 AM

So we’d be better with monopolies? Really?

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 10:56 AM

What problem are you having with the Internet now?

Monopolies are not always a bad thing.

BierManVA on December 21, 2010 at 11:41 AM

It’s now the law of the jungle. As they see it, the world belongs to those who claim it. This was always the wish and will of the Left. Not they are claiming it. The healthcare industry, banking industry, internet, whatever. Republicans cannot stop them. Republicans are unfit and unequal to stop them; they lack the will. The Left wins. They have decided to take control of our lives, and don’t believe we have the will or capacity to resist. They are right. The GOP does not have the will or capacity. The Left will take control of the internet, like they took control of everything else. Mitch McConneell will issue a puling video of protest. That is it. Game over. Just like everything else. He will not stop them.

We are witnessing the oldest struggle with the most certain outcome in all of life: power and will over weakness. They win. We lose. But we have the “ballot box”, you say? What a joke.

rrpjr on December 21, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Color me corrected. If I read your post right, you are saying the FCC regulation led to the creation of monopolies? If so, then my point is even stronger.

Pattosensei on December 21, 2010 at 11:39 AM

It is also a fact that local cable monopolies are the result of local government regulation which no longer has any technical applicability or justification, yet another thing that Ernesto is willfully pig-ignorant about.

ebrown2 on December 21, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Wind Rider on December 21, 2010 at 11:39 AM

I believe the 1 and 0 argument can be made for most of the technologies the FCC regulates. Anything with a circuit board operates on binary, not just the internet and computers, but your phone, tv, etc., so I’m not sure how much water that would legally hold However, I certainly agree with the sentiment.

Pattosensei on December 21, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Wind Rider on December 21, 2010 at 11:39 AM

What’s there to overthink? The initial infrastructure of the Internet was funded via DARPA. When Bush41 authorized the commercial use of the Internet, providers like Comcast and Verizon agreed to build up the Internet’s infrastructure capabilities in return for being able to monetize those improvements. Netflix and Google think they should be able to get the priority traffic their hit counts warrant FOR FREE (or as low cost as possible), and they (and some of their gaga-eyed “supporters”) want the FCC to help ensure they pay little to nothing.

This is just an argument over pricing of the Quality of Service premium. And those extra capabilities you speak of do carry a cost, which the providers have a reasonable expectation to recoup and profit.

BradSchwartze on December 21, 2010 at 11:46 AM

What is competitive about Comcast operating the only broadband service in a given area?

ernesto on December 21, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Are there laws preventing others from doing so?

If so, then there is not a free market, and capitalism can’t be blamed.

Which is it? Free market, or government-propped monopoly?

Monopolies cannot exist without the aid of the government.

Good Lt on December 21, 2010 at 11:49 AM

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