FCC on Net Neutrality

The FCC is determined to be the Internet regulator even though the Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled they have no authority because Congress has not delegated the authority to the FCC.

On one good point, acting against Comcast, they did go after them for blocking peer-to-peer sharing. They acted on torrents but according to some forums, Comcast also tried to block VOIP via carriers like Skype and Vonage.

But here is why you can not trust the FCC to regulate net neutrality. They approved the sale of NBC Universal to Comcast, the nations largest provider of cable TV and broadband ISP. That is vertical integration and violates the whole concept of net neutrality.

The FCC did impose some rules on sharing, but only for seven years. It also imposed rules that have nothing to do with net neutrality or cable TV access. These rules are meant to bypass Congress – legislation by regulation. Who is going to make up the difference in cost of supplying broadband at $10 per month? Maybe all their other customers?

What we need is more competition. That would drive down the cost of broadband faster than any legislation. Remember, the first IBM PC sold for about $8,000.

Then there is the cozy relationship between the administration and the CEO of GE, the previous owner of NBC Universal.

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2 Responses to “FCC on Net Neutrality”

  • Bruce Edward Walker:

    Loren, I wouldn’t worry about the NBCU-Comcast merger. It’s strictly a common case of vertical integration. It shouldn’t drive up consumer costs (as a matter of fact one of the caveats of approving the deal by FCC Chairman Genachowski makes specific provisions for this – something the FCC should never have the power to force). You may want to turn your attention to the regulatory abuse running rampant at the FCC and apparent in their handling of the merger and net neutrality issues.

    • Loren:

      Bruce, I view the Internet as composed of three main components. 1) Content providers – Everything from search engines, private companies like Microsoft, Netflix, broadcast networks, “free” user content like YouTube, and server farms providing hosting services. 2) Big pipe providers that supply the spiderweb of connections. 3) Last mile providers. These are the local ISPs.

      Any vertical integration would, by my definition, violate net neutrality. Plus, many of the restrictions on Comcast regarding NBC Universal are only for seven years. Personally, absent active competition for the last mile, I believe all local ISPs should be customer owned cooperatives.

      My experience working with and for a small municipality, tells me regulated monopolies are only slightly better than unregulated monopolies. That includes, phone, cable TV, and electricity. Just watch the price changes now that iPhone users can use either AT&T or Verizon. Currently the only competition for the average utility customer is cell phone service – larger cities have more competition while rural areas may have none.

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