FCC and FTC commissioners: The Internet isn’t broken. Obama doesn’t need to ‘fix’ it.

“If you like your wireless plan, you should be able to keep it. But new federal regulations may take away your freedom to choose the best broadband plan for you,” Ajit Pai, U.S. FCC Commissioner, and Joshua Wright, U.S. FTC Commissioner, write for The Chicago Tribune. “It’s all part of the federal government’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet like a public utility — a plan President Barack Obama asked the Federal Communications Commission to implement in November and that is coming up for a vote Feb. 26.”

“While the plan contains no shortage of regulations, the most problematic may be the new ‘Internet conduct’ rule,” Pai and Wright write. “It’s a vague rule that gives the FCC almost unfettered discretion to micromanage virtually every aspect of the Internet, including the choices that consumers have for accessing it. If a company doesn’t want to offer an expensive, unlimited data plan, it could find itself in the FCC’s cross hairs. But restricting service plan options is inherently anti-competitive and anti-consumer. The inevitable results will be higher prices and less service for consumers along with an especially adverse impact on small providers and upstart competitors trying to differentiate themselves in a crowded market… And allowing new business models is critical to promote competition, particularly from smaller providers and new entrants. These entrepreneurs need the flexibility to experiment with different service plans so they can stand out from their larger competitors. Imposing a one-size-fits-all mandate from Washington would burden them, help the larger incumbents, reduce competition and stifle innovation.”

“The great irony here is that the Internet isn’t broken, and we don’t need the president’s plan to ‘fix’ it. Quite the opposite,” Pai and Wright write. “The Internet is an unparalleled success story. It is a free, open and thriving platform for civic and political engagement, economic growth, educational opportunity, entertainment and much more. It has made the United States the epicenter of innovation… Why would we want to neuter the FTC when the Internet has flourished under the current regulatory model? If all of this comes as a surprise, you’re not alone. The plan has not been made public. And the FCC has made it clear that it won’t be released until after the agency’s commissioners vote on it. This is not right. We should have an open, transparent debate about whether the president’s plan for Internet regulation is right for America’s consumers. In our view, it most certainly is not.”

Full article here.

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:
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai: Obama’s plan a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet – February 10, 2015
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

69 Comments

  1. “The U.S. ranks a shocking 31st in the world in terms of average download speeds. The leaders in the world are Hong Kong at 72.49 Mbps and Singapore on 58.84 Mbps. And America? Averaging speeds of 20.77 Mbps, it falls behind countries like Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Uruguay.””huge telecommunication companies” such as Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and AT&T have “divided up markets and put themselves in a position where they’re subject to no competition.”….http://theweek.com/articles/449919/american-internet-slow

    1. Why do the same silly comparisons get made every time NN is brought up?
      What in NN do you think is going to speed up you internet?
      Answer that in a real world application.

      And another thing….those comparisons are such childish bullshit. Learn the value of real relation-mathematics, not some useless similarities.

      1. They come up because arguing with knuckle heads here always devolves to right wing partisan claptrap, and the tea baggers here are so quick to throw around marxist, socialist, commie, et cetera while sharing their blabber. The contempt for cultures and systems not ‘Merican is palpable.

        So, whilst pointing out the illogical backing of crony capitalism from so called conservatives who are so ardently opposed to the government reigning in the Time Warners, the Comcasts, the Verizons of this world (All of which were built on taxpayer subsidies no less) one must see where we rank in the world and point out that those places are doing it better than the land of the free, home of the brave. You are just to damn stupid to get it. America invented the internet, yet we are 31st go figure.

        1. Wow, so smart and yet so smug.
          You wrote a lot and STILL answered the question wrong, mainly because you are so blinded by political animosity and can’t see the reality.

          Other than ‘fast lanes’, how is NN going to up your speed and add more access? (be specific)

          The comparison tells more about the size of countries and population densities than internet speeds. Study that before knee jerking your foot into your mouth.

          Now scream all you want about how much smarter you are than stupid Conservatives. I’ll believe it when you can prove it.

          1. Back at you, tell me in specific detail how regulation is going to hurt me. Not conjecture, tell me what it specifically will do to me the day it is enacted?

            They have had all the chance in the world to improve, all they can do is devise schemes to invest as little as possible, gouge as much as possible and then deliver shit service. Do you know how many people Comcast screws on a monthly basis? The customers are clamoring for change, for a voice, and all Comcast has is contempt. Comcast drinks the wall street koolaid, they want to eek out as much profit, while delivering as little as possible, what would happen to Apple under this model? Ask Dell…

            Who is going to force this change? There is NO competition. In this era people need internet to get things done, for school, for finance, for career, for entertainment. Barring some miracle or regulation, the status quo is preserved, nothing changes, this is the history, tell me why it is going to change without regulation forcing it too?, it isn’t.. Comcast is going to suddenly stop their nefarious practices? I doubt it. Are they going to willingly allow competition over their subsidized infrastructure, NOPE. So what becomes the catalyst for change if not regulation? The people cannot simply go without, so their abuse continues.

            It is in the public good that they are reigned in. Any steps to enforce regulation on these abusive monopolists is a good first step. First neutrality, then speed and access, then shady business practices. I hope they get kicked in the teeth and good.

            One thing is clear, Comcast and Time Warner are not going to self-regulate and fix it. Barring everyone abandoning the internet (Impossible) regulation is all the people have isn’t it? What do you propose?

            1. yeah…regulation is going to take care of allllllll that.
              Just sit back and watch the world come to you.

              You can’t just propose to over-regulate something and then say
              -‘no, you tell me what will happen without it’.
              YOU make an argument FOR it telling what it WILL do and HOW.

              No wonder Barry gets his way with confused kids like you that think Obamacare is a rousing success.

          1. Did you wash that extrapolation off after pulling it out of your ass?

            Ther is no correlation between someone claiming to be an artist, their knowledge of ISP access, and my appreciation of art.

            But, I guess if you can’t discuss the facts….

            1. Almost 40 % of our population is concentrated in 25 metro areas which, in relative terms, are a small percentage of the square miles that compose the United States. Thus, saying “You do realize that the USA is multiple times bigger than those countries?” is specious. But it is a good chance for you and your virtual bud to be, well, smug.

            2. You do understand that you just made my argument….right?
              No, you probably have no clue.

              Ahhh….the intellect of the Left on display here.

              Let me help you. If you take that 40% you speak of and dump the rest of the country, you raise the average MBPS speed, shorten fiber connections and put more money into bigger and better POPs.

              Narrow it down even more on par with the size of most of the top 25 countries and you might start to see a pattern.

              (there may be a test Monday so study hard over the weekend)

  2. “…federal regulations may take away your freedom to choose the best broadband plan for you”

    Ha! TimeWarner has already done that through the monopoly they have in the town where I live. The currently unregulated internet service industry has not spawned competition and better service as a result.

      1. Apples and Oranges and you know it Kunt. His point stands in direct conflict with you baggers and your all regulation is bad mentality.

        As the big providers currently sit: Mostly unregulated, NO Competition, Shit Service, price gouging, all built with Taxpayer subsidies. Now they want to limit your speeds accessing things like Netflix so they can further gouge you by pushing you to their inferior competing products (Monopoly Abuse) and as usual Republicans like you champion the crony capitalists. Fuck off.

      2. Kent,

        I have 3 companies in my “Town”

        Consolidated Communications, Suddenlink and Verizon. Verizon will bring Telephone Service to my house, but won’t do Internet, Suddenlink will do Internet and has started offering “Limited” phone service and Cable. And Consolidated, which in the same down just a few minutes away, will provide Tellphone, Cable and Internet Services, offers NONE of those things at my home. I am in the City Limits of a town about 65,000 people just north of Houston. So what does a Telephone Company have to do with it. The only place I can get Telephone Service is from Verizon, but they don’t offer Internet. So What exactly is your point?

        1. Verizon doesn’t offer DSL? That’s odd.
          Also, the Devil may be in the details of what you just described.

          When there is too MUCH competition in a market, it’s hard to justify overbuilding another company or two just to get a small percentage of the business. ROI could take years.

          Most towns and cities with a cable company that has a franchise agreement must offer service to all within the city limits. Of course this might vary, especially in towns with competition.

          1. DSL in most markets isn’t even fast enough to be realistically be called High Speed anymore. Local telco’s haven’t kept pace with Cable broadband. DSL is a joke.

            Fios is currently in 20 cities. TWENTY

            1. Yes, I know the speed of DSL lacks for many, but not all.
              It is still viable for most older people.

              Now the thing is a few years ago DSL gave cable a good run in most markets. What happened? You can only squeeze so much frequency bandwidth out of a twisted pair, so cable competed and kick DSL’s ass.

              Now phone is trying to come back with fiber to the curb or house (cable is mainly to the ‘node’ or neighborhood save for business customers).

              I think if the economy were to ever pick back up, fiber would be run even more which would put cable back at needing to upgrade again.

              You over-regulate an area, you take away financial incentive.
              Then it will be only the highest taxed areas that get good service.

            2. News Flash: Verizon has already bailed on FIOS .. a business decision they made years ago, before any specter of regulation had even begun.

              Why did they do it? Because they decided that there wasn’t ENOUGH profit for them … even for deploying to just those 25 big metro areas which contain 40% of the population.

              The only thing Verizon is doing right now is trying to market FIOS to the population who’s already within their developed fiber grid, to encourage them to switch from cable.

              Problem is that they’re not competing with better value, but the same games as cable, with short term “discounted” rates for new customers … only to lose them when that rate expires – churn which isn’t sticky, because they really aren’t any better.

              BTW, the Economy has gotten better … pedantically, the Great Recession ended by mid-2009, so we’ve had 5+ years of growth & economic expansion since then (true, slow, but we’re now a half decade removed). Plus from a business investment perspective, loan rates are still at/near historic lows, which makes the cost of money for business profoundly cheap.

              So where’s Verizon’s announcements of major new infrastructure investments? if they really had intent, they would have made such an announcement way back in 2013.

  3. Ajit is at it again and his choice of words, much less his choice of publication, show us his stripes. This is like a really poor attempt at word-smithing a la Frank Luntz. So, an uncompetitive “restriction,” like saying that providers might need to have an unlimited plan in their repertoire is limiting the possibilities? Yes, what company in their right mind would want to offer an expensive higher margin product to it’s consumers? This is right up there with protesting the FCC’s emphasis that if you say your cellular plan is unlimited, it should really actually be unlimited. Hell, choose a different term for marketing if you don’t want the common definition of “unlimited” to hold you accountable as a business. If by flourishing, Ajit means milking consumers for subpar services with a commercial landscape that has already basically led to ever growing monopolies (Time Warner/Comcast?), then I’d prefer to try another path. This guy’s politics seem to be getting in the way of his decision-making.

  4. Can I just point out that all this was CREATED by the Government in the first place? Remember DARPA? All of us that make a living off the ability to interact on a packet-switched network… Well, That was a government created Job.

    And anyone who thinks for one second a CORPORATION is going to do ANYTHING other than make sure they Maximize profits at the expense of everyone else. Especially when there is little to NO Competition for internet access in most areas, are OUT of their EVER LOVING MIND.

    When the internet began, when it should have been most expensive, it cost me $20.00 for the phone line and $9.95 a month for ALMOST unlimited access in 1995. Now, I am almost to the point where I’m paying double that PER DEVICE. I have download limits on my Phone, iPad, and Computer at home. My Cable Company limits my download and charges me extra if I go over, and so does my Cell Phone company. I can switch my Cell phone company, but only after my contract runs out because I have to buy a new phone. However, I have NO other options for High-Speed Internet at my home.

    It’s a utility, it may not be a monopoly, but it is an Oligopoly, which in a lot of ways is much worse than a monopoly, because it gives the illusion of competition in the marketplace when none actually exists.

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