Is the FCC the wrong agency to handle net neutrality?

“Is the Federal Communications Commission the wrong agency to handle matters of net neutrality and Internet openness?” Brian Fung wonders for The Washington Post.

“That’s what some in Congress and elsewhere are suggesting. Instead, they say, ensuring that Internet providers don’t abuse their network operator roles should be a matter for the Federal Trade Commission and antitrust law,” Fung reports. “In a hearing Friday, members of the House Judiciary Committee grilled current and former federal officials over the possibility of letting the FTC take on the punishing of broadband companies that have harmed consumers.”

“Do you believe the FTC would be effective at protecting the competitive interest?” asked Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.),” Fung reports. “Former Republican FCC commissioner Robert McDowell and current FTC commissioner Joshua Wright told the committee that using the FTC to regulate companies after the fact would be enough and that the FCC does not need to regulate Internet service providers (ISPs). So far, there’s been no evidence of a market failure that would require the FCC’s preemptive regulation, they said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If it ain’t broke, don’t “fix” it.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David G.” for the heads up.]

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47 Comments

    1. You ain’t gonna get no income from repeat repairs if it ain’t broke, so ah sez if it ain’t broke, fix it so that its broke and I can charge yawl tah fixit!!! 🙂

      The above statement is the fifth amendment of the state of Bananarama, the Fifty Fifth state of the good ol’ US of A! 🙂

  1. Right, wait until the well is full of toxic chemicals, then try to find who did it, if it might have been OK for them to do it and make sure you can prove that someone was actually harmed by their actions and that who ever is complaining actually has standing to bitch. Republican governance at its best.

    Why not have a rule that says “Don’t Poison the Water Supply”. Is that sooo hard?

            1. please entertain me with the percentage of drinking water consumed in the United States without fluoride (excluding those on their own water wells) and those with. Thank you in advance.

            2. also, your reference link refers to cities outside of the United States. My entire point is that the US federal government mandates the additive of fluoride in all municipal water supplies.

            3. Who knows, I’d guess there’s a lot of fluoridated water. The figure is irrelevant, though, because your point remains refuted: the long dick of the federal government will not come down on your town for not fluoridating water.

              The Safe Drinking Water Act fluoride standards are voluntary for states and municipalities. There’d probably be a constitutional issue with mandatory fluoride standards, anyway.

            4. Fluoridation Opposition is Scientific, Respectable & Growing
              4,038 professionals (including 331 dentists and 518 MD’s) urge that fluoridation be stopped citing scientific evidence that ingesting fluoride is ineffective at reducing tooth decay and has serious health risks. See statement: http://www.fluoridealert.org/professionals-statement.aspx
              Eleven US EPA unions representing over 7000 environmental and public health professionals are calling for a moratorium on fluoridation.
              The CDC reports that 225 less communities adjusted for fluoride between 2006 and 2008. About 100 US and Canadian communities rejected fluoridation since 2008.
              In Nebraska, 53 out of 66 towns voted not to fluoridate in 2008 and 2010, reports the PEW Foundation.
              Tennessee, once 99% fluoridated, is now down in the low 90’s, according to the American Dental Association News.
              In 2011 the following US cities stopped fluoridation: Holmen and Grantsburg, Wisconsin; Welsh, Louisiana; Mechanicsville, Iowa; Hartland, Marcellus and Mt. Clemens, MI; Fairbanks and Palmer, Alaska; Spring Hill, Lawrenceburg & Hohenwald, TN; Philomath, OR; Pottstown, PA; College Station and Lago Vista, Texas ; Spencer, Indiana; Naples, NY; Pinellas County and Tarpon, FL; Amesbury, MA and Yellow Springs, Ohio . In 2012: Myerstown, Pennsylavnia
              In Canada: Lake Shore, Ontario; Calgary, Slave Lake and Taber, Alberta; Flin Flon, Manitoba; Verchères, Québec; Lake Cowichan and Williams Lake, BC; Moncton and Dieppe, New Brunswick.
              In New Zealand: New Plymouth and Taumarunui.
              Many cities are considering stopping fluoridation including New York City
              New York State communities which have already stopped or rejected fluoridation include: Elba, Levittown, Canton, Corning, Johnstown, Oneida, Carle Place, Rockland County, Suffolk County, Western Nassau County, Albany, Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Riverhead, Central Bridge Water District, Homer, Ithaca, Rouses Point and Amsterdam.
              Students in Ireland are spearheading a campaign to stop fluoridation in the only country that mandates fluoridation country-wide.
              Adverse health effects of ingesting fluoride are here http://www.FluorideAction.Net/health

            5. That’s great, but irrelevant.

              I’m not here to argue the merits of fluoridating water. I simply corrected your misunderstanding of the law.

            6. Silicofluorides, widely used in water fluoridation, are unlicensed medicinal substances, administered to large populations Without informed consent or supervision by a qualified medical practitioner. Fluoridation fails the test of reliability and specificity, and, lacking toxicity testing of silicofluorides, constitutes unlawful medical research. It is banned in most of Europe; European Union human rights legislation makes it illegal. Silicofluorides have never been submitted to the U.S. FDA for approval as medicines. The ethical validity of fluoridation policy does not stand up to scrutiny relative to the Nuremberg Code and other codes of medical ethics, including the Council of Europe’s Biomedical Convention of 1999. The police power of the State has been used in the United States to override health concerns, with the support of the courts, which have given deference to health authorities.

            7. I don’t see anyone disputing that there is strong evidence that flouride is not good…

              The point is that your initial diatribe, wherein the Feds mandate it’s addition to drinking water is simply untrue. The federal government does not MANDATE fluoride use in municipal water. States and local municipalities can set their own regulations.

              You just choose to ignore that fact and rant on like an idiot who must have been raising on heavily fluoridated water… And probably in a low oxygen environment for extended periods of time as well.

            8. Arwee, don’t engage him–I mistakenly did. Instead of trying to convince him with logic, ou’re better off trying to extract water from a rock. Chances of success are much higher.

    1. What does water fluoridation have anything to do with the FCC sticking their noses where they don’t belong? If it’s a reference to how too much government is a bad thing, then that is agreeable, but if it is just more politibait for Obama bootlickers, then I’m not interested.

  2. Some thoughts:

    1) Members of both the Democraps and Retardlicans who are puppet pawns of the ISP corporate oligarchy LOVE <3 Mr. Thomas Wheeler. They want him in the FCC to f*k over We The People, destroying Net Neutrality so the monopolistic ISPs can rape, pillage and burn the Internet for the purpose of short term profits, long term disaster. Typical biznizz BS of our age. /rant

    2) I can see the FTC getting involved in 'after the fact' criminal behavior by the ISPs. Fine. But stay the hell out of Net Neutrality.

    3) The FCC is attempting to REGULATE the Internet in favor of a specific group of businesses, the ISP vampires. This is a fascinating situation where the biznizziz WANT WANT WANT regulation! They do NOT want the Internet left alone to what it has now: Net Neutrality.

    Let's be realistic here: Net Neutrality is the default. To regulate the Internet = KILL Net Neutrality. Therefore, as MDN indicates: DON'T BREAK what doesn't need fixing. But deceitful puppet pawns like Thomas Wheeler will persist. And let's leap back to where Mr. Wheeler came from: President Barrack Obama, enemy of We The People.

    Fascinating web of deceit. Nothing new. More of the same.

    1. And no, I have no interest in the web of deceit from the other side of the aisle either. To hell with both traitorous political parties. I’m for third parties at this point. Examples: Get the hell out of the Republican party please, Libertarians. Escape the crazy sickness that is Neo-Conservativism. Real Conservatives: The same advice to you as well.

      …And so forth. I merely brainstorm.

    2. Good points. Correct me if I’m wrong, though:

      Is it maybe more accurate to say that net neutrality is NOT the default, but the ideal? The current default is “Comcast does whatever the hell it wants” because no rule prevents them from doing so.

      The FCC wants to pass a pro-Comcast rule to solidify asshole practices, because, as you’re alluding to, Comcast has done a great job of “capturing” the regulators, who should be looking out for us. But Comcast, today, is not bound by net neutrality principles. That’s why Netflix and Apple have had to cut deals with Comcast to ensure decent speeds.

      If I’m wrong, though, put me through the ringer, because I’m not well-versed in this topic.

      1. Good point!

        On the other hand, at this point the machinations of Comcast and Verizon can be called EXTORTION as there really is no legal precedent for what they’re pulling with Netflix. I’ve heard some grumbling about Cox as well. Time Warner Cable are keeping their mouths shut as tight as possible while they pray they get bought out by Comcast.

        What I would expect from a fair and just US government (I know, I fantasize) would be prosecution of BOTH Verizon and Comcast for their BLATANT cuts on bandwidth specifically from Netflix. The data is all there! Both deliberately cut Netflix bandwidth specifically to extort money out of them. And they f*king Verizon doesn’t even bother to raise the bandwidth, despite being paid the extortion money. THAT’S CRIME.

        So, I dream that what’s right, which is Net Neutrality is the default, is what we have. But of course, these days that wonderful meme/spirit of the age takes precedent: Screw Your Customer.

        IOW: Your point is just as valid.

  3. The FCC IS THE RIGHT PLACE, WHAT’S WRONG IS HAVING THE INDUSTRY/LOBBYISTS WATCHING ITSELF. CONGRESS CAN CHANGE THAT IF THEY HAD A BACKBONE AND WOULD DO WHAT IS RIGHT.

  4. “Don’t fix what ain’t broken….”

    Under the current, “self-regulatory” system, I pay good money to Verizon to get 50Mbps of bandwidth on their optical fibre. I test daily (bandwidth.net app) and it is almost always up there.

    However, when I try to stream a Netflix HD movie, suddenly I get frequent stalls and buffering, to the point of it being useless. 50Mbps is four times faster than the needed bandwidth for HD streaming.

    Verizon is trying to force me to use their own on-demand streaming offerings by throttling down competitor’s traffic. No law exists that can prevent them from doing this, since the network is their own and they can hide this throttling behind “network management and optimization” excuse (throttling heavy usage to allow everyone a fair share of the pipe). The beautiful thing for Verizon is that they now simply go to Netflix and say “pay up and we’ll leave your traffic alone”. It is like the mob, breaking shop windows to a business and then coming back and demanding “protection money” to leave them alone…

    So, no, we need no regulation, Comcasts and Verizons of this country are perfectly capable of regulating themselves and playing fair…

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