U.S. FCC plays Russian Roulette with so-called ‘net neutrality’

“At its core, network neutrality is a struggle to see which, if any, federal agency has the legal authority to regulate the Internet. In the worst possible way, the Federal Communications Commission would like to be that federal agency. But this might be the worst possible outcome for consumers,” Harold Furchtgott-Roth writes for Forbes. “For more than a decade in countless decisions, the FCC has repeatedly held that broadband is not subject to the same costly and punishing common carriage regulations that the FCC imposes on telephone companies. Courts have consistently upheld those decisions.”

“The most straightforward reading of the court decision would be for the FCC to abandon its pursuit of network neutrality. Let Congress decide if a federal agency should regulate the Internet and if that agency should be the FCC,” Furchtgott-Roth writes. “But the FCC seeks a more complicated interpretation of the court ruling, one in which there is a path for FCC regulation of the Internet. That more complicated, and unpersuasive, interpretation might include some combination of technical findings or, problematically, deeming some or all of the Internet as a telecommunications service subject to the FCC jurisdiction.”

“Whether it is gamesmanship or politics as usual in Washington, the strategy of using courts to kick the can down the road is a sad form of government. Call it a casino government: gambling on the public dime in which everyone except the public wins,” Furchtgott-Roth writes. “The FCC asserts that it is merely trying to protect the ability of ‘content’ providers to reach consumers through the Internet without being blocked or paying extra for priority service to broadband service providers. But paying extra for better service is the norm in most markets. It is not a sign of ill-functioning markets. Major firms already have a wide range of avenues for their content to reach the Internet, many of which are based on paying more for higher quality, faster transmission to the Internet. Broadband firms are already disciplined by competitive wholesale markets in providing Internet access. It is not clear what additional advantage is provided by FCC regulation of these competitive markets.”

“Nor would there be any advantage to FCC regulation of retail markets. All but residents in truly rural areas have access to not one but several broadband providers. Practically all of these broadband service providers, usually in quite competitive markets outside of rural areas, allow consumers to pay more for better services. Regulating these competitive markets would have little value to consumers,” Furchtgott-Roth writes. “With its unlawful and backwards interpretation of partitioning the Internet, the FCC has little if any chance of winning in court. But the FCC will succeed in holding much of the Internet and Internet investment hostage for a few years while the FCC’s rule works its way through court to an inevitable defeat. If it is determined to harm a sector of the economy with excessive regulation and unwinnable court cases, the FCC should find a less critical sector than the Internet. The Internet and the broader information sector contribute disproportionately to the American economic growth, which could use help rather than governmental interference. The FCC appears determined to take its casino form of government to a different level — Russian roulette.”

Much more in the full article here.

Harold Furchtgott-Roth is a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission. He is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and founder of the Center for the Economics of the Internet. He is a former Chief Economist for the U.S. House Committee on Commerce. He was a Senior Economist for Economists Incorporated from 1988-1995 and, before that, he served as a Research Analyst for the Center for Naval Analyses. Furchtgott-Roth holds an S.B. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University. He is a member of the American Economics Association and the Econometrics Society.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Related articles:
What Apple’s new content delivery network means for so-called ‘net neutrality’ – and for you – August 19, 2014
Apple’s content delivery network now live; paid interconnect deals with ISPs, massive capacity in place – August 1, 2014
Apple’s content delivery network is reportedly live and it’s positively massive – July 31, 2014
Apple negotiating paid interconnect deals with ISPs for their own Content Delivery Network – May 20, 2014

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner: Republicans will continue efforts to stop misguided scheme to regulate the Internet – November 10, 2014
Tech Freedom: Obama cynically exploits confusion over Title II, misses opportunity to lead on legislative deal – November 10, 2014
Obama want FCC to regulate the Internet; Cruz calls it ‘Obamacare for the Internet’ – November 10, 2014
Verizon: We will sue U.S. FCC over ‘net neutrality’ – November 6, 2014
What Apple’s new content delivery network means for so-called ‘net neutrality’ – and for you – August 19, 2014
Forget about Net Neutrality; the Net isn’t neutral now, nor will it ever be – June 23, 2014
Is the FCC the wrong agency to handle net neutrality? – June 21, 2014
Obama backs away from ‘Net Neutrality’ campaign promises after U.S. FCC vote – May 16, 2014
U.S. FCC vote on ‘net neutrality’ will kick off long battle – May 13, 2014
Mozilla proposes new version of net neutrality rules – May 6, 2014
FCC to propose new rules for so-called ‘Net Neutrality’; would allow broadband providers to charge companies for speed – April 23, 2014
FCC plans to issue new so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – February 19, 2014
U.S. federal court strikes down FCC’s so-called ‘net-neutrality’ regulations – January 14, 2014


    1. Is your no comment akin to an acknowledgement that this transparent GOP push against net neutrality is an obvious affront to the average citizen and a position paid for by a greedy, broken industry desperate to maintain their power so they might abuse it further?

      Does it make you feel dirty supporting these sell-out GOP whores?

      1. I detect you know nothing of this issue, the history, court rulings and what direction to GO IN for the greater good.

        Another administration robot dissing everything that does not grant the MONARCH PC PREZ TOTAL CONTROL.
        Take a hike. You LOST the election and time for cooler red heads to move the country forward!

  1. We get it: Comcast bought the entire Republicans party, plenty of Democrats, and an army of lobbyists in Washington. They paid good money for these people, so they are now going to spew this hyperbolic nonsense until they convince the entire Hee-Haw demographic to oppose Net Neutrality regulation because it’s the “Obama-care of the Internet” or some other tripe.

    I get that the coalition of the corrupt and the clueless have many “creative” things to say about Net Neutrality. But do you have regurgitate it right here, though? I mean, Comcast didn’t buy up all the ads on Macdailynews, did they? Can’t you Just turn off their brand bullshit off here, and go back to talking about iPhones and Apple Watches or whatever?

      1. The way MDN used it was ineffectual, so I’m re-appropriating it. From now on, I say the “Hee Haw” demographic is everyone being tricked by cable companies into jump onto the new anti-Net-Neutrality bandwagon. Yipikaye mother f*cker.

    1. Many of the more, uh, left-leaning commentators in these forums could learn a hell of a lot if they read some Milton Friedman, winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (back when winning a Nobel Prize meant something). Below are a few ideas to consider. I dare our left-leaning friends to actually read these quotes and fully consider what they say.

      The world runs on individuals pursuing their self interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a, from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. – Milton Friedman

      The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem. – Milton Friedman

      So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system. – Milton Friedman

      Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it. – Milton Friedman

      Indeed, a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it… gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. – Milton Friedman

      Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? – Milton Friedman

      If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand. – Milton Friedman

      1. Friedman had other interesting beliefs:
        He was supportive of the state provision of some public goods that private businesses are not considered as being able to provide.

        He supported a progressive tax system in which the poor receive a basic living income from the government.

        He supported policies such as legalization of drugs and prostitution.

        He was a supporter of gay rights. He specifically supported same-sex marriage.

        He was an adviser to Chilean dictator Pinochet. He did not criticize the dictatorship, nor the assassinations, illegal imprisonments, torture, or other atrocities that were well known by then.

        He thought the job creation programs [i.e., stimulus programs] instituted by government were appropriate responses to the great depression. He personally benefited from them. He also thought that increasing the money supply [i.e., stimulus] would have been a better fiscal policy at that time instead of implementing price controls.

        He was happy to be thought of as “classic liberal” – whose beliefs include:
        Individuals without capital can only be motivated by fear of hunger and by a reward, while “men of higher rank” can be motivated by ambition as well.
        That poor urban conditions are inevitable; that population growth would outstrip food production, and that consequence was desirable because starvation would help limit population growth.
        Voting is a privilege, not a right.

        So I’m sure you would agree – for multiple reasons – that just because someone wins a Nobel prize doesn’t mean that everything they say and do is right.

      2. You’re partly right; you just don’t understand what freedom is where it comes from.

        Freedom isn’t the natural state of people in the absence of government control. The natural, unchecked state of humanity is extortion, brutality, and fear. Without government, there is no freedom: everyone’s lives and works at the mercy of the most powerful and ruthless among the population. Why? That’s just how humanity is. If you take away the restrictions, greedy people will take what they want from anyone not powerful enough to stop them.

        Seemingly paradoxically, freedom is created by restrictions. People are given “rights” – a totally artificial and unnatural creation of society. These rights are protected by government, through laws. These laws are actually restrictions, saying you cannot violate the rights of others. That’s what freedom is. It means you cannot simply do whatever you want – it means you have to respect the rights of everyone. That way, everyone has the opportunity to make a life for themselves, are not at the mercy of those more powerful and ruthless than they are.

        There are many real problems with rule of government. Thomas Paine summarizes them well. The solutions aren’t dismantling government and throwing out the rule books, government is essential for freedom, and freedom is essential for prosperity. The solutions to government all involve forcing it to work for the people. There is no alternative to government rule where freedom are property even possible.

        Net Neutrality is an excellent practical example. Internet companies will do whatever makes them the most money. As competition dies out, and with no regulation to stop them, they will turn to extortion to increase profits, as they are already doing with Netflix (demanding more money to stop throttling). Without regulation, market forces alone are not enough to ensure equal Internet access. With regulations, restricting what Internet companies can do to people, free and unencumbered access can be maintained.

        1. “..People are given “rights” – a totally artificial and unnatural creation of society…”

          “…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

          uh, lemme think: who has more credibility, Thomas Jefferson or Crumbler, The Dipshit Blogger, uh..this sure hurts my head..uh

          1. uh, still thinkin’….Tom was Third President of the United States, drafted the Declaration of Independence, American ambassador to France, initiated the Louisiana Purchase, wrote a four-language comparative thesis on the philosophy of Christ (for fun). governor of Virginia, was an architect, author, musician, inventor..

            but, Crumbler, The Dipshit Blogger, types real good…man, this is a real conundrum, somebody help me out.

            1. And the point you seem to keep making (over and over) is that you are a bad typist/writer and have an inability to make arguments based on logic instead of ridicule?

              Why not just express yourself with some rational points instead of all the emotional illogical hyperbole.

              Don’t you have a sibling you can have your pointless emotional arguments with? Real question. If not then we are here for you, don’t feel pressured to up your level of discourse until your ready.

          2. Okay… so you’re saying I’m wrong because an 18th century Deist said “God did it”. And, on top of your religious and nationalist non sequitur, you threw in a bit of name calling. Well, I’m just going to hand the victory point to you. I’m unable to point out the error in your conclusion, as the premise and reasoning process behind it was too irrelevant and divorced from fact for me to even know how to engage with it. Congrats, you’ve successfully derailed this attempt at communication and convinced yourself you were right.

    2. Hey crumbler, the election is over and you can get up off the floor now. Net Neutrality is the SAME canard (as we have learned in the last 24 hours) as Obamacare. Take a hike.

    1. It’s difficult to understand because it’s pro corporate bullshit designed to paint the inexorable centralization of power in the hands of the few as some magic feature of a free and open market.

            1. The Senate and the President regulate, the president appoints the commissioners, the senate has hearings to confirm/reject them and they serve 5 year terms. The president designates one of the commissioners to serve as chairman. Only three commissioners may be members of the same political party. None of them may have a financial interest in any FCC-related business.

              The FCC’s mission, specified in Section One of the Communications Act of 1934 and amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (amendment to 47 U.S.C. §151) is to “make available so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.” The Act furthermore provides that the FCC was created “for the purpose of the national defense” and “for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communications.”

              Consistent with the objectives of the Act as well as the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), the FCC has identified six goals in its 2006–2011 Strategic Plan. These are:

              “All Americans should have affordable access to robust and reliable broadband products and services. Regulatory policies must promote technological neutrality, competition, investment, and innovation to ensure that broadband service providers have sufficient incentives to develop and offer such products and services.”

              “Competition in the provision of communication services, both domestically and overseas, supports the Nation’s economy. The competitive framework for communications services should foster innovation and offer consumers reliable, meaningful choice in affordable services.”

              “Efficient and effective use of non-federal spectrum domestically and internationally promotes the growth and rapid development of innovative and efficient communication technologies and services.”

              “The Nation’s media regulations must promote competition and diversity and facilitate the transition to digital modes of delivery.”

              Public Safety and Homeland Security
              “Communications during emergencies and crisis must be available for public safety, health, defense, and emergency personnel, as well as all consumers in need. The Nation’s critical communications infrastructure must be reliable, interoperable, redundant, and rapidly restorable.”

              Modernize the FCC
              “The Commission shall strive to be highly productive, adaptive, and innovative organization that maximizes the benefits to stakeholders, staff, and management from effective systems, processes, resources, and organizational culture.”


            2. Market forces and level playing fields in the markets don’t just happen naturally. The natural progression of power is to centralize, not just in government but in commerce to.

              But some situations are particularly damaging to free markets:
              – Monopolies or near monopolies
              – Critical utilities
              – Collusion between powerful entities
              – Entities benefiting from special government support

              Telecoms fit every one of these categories.

              A rule (by any branch of government) which simply states that telecoms cannot use their (beyond normal market) power to treat customers data differently, or to treat information suppliers differently, in order to act as a lucrative gatekeeper, restore market forces for both customers and internet suppliers.

              Granted this happens at the loss of some freedom for telecoms, but telecoms are not regulated naturally by market forces.

              An alternative, would be temporary regulations that restore market forces, such as requirements that telecoms rent their infrastructure to new entrants at reasonable prices until there is clear healthy competition in all their markets.

              Either way, to restore market forces regulation is needed.

              In the meantime, the exact opposite is happening. Telecoms continue to merge reducing market forces further.

              i am just as big a believer in market forces as you are, but their isn’t some natural state where market forces just happen without anyone actively ensuring they do.

              Power has a tendency to consolidate and become corrupt, in markets as easily as it happens in government. Government and the most powerful corporations and individuals require special regulation as they are in a position to change the playing field in their favor using non-beneficial means.

              Obviously the fewer regulations the better, but simpler regulations the better. But there is no free market without them.

        1. If you conservatards would put half the energy into oversight as you do opposing healthcare and gay marriage it might be a reality, but then reality spits in the face of this idea doesn’t it?

          The fact is that the people crying wolf over regulation are the same ones who enable this corporate fleecing of America with the greatest aplomb now isn’t it. Fox guarding the hen house indeed..

            1. Only in your world does Pro-industry regulation = Worshiping government.

              If you are too blind to see that an overarching drive for profit above all else has often been to the detriment of WE THE PEOPLE and our lands, I can’t help you.

              The question you should ask yourself is why do you kneel at the alter of Koch?

            2. When did Liberals (who supposedly value the individual’s freedoms above all else) begin to hate the freedom of capitalism and turn to loving the idea of centralized government tribunals that make decisions for the individuals instead of letting them live free?

            3. Independent here.

              You can worship the Republican party and emotionally demonize those you disagree with if you like, but your party isn’t “conservative” in any real sense, and it has screws up governance, bloats government spending, and gives out as much welfare/subsidies to special interests as the other party.

              This mentally challenged team sports view of politics has drug our country into the mud. Apparently your real enemy is critical thinking.

        2. Actually, as in the ISPs. Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, Optimum, RCN… The consolidation in the industry created a powerful monopoly (technically, oligopoly). Nothing illegal about monopoly, until we begin seeing abuse.

          And abuse we are seeing today: throttling of Netflix traffic in order to entice users to use their own video-on-demand services.

          And today, no law exists that can prohibit ISPs from “shaping” their traffic in order to “optimize the consumers’ experience” (in other words, traffic throttling for competing services)…

    2. Sparkles, as I pointed out below: This article is DECEITFUL. It makes STATEMENTS with NO basis in fact. It’s bullshit wrapped up with ribbons. Go read something intelligent and honest instead.

      Worthless TechTard & PoliTard journalism: Combining two worthless forms of writing. Garbage in, garbage out.

  2. Pollyanna corporatist bullshit already exposed as nonsense by the Comcast/Netflix fiasco, not to mention telco ISPs blocking services on phones by denying OS updates or the operation of built-in features. Never mind the repeated use of nonsense phrase “regulating the Internet”. It is not the Internet that’s going to be regulated by NN; it’s the ISPs that actually want to partition the Internet into lanes and punish companies that won’t bow to their extortion. Did you learn nothing even after the government had to break Ma Bell’s monopoly in order that technology could move forward with regards to telephone services? Or as usual, have you deluded yourselves into thinking that that was somehow different from what Comcast et also want to do to the Internet?

    1. You probably meant ” the silence of the typical coterie of knee-jerking conservatives”…

      I see plenty of quite articulate and vocal responses against this non-sensical article (looks like it was written by the Comcast PR office…).

  3. So a conservative “think tank” who has in the past adopted political positions they were PAID to have, opposes NN, whodathunkit. Typical…

    The Hudson Institute is an American conservative non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C.. It was founded in 1961 in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, by futurist, military strategist, and systems theorist Herman Kahn and his colleagues at the RAND Corporation.

    Critics question the institute’s position on many issues, such as their negative campaigning against organic farming, since they receive large sums of money from conventional food companies. The New York Times commented on Dennis Avery’s attacks on organic farming: “The attack on organic food by a well-financed research organization suggests that, though organic food accounts for only 1 percent of food sales in the United States, the conventional food industry is worried.”

    After it was revealed that Michael Fumento received funding from Monsanto for his 1999 book Bio-Evolution, company spokesman Chris Horner confirmed that it continues to fund the think tank. “It’s our practice, that if we’re dealing with an organization like this, that any funds we’re giving should be unrestricted,” Horner told BusinessWeek. Hudson’s CEO and President Kenneth R. Weinstein told BusinessWeek that he was uncertain if the payment should have been disclosed. “That’s a good question, period,” he said.

  4. With all due respect for all the titles the writer holds, he is simply wrong, because he starts from the wrong assumptions.

    He claims that because in all but rural markets, multiple ISPs exist that compete with each other, therefore a healthy market forces exist that can regulate itself without the need for intervention. This is simply not true today.

    When ISPs were just ISPs, that was correct. Today, virtually ALL ISPs offer Internet, TV and phone services. And because of this, there must be oversight or regulation. Because as cable TV providers, with video-on-demand services as part of their offerings, they have a compelling reason to leverage their ISP services in order to block competition.

    I pay some $70 per month for Verizon’s FiOS service with 50Mbps of downstream bandwidth, which is plentiful for Netflix. Because Verizon is clearly throttling Netflix’s traffic, I have frequent problems. Because I know what is happening, I continue to report these problems to Verizon. Other people who don’t know what’s going on will simply deem Netflix unreliable and abandon it in favour of Verizon’s own video-on-demand service.

    What are my options here? Well, there aren’t any that would solve my problem. I could switch to other ISPs, but all the available ones in my market (and it is one of the biggest urban markets in the US — NYC) are also offering cable TV and phone service, (Time Warner, RCN, Optimum), and they also are apparently throttling Netflix (surreptitiously).

    This really isn’t Netflix’s fault. The company pays hefty money to ensure fast and reliable delivery of their traffic to local and regional pipes across America (I believe they use Akamai), which makes it highly accessible and available to all local ISPs across the country. It is what these ISPs do with Netflix’s traffic that is troubling, and currently, nobody is doing anything about it. No current law exists that prevents ISPs from “prioritizing” net traffic across their network in order to “ensure best customer experience for everyone” (the euphemism for throttling competing services).

    Something MUST be done, and if politically conservative leaning Americans really believe that the solution is NOT government regulation (or even just oversight), then I’d be very, very interested to hear exactly WHAT would be their solution for this problem. The “unrestricted open market”, as it works today, clearly isn’t working, and consumers are suffering because of this.

    1. Notice how I tried hard to avoid making a political statement out of this.

      For the next two years, America will be in conservative hands. They have an excellent opportunity to fix this now. The problem exists. It must be fixed. “Open and free market” apparently seems to be compounding the problem.

      Let us hear (form all those who are so adamantly against government-based solutions) exactly HOW can we fix this problem? Can we get articulate, concrete and effective suggestions?

      1. Only Delusional Dems like yourself SEE, or is it MANUFACTURE, a problem. And then the media narrative follows only Big Gov Dems have the answer. Yeah, right.

        But OK, I’ll bite.

        Calculate the cost to run broadband cable across the huge state of Montana over the Rocky Mountains versus a one mile FLAT radius of Manhattan. Same amount of subscribers. Not the SAME COST.

        Sinking in yet? I don’t want your head to explode courtesy of market forces.

  5. I appreciate the varying viewpoints I read on MDN. But the amount of hateful, personal attacks thrown around by commenters at those who disagree with them really does nothing to advance the discussion.

    If Obama had come out in support of a rule allowing content providers to buy preferred access, would not the attacks of some been just as negative because he was attacking net neutrality?

    1. Quoting an article about so-called net neutrality from a former FCC commissioner, MIT grad, Stanford PhD, etc. makes MDN the “Fox News of tech?”

      You people are fscking delusional.

      1. Get a clue. MDN cherry-picks the news for conservative and libertarian views just like Fox and sometimes they even offer up their own right-leaning commentary. They gush when Limbaugh has something to say about Apple or tech in general. They’re entitled to their views, just pointing out the obvious.

        Wouldn’t be surprised if Rush is an angel investor.

        1. No Ed, you get a clue.

          Sorry you lost the election and sad to read you are taking it out on MDN. But you are NOT ALONE. Anyone half awake has noticed within one week of the Red Tide the number of personal attacks on MDN is off the charts.

          Funny, when LIBS cannot win on the strength of their arguments they protest, denigrate and call for boycotts of an alternative point of view.

          NEWS TO USE: Won’t work now, not here, not ever!

      2. I’m not sure who is the “You people” here.

        I don’t see Ed quoting any article here. In his message, he said: “Notice a trend here over past few weeks, years?”

        It seems that the article quote is in your head; it certainly wasn’t in Ed’s post here.

        Might it be that the delusional one is you…?

      3. Funny, your type usually derides a “liberal education” and tends to smear scientists and refute science, even when no academic rigor is involved in said refutation.

        In this case, the “think tank” is nothing more than an industry sponsored policy generator with an obvious partisan bias. They have demonstrated conflicts of interest in their prior policy narratives, and therefore lack credibility.

        If this harsh reality bothers you, TOO BAD!

  6. The Hudson Institute is an American conservative non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C.
    Explains his conclusions.
    Forbes explains why he was chosen to write.

    The ISPs can evade my support of common carrier status by paying me to run their damn cables through my property. In a true free market there would be no eminent domain for private enterprise.

    What many Conservatards/Randians want is socialized risk/expenditure and privatized profit- a.k.a. Crony Capitalism. Remember, the conservative goddess died on Medicare and Social Security- guess that makes her a taker.

    1. You just can’t help yourself. Out again i see attempting to make one side totally evil and hear, see and speak no evil of the DUMB DEM side.

      Got to give you credit as an artful liar using the half-truth technique. While totally discounting any idea not coming from YOUR party.


      1. Do not have a party. You seem to fall in to the trap that anyone who opposes the NeoCons must be a Democrat or that all who are liberal are Democrats or that all who are Progressives are Democrats.

        The Republican Party used to be a reasonable group of people who worked with other reasonable people to advance the political agenda and work of government in America.

        Then the Conservatives took over and took it to crazy land.

        Relative to the Internet, private enterprise (the Telecoms and Cable companies) were largely uninterested in it and Republicans opposed handing DARPANET over to academia. In Ayn Rand-land the internet would have never seen the light of day.

        If you are a thin-skinned NeoCon, take some good advice- relax and read something that challenges your world view.

  7. “All but residents in truly rural areas have access to not one but several broadband providers.”

    This is beyond laughable. I live smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles, and I have the option of Time Warner cable, and… that’s it. AT&T U-Verse – technically my other option – doesn’t even qualify as broadband, with their fastest option clocking in at a quarter of the speed of TW’s slowest offering.

  8. “Nor would there be any advantage to FCC regulation of retail markets. All but residents in truly rural areas have access to not one but several broadband providers.”

    This is demonstrably false. A truly laughable assertion.

  9. I totally disagree with Mr. Roth. I live in Fairbanks, and it is not a rural area. We have 1 broadband cable provider, and 1 DSL cable provider, and they only serve selected areas of the city. As a teacher I cannot send kids home with homework that requires the Internet because only about 60% of my students do not have Internet access at home. (They are even cutting dial up access here as well because it does not pay). Living just outside town (5 miles from town center) I was told that the phone company “will not offer new DSL sevice to my house because the reception is poor.” Even though both neighbors had the same DSL service from before I asked.
    The Internet providers NEED TO BE REGULATED and NEED TO become a untility and the Internet NEEDS to be treated as telephones and electricity were treated at the beginning of the 20th century. Look at the electricity wars between Edison and Tesla. Look at the phone companies complaining about “it’s too hard to wire telephone to every house in the USA”. Look at rural electric companies complaining that they won;t wire rural communities because it won’t pay. The EXACT SAME THING is happening with broadband internet.
    There was a reason back then that the Government stepped in to provide UNIVERSAL ACCESS to both phone and electricity– it was for the GOOD OF THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES and made us the greatest nation on earth!
    Now it is the 21st century and once again the “free market” is failing the people, but making themselves rich.
    I am not any kind of socialist or anything. In fact I am a history teacher and I see history repeating itself, and I see a government of idiots who failed to study history once again getting bought off by out-of-control big business.

    Just my 2¢ (or maybe 6¢)

    1. Sorry for the typos… I was writing fast and didn;t reread it.
      Only about 60% of my students HAVE broadband internet access at home. In all about 80% of my students can even GET internet service at their home, so there’s still a significant number of kids who cannot “use the web” for internet based curriculum.

  10. What total CRAP:

    All but residents in truly rural areas have access to not one but several broadband providers.

    Based on that outrageously deceitful line alone, I declare this article A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME.

    Next article please! . . .

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