The FCC Chairman's statements are very cleverly worded to sound positive, but really are just additional rules that could be used to control the Internet.
Firstly, tell me how is Net Neutrality going to increase competition or break the monopoly of AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon? Is the government going to force service provider companies to be created? Is the government going to fund service provider companies that compete with the big companies? They could tax the big providers more than the small, but does that mean that under-served areas will get more bandwidth or will those small companies go to downtown areas and use their tax breaks to provide service to companies?
The government has never meddled with business in a constructive way. You might say: what about the breakup of AT&T's telephone monopoly. Well, there were already laws in place to fight the monopoly, but AT&T was exempt because they were a utility. All the government did was reduce meddling and simply allowed existing laws to be enforced.
This website is filled with comments which suggest that these rules would be used to end discrimination in terms of broadband access... that the government would force providers to increase bandwidth in under-served areas. The free market already forces providers to do so. Where there's money to be made, businesses invest. Or, do those who support this think that providers should be forced to put in additional bandwidth into areas that don't generate revenue? Does this mean that scarce taxpayer dollars will go to provide another entitlement to citizens? Or does it mean that the government will force providers to invest their own money into areas that will not generate enough revenue to pay for equipment. Either way you look at it, it's redistribution of wealth. Either taxpayer money going to provide service to under-served areas or the premiums paid by well-served areas going to pay for under-served areas. Taken to an extreme, the government could even force providers to become insolvent (and require government rescue because "The Internet is Too Big to Fail").
Do you see how these two "harmless" additions to the FCC's charter could be used to harm our freedoms?
I say we need LESS government intervention and the Internet is best without government meddling.
P.S. The District of Columbia Appeals Court ruled today that the FCC does not have the authority to censure Comcast for controlling bandwidth for some Internet users that were utilizing their network for very high-traffic applications. This does not end Net Neutrality as some have suggested. The FCC can appeal to the Supreme Court, the FCC can lobby for legislation to give them control, or (most likely) the FCC can push to have ISP's treated as utilities, which would give the FCC the authority.
What is the point of all of us posting our thoughts on Net Neutrality? Do any of us think that the FCC will count up the posts in favor and against Net Neutrality and see which opinion wins? Certainly not. So why bother to post here? Because it is critical for the FCC to be aware that citizens are paying attention to what Washington is up to, to let the FCC know that they haven't fooled all of us, and to let Washington know that there are enough of us who haven't been fooled to make a difference during upcoming elections.
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