FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai: Obama’s plan a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has issued the following statement, verbatim:

STATEMENT OF FCC COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PLAN TO REGULATE THE INTERNET

Last night, Chairman Wheeler provided his fellow Commissioners with President Obama’s 332- page plan to regulate the Internet. I am disappointed that the plan will not be released publicly. The FCC should be as open and transparent as the Internet itself and post the entire document on its website. Instead, it looks like the FCC will have to pass the President’s plan before the American people will be able to find out what’s really in it.

In the coming days, I look forward to continuing to study the plan i detail. Based on my initial examination, however, several points are apparent.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai
First, President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works. It’s an overreach that will let a Washington bureaucracy, and not the American people, decide the future of the online world. It’s no wonder that net neutrality proponents are already bragging that it will turn the FCC into the “Department of the Internet.” For that reason, if you like dealing with the IRS, you are going to love the President’s plan.

Second, President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet will increase consumers’ monthly broadband bills. The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband. Indeed, states have already begun discussions on how they will spend the extra money. These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.

Third, President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet will mean slower broadband for American consumers. The plan contains a host of new regulations that will reduce investment in broadband networks. That means slower Internet speeds. It also means that many rural Americans will have to wait longer for access to quality broadband.

Fourth, President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet will hurt competition and innovation and move us toward a broadband monopoly. The plan saddles small, independent businesses and entrepreneurs with heavy-handed regulations that will push them out of the market. As a result, Americans will have fewer broadband choices. This is no accident. Title II was designed to regulate a monopoly. If we impose that model on a vibrant broadband marketplace, a highly regulated monopoly is what we’ll get. We shouldn’t bring Ma Bell back to life in this dynamic, digital age.

Fifth, President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet is an unlawful power grab. Courts have twice thrown out the FCC’s attempts at Internet regulation. There’s no reason to think that the third time will be the charm. Even a cursory look at the plan reveals glaring legal flaws that are sure to mire the agency in the muck of litigation for a long, long time.

And sixth, the American people are being misled about what is in President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet. The rollout earlier in the week was obviously intended to downplay the plan’s massive intrusion into the Internet economy. Beginning next week, I look forward to sharing with the public key aspects of what this plan will actually do.

Source: FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai was nominated to the Federal Communications Commission by President Barack Obama and on May 7, 2012 was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. On May 14, 2012, he was sworn in for a term that concludes on June 30, 2016.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote over eight years ago:

We don’t presume to know the best way to get there, but we support the concept of “Net Neutrality” especially as it pertains to preventing the idea of ISP’s blocking or otherwise impeding sites that don’t pay the ISP to ensure equal access. That said, we usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for just one example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so extensive regulations can have unintended, unforeseen results down the road. We sincerely hope that there are enough forces in place and/or that the balances adjust in such a manner as to keep the ‘Net neutral.MacDailyNews Take, June 9, 2006

Related articles:
Congress launches investigation as Republicans claim Obama had ‘improper influence’ over so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 7, 2015
FCC chairman proposes to regulate ISP’s under Title II – February 4, 2015
U.S. congressional Republicans’ bill aims to head off Obama’s so-called ‘net neutrality’ plan – January 17, 2015
U.S. Congressional proposal offers Internet rules of the road – January 15, 2015
U.S. FCC says it will vote on so-called ‘net neutrality’ in February – January 3, 2015
FCC hopes its rules for so-called ‘net neutrality’ survive inevitable litigation – November 22, 2014
Obama-appointed FCC chairman distances himself from Obama on so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 12, 2014
What does so-called ‘net neutrality’ mean for Apple? – November 12, 2014
AT&T to pause fiber investment until net neutrality rules are decided – November 12, 2014
There’s no one to root for in the debate over so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 11, 2014
U.S. FCC plays Russian Roulette with so-called ‘net neutrality’ – November 11, 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

117 Comments

    1. YMMV. Here’s my take:

      1) The scary-sounding “shift” is the same as what happened to electrical utilities a hundred years ago, and to landline phone companies in the 1980s.

      FYI, here’s a quick litmus test: circa 1980, the cost of an interstated phone call was roughly 50 cents/minute … what are you paying today? YMMV, but I’m presently paying 3.5 cents/min.

      2) Considering that Comcast is presently has a 71% Gross profit on their operations, anything that’s done to really increase competition on what’s really just a commodity will leave plenty of savings to the consumer, even if the Government takes a huge 10% cut in taxes. But of course, “taxes” always sounds scary.

      3) Slower? Verizon has already announced that they’ve stopped deploying fiber. And the governments in EU & elsewhere are already well ahead performance-wise (and price-wise too) for what the “miracles of capitalism” in the USA has provided us.

      4) The ground truth is that small businesses being locked out is already the status quo, because the status quo is a private duopoly that’s keeping out said competition (such as through denying them fair access to public lands/spaces afforded to them) and raking in profits at the consumer’s expense: check out their horrendously bad customer service numbers, as well as how they treat new customers better than existing ones.

      5) Sure, mistakes were made in the past, but from what I’ve read of the current strategy, it appears 100% legal.

      6) “Mislead”? Or simply the usual oversimplification from sound bytes? Looking at the issues ignored/glossed over in Mr. Pai’s brief comments such as I’ve outlined above, it is clear that he’s already misleading the public.

          1. If the Cruz/Palin ticket wins, I won’t have a say in this because you can’t vote for American issues from Canada or New Zealand or wherever all the right-thinking people will escape to.

            1. By the way, right thinking Americans look forward with great anticipation to that day when the Democrats who insist on doing their charity only with other people’s money – when those people all self deport and join you and your friends in Canada and New Zealand. There will be a party.

            2. (This comment is not aimed at kent specifically.)

              Meanwhile the independents wish the right and left would stop bickering and name calling and just talk about problems in terms of options and solutions so things can get done.

              If someone is wrong, they are wrong because their specific idea about a specific issues still needs some work, so address that. Who cares if they think they are a republican or democrat. If you focus on that you are just reinforcing the worst problem of politics, partisanship, which only benefits career politicians not the people.

          2. @kent,

            In **all** cases, I want to read the specfics of the proposal first .. which FYI also includes this one that is being criticized even before it is provided to the public.

            My point is that centralized government regulation of natural monopolies is not a new or profound thing, even if the latest “Crying Wolf!” clickbait tries to claim otherwise.

            The devil is in the details on if the consumers’ interests really are going to be served, or if it is merely yet another case of where enough Congressmen have been bribed to permit a changing of the guard for which big corporation presently has the rights to fleece our wallets. If you think that that is in any way constrained to just one of the two big political parties, you’ve simply not been paying any attention for the past quarter century.

        1. Down voted. Your statement 1980 phone call 50 cents, today 3.5.

          Sounds absolutely great except it is hiding the real costs. Back then we paid $10 a month for phone service and unlimited local calls. Now basic phone services have to be bundled wiht this, that, and others. Hidden costs to achieve 3.5 cents drives it WAY past the 1980s amount.

          . . . and you know that! So, if you know that and you made these comparisons, what else are you hiding in what looks like good stats. Can’t trust people who manipulate stats for their agenda. And this admin, as well as most administrtions do. The government needs to stay out. Period.

        2. Well said -hh. After 16 years as a loyal Cox customer I was paying 229 for service while new customers were paying half that for the same product. For 2 years. I was quite possible the oldest internet customer in the San Diego area. When I complained I was give a 25 dollar discount for 6 months..

          There is not competition as it stands now. Any hysteria from the delusional free marketers is just that.. hysteria.

      1. You want a response with my down-vote? The “facts” you posted are either incorrect or aren’t facts at all. It’s my pleasure to either point out where you’re wrong, or to make a counter-argment to the opinions you represent as fact.

        1) Incorrect. Interstate long-distance call pricing fell precipitously after the breakup of the Bell monopoly (which was government-supported BTW – until it wasn’t) due specifically to the competition by other interstate carriers like MCI and Sprint. Unless you’re going to make the case that the broadband market is a pure monopoly, a discussion on interstate long distance has no relevance here.

        2) Opinion. Broadband isn’t simply a commodity. Treating it as such obfuscates and belies the complexity and cost associated with developing the infrastructure and delivering the service, which is amortized over many years. I don’t like Comcast any more than anyone else, but a tax on a corporation is simply a tax on its customers. The corporation won’t PAY the taxes. They never do. Their customers do (and will).

        3) Opinion. Yes, slower. If new regulations remove or diminish profit incentive to roll out improved services, it will disincentivize investment. If you remove profit incentive, it’s less likely that companies will invest in infrastructure upgrades. It’s also worth point out that it’s very disingenuous to mention Comcast’s gross profit margin without also mentioning their net profit margins, which are typically around %15 – significantly lower than Apple’s.

        4) Opinion. Big companies’ low customer service marks aren’t unique to the broadband industry. Yes, it’s difficult for smaller companies to participate in this market, but I don’t see how anything you’re mentioning disproves or even addresses the Commissioners concerns that the Presidents plans would make the situation even worse.

        5) Opinion. From what you’ve read, it appears legal? Perhaps what you’re reading is only confirming your bias. What about all the laws which are overturned after the fact? There was probably lots of analysis that said those laws were legal – until they were found to be not legal.

        6) Opinion. It’s easy to pick on the Commissioner’s “brief comments” and conclude they’re misleading because there were issues ignored or glossed over. But, in spite of how brief the comments were, somehow you missed the last sentence, which stated “Beginning next week, I look forward to sharing with the public key aspects of what this plan will actually do.” Regardless, if you apply the same standard to the President’s 332-page plan, which wasn’t made public AT ALL, what do you conclude? So much for “the most transparent administration in history.”

        Looking forward to your response.

        1. @ecrabb..thanks for having some spunk.

          Part 1)

          {Interstate long-distance call pricing fell precipitously after the breakup of the Bell monopoly (which was government-supported BTW – until it wasn’t) due specifically to the competition by other interstate carriers like MCI and Sprint. Unless you’re going to make the case that the broadband market is a pure monopoly, a discussion on interstate long distance has no relevance here.}

          True, I used Bell as an example, but their history goes back well beyond just the 1982 breakup. For example, they were checked in 1913 and again in 1925 — FYI, the latter was from soaking US consumers with high rates because they needed to raise capital to build their telephone infrastructure in Europe. To a great degree, the US Government was a complacent partner because of interests in rural modernization (including electrification) as forms of economic redistribution…but the facts of the matter are that it really took another corporate interest (MCI & Sprint) to force the issue – – not consumers.

          The real underlying issue is that Utilities are natural monopolies because of their infrastructure costs (typically of the “last mile”) and are regulated because of their high degree of susceptibility to abuse. That’s your electric company, telephone, water, etc. The capitalization costs of this infrastructure forms a barrier to competition, and from the consumer’s perspective, and I’ve already pointed out that bandwidth is functionally a regionalized duopoly split between its CATV and Telecom providers.

          So yes, I am saying that there’s an Anti-Trust issue here, because there’s no meaningful difference to the consumer between an abusive monopoly and a duopolistic one.

        2. You misunderstood. He did not want facts. He can’t even process facts. He just wanted to whine. Still, you gave him the truth but his religious worship of Obama and Allah blind him to the truth.

        3. Part 2)

          {Broadband isn’t simply a commodity. Treating it as such obfuscates and belies the complexity and cost associated with developing the infrastructure and delivering the service, which is amortized over many years. I don’t like Comcast any more than anyone else, but a tax on a corporation is simply a tax on its customers. The corporation won’t PAY the taxes. They never do. Their customers do (and will).}

          Broadband operates on published international standards (TCP/IP), which is what makes it interchangeable between different ISPs’ systems and ubiquitous. There’s absolutely nothing “brand unique” to a 100bT connection from Provider A versus a 100bT from Provider B. In fact, if they’re not functionally identical, then one of them is out of specs and failing to meet its required published standards. Relays and switches don’t know and don’t care who happens to own them.

          Now I do grant you that the providers have a job to do in terms of making this work, but they also can and have chosen to make their consumer-facing end a lot more complicated than they have to, typically which is seen by the retail consumer as forced bundling. The point is that this a decision conciously made by humans for reasons other than being constraint of or a requirement of the technologies being employed.

          1. @ hh

            You are a tough one. I agree with you but disagree with you.

            You are right about corporations and taxes. Corporations do not pay taxes, their customers do. This has always been the case. Anytime anyone wants to increase taxes on corporations, they are only voting to increase the cost of things to the consumer. Isn’t that anti-poor folk?

            However you are also very wrong. Claiming that broadband is too complex to treat as a commodity is not understanding history or being too young to have experienced parts of it. When the telecom system, Ma Bell and all, was being put into place it was one of the most complex and technological achievements to occur to the common man in its day.

            In other words, all new technology will seem too complex, until it is no longer new or the next big breakthrough comes. Then it will seem old outdated and simple (much like POTS does to us right now. Back in the day, it was amazing technology.)

            1. @SixnaHalfFeet,

              I didn’t really comment on corporations vs taxes (think that was ecrabb), as I don’t really dispute the point. What I did say on this subject is that the political boogieman of “TAXES!!” was invoked to try to scare people, and that even if taxes are going to occur, they aren’t automatically more significant than the corporate profits being extracted from consumers.

              Next, I also did not claim that broadband is “too complex” to treat as a commodity. On the contrary, as far as I’m concerned it is today a quite straightforward commodity because of how it has been built out to international standards…for example, the now-classic building blocks of Ethernet (with RJ45 snap) employing IP (IP4) packeting with TCP transport layer (eg, TCP/IP) have all been basically in use for the past quarter century…the changes have been to update to faster/fatter pipes and stuff like IP6 for being able to assign more addresses.

              Even the hypertext application layer (HTTP) isn’t a youngster anymore: from its first publication as v0.9, it turns a quarter century old in 2016 – that’s next year.

              This all parallels the technology developments that happened with telephone service … manual operators were superceded by switching gear, which started as analog (rotary dial) and then moved to digital (touch tone) and with multiplexing, enabled ‘bandwidth’ growth to obsolete party lines (the house I grew up in initially had a party line)…through to today, where the copper based POTS is being obsoleted by cellular as well as by being pushed out with VOIP in no small part because VOIP has greater profit potential which are partly due to it having fewer consumer-protection laws which set minimum service standards and the like.

        4. 3) Opinion.

          {Yes, slower. If new regulations remove or diminish profit incentive to roll out improved services, it will disincentivize investment. If you remove profit incentive, it’s less likely that companies will invest in infrastructure upgrades. It’s also worth point out that it’s very disingenuous to mention Comcast’s gross profit margin without also mentioning their net profit margins, which are typically around %15 – significantly lower than Apple’s.}

          True, this market can be driven by profit motives, but the evidence for the USA market shows that it is far behind both performance and cost the benchmarks from other countries which don’t have the same structures permitted. This shows that the corporate incentive to maximize profits is trumping the motivation to maximize value to the consumer, which is classically what happens when there is inadequate competition.

          And yes, I showed gross profits instead of net for a reason: bandwidth fundamentally is nothing but a commodity, and margins in healthy competitive commodity markets are razor-thin. Apple has successfully differentiated themselves from the PC commodity market which is why they’re able to have a Net similar to Comcast, but Dell hasn’t…and Dell’s Gross Margin is 1/4 that of Comcast’s and their Net is 1/10th (1.4%), which is consistent with commodity markets which are actually operating in a truly competitive environment: all in all, these numbers are both proof that the bandwidth market isn’t acting as a competitive commodity market that would be naturally exempt from regulation by its own merits.

          In any event, your argument fails to reconcile with the fact that Verizon decided to stop its FIOS investments five (5) years ago, long before there were these ‘new regulation’ discussions had even started:

          http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303410404575151773432729614

        5. Part 4)

          {Big companies’ low customer service marks aren’t unique to the broadband industry. Yes, it’s difficult for smaller companies to participate in this market, but I don’t see how anything you’re mentioning disproves or even addresses the Commissioners concerns that the Presidents plans would make the situation even worse.}

          Compare & contrast Apple’s customer satisfaction levels with Comcast. Now go check their Market Caps to see who’s big enough to buy the other outright.

          While you’re at it, also try to figure out what businesses out there have the audacity to charge their faithful customers higher rates for being faithful. Once again, this is a warning sign of a broken and unhealthy economy that’s not working according to the classical rules of competition and consumer centric value-added.

          Now insofar as Pai’s remarks, he’s claiming that nothing less than a full blown monopoly is going to result, plus that the ‘small guys’ are going to…somehow…be hurt worse than they already are. How is the latter possible, since these small guys are already locked out? Be specific.

          FYI, there have been some proposals to use regulations to mandate that the telephone pole “owners” (typically the telecom) be required to leasepole space to (up to five) competitors at a fair & reasonable rate. Because telephone poles are installed on public property, they are a public interest which should not tolerate allowing any private company from restricting trade…but that’s what is happening today: they’re restricting free trade to their own individual benefit contrary to serving the Public Good while using Public Property.

        6. Part 5)

          {From what you’ve read, it appears legal? Perhaps what you’re reading is only confirming your bias. What about all the laws which are overturned after the fact? There was probably lots of analysis that said those laws were legal – until they were found to be not legal.}

          Yes, for as I’ve said, I’ve not read this deeply.

          My understanding is that the reason why the prior efforts failedto pass muster was because the FCC did not first formally recategorize broadband service (which would make it unambiguously fall within their regulatory authority), but that’s what they’re looking at (finally) doing this time.

        7. Part 6)

          {It’s easy to pick on the Commissioner’s “brief comments” and conclude they’re misleading because there were issues ignored or glossed over. But, in spite of how brief the comments were, somehow you missed the last sentence, which stated “Beginning next week, I look forward to sharing with the public key aspects of what this plan will actually do.” Regardless, if you apply the same standard to the President’s 332-page plan, which wasn’t made public AT ALL, what do you conclude? So much for “the most transparent administration in history.”}

          Pai chose to publically criticize a plan before he even read it in detail. He then goes on to misrepresent certain points in order to hit political hot buttons. For example, his first point was that regulation is a “monumental shift” while ignoring how every other natural monopoly based utility service is already regulated. Strike One. Second, he invokes the “higher taxes” bogeyman, without any context or perspective, while conveniently ignoring that there’s already taxes being imposed on various Internet service(s). Strike Two. The third claim is that the Internet will get slower, supposedly because we’re going to stop spending money to make it faster. Catch that? Yes, somehow my ISP’s 1Gbit switch is going to slow down to 0.9Gbit because of “friction” or something. Strike Three. The fourth claim is that we’re going to have a monopoly which locks out the little guys … who are already locked out. Strike Four. The fifth claim is that this is illegal. Maybe, but time will tell. The sixth is that we’re being lied to…again, time will tell.

          All in all, it sounds too much to me like a boy crying “Wolf!”.

          1. We have recent experience with Obama and Democrats regulations with Obamacare. The lesson learned is that every single thing they say to the public about the regulations is a lie. They must use the lies to get the regulations in place because no sane person would voluntarily agree. But they are definitely good liars.

            1. I understand ADD poses problems for you.

              We are talking about 2015 and Barack Obama who has proven to be a compulsive liar and a tyrant who hates America. This is not even up for question. So quit your Bush bashing and deal with the jackass liar you helped put in office. His plan now is that he and his imbecile Harvard stooges and their billionaire friends run the internet from now on and decide what is permitted. This is an evil plan which kills the very thing that makes the internet great. So quit dicking around and admit that this is not a good idea and start saying the same to your friends. Are you going to let your stupid pride about voting for what we all now can see is a complete dirtbag prevent you from calling him out when he says he wants to steal your computing freedom? How pathetic are you?

            2. @kent,

              Ad Hominem noted, which illustrates that you’ve realized that you can’t win the debate based on the merits of your argument.

              In the meantime, back on topic – – you’re now making all sorts of claims about this being an ‘evil plan’ and so forth, which can only be concluded if you’ve full read this plan that the FCC Chairman himself has complained is not available to the public.

              So did you have your own copy? Or is all of your noise merely just the usual conspiracy theory hand waiving lacking facts? Logically, you’ve boxed yourself in and in doing so, you have discredited yourself. Nice self-nuke.

            3. Can you make a post without referencing Bush from over 6 years ago? (Answer – no)

              Can you explain why Obama sold Obamacare 100% on lies? If a private business made claims about a product like “you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan, you will save $2,500 per year, it will be better quality) and all these things were lies, the CEO would be in jail. As Obama and Pelosi should be, correct? Or do you like liars?

            4. @kent,

              When you first went off-topic with your ACA rant, you were advised that it was non-germane because both political parties lie.

              Your attempted retort was to claim that a new lie is somehow profoundly worse than an old one…that claim is logically unsupported on your part, and you know this, which is why you resort to using Ad Hominem logical fallacies.

              I’ll once again suggest that you sincerely try to be of benefit to the overall MDN readership, by actually stay on topic and by sticking to using well-reasoned discussion point elements.

              Otherwise, readers will be obligated to ignore you as merely the behavior of a malicious attention-seeking loser troll intead that of an intelligent, capable and successful adult.

            1. The statement is merely an expedient to make the point.

              Personally, I realized that we were going into Iraq in Sept/Fall 2002, which I said as much to my wife while we were hunkered down to ride out Hurricane Lily (she expressed surprise). It was 100.0% a political setup where they were simply trying to contrive an excuse that the public would buy…and as we all now realize, it utterly ruined the career & life of Colin Powell because he was the skapegoat.

            2. Sorry, but you’re choosing to ignore that there had also been a full decade of “No Fly Zone” as well as UN Weapons Inspectors, so of course there were many political statements made over those many years…for example, one such claim was that Iraq had UAV’s which could deliver their WMD’s to the USA’s East Coast.

              My point was that the Fall of 2002 was watershed moment of change in Public Relations in that it was a “chesspiece move”: an invasion had been decided & committed to by the USA. The agena was then to publically set up Iraq to lose regardless of the facts so as to have the excuse.

            3. I’m not choosing to ignore anything. As soon as the Twin-towers were hit, much of the Arab world’s fate was sealed because the animosity had been growing for years.

              “set up to lose” is a very strange statement, even from a Leftist.

              1940, before WWII, public sentiment had to be groomed to accept what needed to eventually be done.

              I think you type more than you think, and you think you know more than you do.

            4. True there had been animosity, but it wasn’t anything close to being one-sided – – and PR manipulations of the public occurred then too (as always), sometimes with very disasterous effects. For example, in GWB’s 9/12/01 speech, he legitimized the 9/11 terrorists by using the “C” Word (“Cruisade”), which transformed their action into the start of a new Christians-vs-Muslims Holy War .. and that is still how the conflict is being views & framed today. Do you really think that this use of the “C” word was a merely an inadvertant slip by a speech writer, or was it purposefully and quite deliberatively chosen?

              It was another semminal moment in history … did you catch it at the time? Or not until it was pointed out to you today? Do be sure to “think” about it while you’re reflecting on the inappropriateness of the Ad Hominem insinuations you made.

              Now, just how does any of this actually relate to this topic? Well, its still unchanged from my point made two days ago: both political parties lie, so stop choosing sides.

            5. It’s really hard to take you serious when you rehash every left-wing anachronism and then tell me not to take sides.

              And it started when I noticed your incorrect comment about Bush and Iraq.

              Also, it’s pretty sad to read your cut-and-paste replies on a subject you have no depth in, just wishes. You speak about all the one-sided PR in the Iraq war and then you ignore the current White House’s BS because your short-sighted, one sided, Obamacare excited self thinks it can be fixed with a snap of Barry’s fingers.

              It can’t.

            6. @TowerTone,

              Despite your attempts to claim otherwise, my statement here of “All Politicians Lie” is bipartisan.

              And what was also bipartisan was providing an example from the Right to counterbalance the provided anti-Left rant. Why? Because doing so again demonstrates the point: “All Politicians Lie”.

              Now just what does any of this have to do with the actual topic? Nothing.

              Getting back to the actual topic, I nailed up six (6) points on the door of the church three days ago … and you’ve not disputed any of them.

              Instead, you’ve slung Ad Hominem attacks, which means that you also know that you’ve lost the debate on its technical merits.

              When your cheap shot failed, your strategy changed to save face by stonewalling and trying to continue to attack. This is a common gambit in partisan politics – it works by being flashy and distracting readers from remembering the original points of the topic.

              But your gambit has now been noted and called out for precisely what it is: a distraction attempt. Mister Candidate, you never actually answered the interview question.

              Pretty much the gambit you have left is to try to persist to see if you can get in the “last word” in on the subthread.

              This gambit operates under the mistaken belief that doing so will somehow erase what you’ve written previously. Good luck with that.

            7. What Palin did say was:

              “You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.”

              The statement was made to try to suggest that she had some experience and credibility in international diplomacy.

              While the statement made is pedantically correct (yes, you can see Big Diomede from Little Diomede and vice versa), the one island has <200 residents and the other is uninhabited … not much "international interaction" possible there.

              Even if you move back to the mainlands, each have very low populations – – the "big city" of Nome, AK is <4000 and similarly, Uelen in Russia has ~700 and Provideniya <2000, and there's very little actual contact.

              Case in point:

              http://www.adn.com/article/20140726/after-14-years-russians-boat-across-bering-strait-visit-alaska-relatives

            8. And she was correct. She also said if Obama was reelected he would appease Putin in a way that would encourage Putin to attack the Ukraine. She was mocked for this. She was right, as she has been about everything. She is the flip side of Obama, who is wrong about everything. Like you.

            9. @kent:

              Of course she was correct, because she was merely parroting what had been very well known for years…it was far from being her own ‘work’ to give her credit for:

              What she was saying wasn’t anything new or profound. The analogy would be like having you jumping up and down, yelling to everyone that the sun is going to come up tomorrow.

              Most folks don’t live under a rock and would say, “Well, duh!” and quite possibly mock you for your statement of the obvious.

      2. 1) Your phone bill is cheaper since deregulation.
        Really? That’s your point?

        2) Taxes have nothing to do with adding speed or new areas other than to slow possible deployment. Argue that all you want.

        3) Did you find out why verizon slowed fiber deployment?
        Try doing that before listing it.

        4) WTF are you talking about?

        5) Apparently your lens prescription is outdated.

        6) No, it is not clear, but since you can only sit on your beliefs despite facts and realities that differ, you will never see the big picture.

        7) You HAVE to be a joke to hold such an uneducated view of the situation.

        1. 1) No. The point here was politically motivated fear-mongering to represent the situation as something “scary” and “new” while the historical facts are that it is not.

          2) Sorry, but I made no such claim that taxes add speed or service … I merely that what was said was more fear-mongering.

          FYI – your claim that taxes _hinder_ is at odds with US history. Specifically, that of the USA’s rural infrastructure investment programs which did indeed expand service to the public, such as the 1935 Rural Electrification Act, signed by FDR (and amended in 1949 to add telephone). The REA came about because these markets were deemed by industry as not sufficiently profitable for business.

          3) Already done. The basic why for FIOS’s curtailed deployment was because they decided that its ROI was too long and thus, providing the service wasn’t **sufficiently** profitable enough for them.

          Golly gee, that’s the same issue that came up 80 years ago and was addressed (and solved) with the REA program before either one of us were born. But of course in today’s political environment, we are being told that repeating that same approach would be “new”, so we should be terrified of it. Once again, we see the politically motivated fear-mongering at work.

          4) The facts of the matter are that the Status Quo has purposefully imposed restrictions on free & open competition. Specifically, these regulations, laws and rules are highly biased to favor the big boy duopoly and keep competition out of what’s become “their” market. As reported by Ars since I pointed this out:

          http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/02/isp-lobby-has-already-won-limits-on-public-broadband-in-20-states/

          In other words, 40% of the USA has laws which EXPLICITLY OUTLAW COMPETITION.

          5) Federal law does unambiguously state that the FCC has overarching regulatory oversight over certain types of markets. What was apparently improper in past initiatives was that the FCC tried to regulate outside of its authority ‘lane’. Reportedly, the approach this time is to first put the service in question into their ‘lane’ to give them the legal regulatory authority before then trying to regulate it.

          To use a simple analogy, to get a speeding ticket in Town A from Police Officer whose jurisdiction is Town B isn’t playing by the rules and you can get that ticket thrown out. However, if the Administrators change the Officer’s jurisdiction to the entire County, then the speeding tickets that he subsequently writes in both Town A and Town B both become legal.

          5, 6, 7) Sorry, but debates are never won through your childish insults or name-calling.

          -hh

      1. We now have a mandatory health system totally designed and controlled by government officials who never read the bill that enabled it. The government system now involves roughly 30,000 pages of regulations which no human has read or understands but which are used to annoy, intimidate and even kill Americans, through denial of health care. The government excluded itself from this evil plan.

        The internet plan will be similarly evil. It is the product of evil and disgusting people who think it is their business to tell everyone else what they are permitted to do. These people hate “freedom” and “choice”. They are modern day Nazis.

  1. ‘If the Web becomes too complicated, too fraught with security concerns, then its proliferation may stop – or slow down. It should be kept open. It should be kept free. One of the major reasons for the Web’s proliferation is its simplicity. A lot of people want to make the Web more complicated. This simple model has had a profound impact by starting to become ubiquitous. The most important thing for the Web is not to become more complicated. By collective agreement. Sure. Go for ubiquity.’

    ‘Steve Jobs Bio: The Unauthorized Autobiography.’

    1. Steve Jobs was obviously an idiot who learned nothing from Stalin about how effective and efficient central command and control can be. Of course, this only works as long as we have a brilliant leader, like Obama. We could not have this “regulated internet” with a boob like Ted Cruz as President. So it will be necessary to temporarily suspend the electoral process so we can let these changes take root and not be interrupted by those who don’t understand the virtue of one man making everyone’s life better by eliminating choice. I promise, it will all be good. You know, like with your new healthcare.

    1. I get your sarcasm. If only these people would just let Obama be Obama. He is the smartest man we have ever had not just in the White House, but anywhere. He has done so much good, fixing our awful healthcare system and making it more affordable and user friendly, and then bringing peace to the Middle East where the used to be a lot of violence and killing. He brought peace there in the same straightforward way he fixed race relations here in the US, where the used to be some traces of racial animosity he has definitely replaced that with racial harmony. He fixed the planet and stopped the rise of the oceans. He cut the deficit and the national debt in half, just like he said he would. And he took the money out of politics with his constant hard work.

      A lot of President would have taken advantage of the situation and used the taxpayer money to go on endless luxury vacations. But no Barack Obama. He keeps his nose to the grindstone working tirelessly to make everything perfect for us.

      And he fixed a lot of the government, like the IRS which now is very efficient in doing what he says. And he made the Dept of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms profitable with his innovation of supplying much need automatic weapons to drug cartels.

      Win – win. He is able to see these solutions where smaller men just see problems. He knows best how to run things and he will fix the internet so it works as good as a government website.

      1. I’m just thankful that Obama doesn’t own a ranch in Crawford, Texas. Apparently, any president that does so is *required* to spend a huge amount of their presidency at their ranch, vs being in Washington, DC….you know, that place where everything to do with federal government can be found.

        FactCheck.org did a nice summary…and news flash!! Reagan, Bush Sr, and W, all took more vacation time than Obama. Of recent presidents, Clinton and Carter took less than Obama (gee, notice any trend here? Like…the Republican presidents CONSISTENTLY take more vacation time?)

        But as usual, don’t let those pesky facts get in the way of your idiotic rants.

        http://www.factcheck.org/2010/01/president-obamas-vacation-days/

        1. I don’t understand your comment. I am a huge Obama supporter and simply pointed out that he did not take huge entourages of groupies to the worlds’ most expensive resorts around the world, all on huge jets that burn fossil fuels, and then lecture everyone about the “evil rich” while hanging out with billionaires in hotel rooms that cost the taxpayer about $10,000 a night. I am saying at least he does not do that stuff. And always make political arguments by making stupid representations of what his opponents think and then argue against the inaccurate argument he just created. Straw man – the technique of the imbecile. At least he doesn’t do that. which is my point. He is brilliant and incredibly hard working which everyone intuitively knows who has paid attention over the years. It’s not like he sits around now figuring out his NCAA brackets so he can hang with young, muscular college basketball players and visit them in their locker room. He is simply getting close to his voters. I mean what other President would go into the showers with the young players to let them shake hands with the President?

        2. It’s really tough to get away on vacation when you’re golfing all the time. President Obama played 186 rounds of golf to W’s 24.

          Of course, many professionals (including me) work from home or even while we’re on vacation. No more true is that for Presidents, most of whom are “on” incessantly. But, hey – don’t let that get in the way of the blind-Obama-supporter narrative that Bush was a slacker and Obama is a dedicated worker.

    1. Just replace ‘regulate the internet’ with ‘regulate healthcare’, and you’ll see a ridiculously transparent pattern of behavior with the Obama administration. We’ve heard all of this before. I wonder if this is what Obama meant when he said that his would be the ‘most transparent administration ever’?

      1. Yes, the idiot conservatives don’t understand how efficient a completely centralized command and control economy is. Just like a massive IBM mainframe controlled centrally by the smarter people in IT is the best model for handling information management, so a completely government regulated internet, with political operatives who went to Harvard or at least know people who went to Harvard, is much better than a “wild West” cowboy internet built on the stupid American idea of freedom and choice and the least possible regulation. How would that model let Obama decide what is best for each of us?

  2. As a European, if the choice is between entrusting the future of the “online world” to the “American people” or to a Washington bureaucracy – and only an appointed US official could be so arrogant as to propose that dilemma – I think I would prefer the Washington bureaucracy. On balance, and without enthusiasm, mind you, but …

      1. Perhaps, Thelonius, you should extract your head from its present location and realise that there is a world outside the 48, and that the American people and their arrogance matter less and less in it. Although it is where Apple’s future growth lies…

  3. Well, that’s troubling.

    I want net neutrality, not internet subjugation to government overreach. If what he’s saying is accurate, and not just political spin, I am deeply troubled. I also take back what I said regardinf Congress’s investigation, because this does sound like there’s something inappropriate going on.

    Looks like either way, this is the end of the free and open internet.

      1. I know that. My hope was that the FCC could at least attempt to get the toothpaste back into the tube without setting up complete government control of the Internet.

        If, and I stress “if” heavily, what this FCC commissioner says is true, any hopes of the FCC actually solving the problem without creating a host of new ones has been dashed.

  4. He was nominated by Obama (in a bipartisan manner attempting to be equitable), but Ajit Pai’s association is with the Republican Party…

    So take the statements above with a grain of salt. Of course they are going to be negative.

    1. Jeff, your comment demonstrates why this country is doomed. Many people in this country have become so partisan that the idea no longer counts, only which side said it. To D’s everything Obama says is the equivalent of God’s spoken word. To R’s Obama’s ideas all came from Satan.

      Neither side is right or wrong all the time and good ideas come from everywhere. Until US citizens are ready to accept that fact, this country will continue down the toilet.

      1. Yes, I agree. Your country is doomed. (I’m canadian)

        Just pointing out how people may try to get along, but in the end still espouse a polarized agenda. I question whether Republicans are out for citizens, or the Telecom bankroll they receive. Wheller, a former lobbyist and businessman, pointed out why he felt Title II would be fine. (NABU vs. AOL)

        Ajit is just one member on the board trying to provide ammunition for the GOP controlled houses, the GOP agenda, and the Telecom bankroll to the GOP. He’s not doing anything for consumers.

        http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech/republicans-slam-fcc-for-succumbing-to-obama-s-bully-tactics-on-net-neutrality-20150204

    2. This statement throws out every tired, conservative, pro-business and anti-consumer argument that Republicans try to make stick for every issue on which they hope to avoid regulation. I’ll bet it was written by Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time-Warner.

      I call bull on this GOP shill.

        1. I take note that it seems every time state and local governments attempt to take on the providers that be, back room shenanigans take place and the government turns on its people.

          Yet when one company takes it upon itself to provide COMPETITION, the providers that be scramble to offer faster and cheaper service to their existing customers. This tells me what is more effective, government vs competition.

          The FCC proposal offers a facility for increasing competition, but it does it in such a terrible way that I can’t agree to it. The providers that be spent billions building their infrastructure and now the government is just going to waltz in and say, “Give up your infrastructure to your competitors?” That’s theft of property.

          Google is able to provide competition without stealing the wires of competitors.

          The real question then should be how do we make more companies such as Google feel that there is an opportunity in becoming a big ISP. The idea of government regulation sure as hell won’t do it.

      1. I’m almost old enough to vaguely remember when Democrats understood that the government was a bloated, bureaucratic, swamp of waste and corruption. When the Democrat Party fell in love with centralized control is when they totally lost their way. You used to fight the government. You used to value freedom. Remember? Hope you somehow manage to find your way back someday, guys and gals.

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