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The Far-Reaching Effects of Comcast v FCC

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the more-than-meets-the-eye dept.

Government 132

eldavojohn writes "We've had a lot of discussion about what the overturning of FCC v Comcast means for net neutrality, but CommLawBlog argues that net-neut is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the effects of this ruling. In the National Broadband Plan, local TV broadcasters might be forced to give up their spectrum 'voluntarily' to be repurposed for broadband; this decision diminishes the FCC's authority to cut such deals. Another issue at stake is how this will affect the FCC's approval of Comcast's acquisition of NBC."

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132 comments

I Must Clarify One Thing (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066158)

net-neut

As the submitter, let the record show that I am not the originator of that term [slashdot.org] . I wash my hands of that wordsmithing and relinquish all credit with coining that term to kdawson or wherever he found it.

Personally the shortened form of that term sounds a bit more like a collection tool employed at a veterinarian than an internet principle.

Re:I Must Clarify One Thing (1)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066268)

I call your bluff and raise you one interneut. (Can't use iNeut or iNeutral because you-know-who owns them.)

Re:I Must Clarify One Thing (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066320)

Funny that Slashdot editors can be bothered with changing stupid things like that while letting egregious typos, or more frequently, completely incorrect information, go by without blinking.

Re:I Must Clarify One Thing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066832)

"She turned me into a neut!" +1 neut
"A neut?" "...I got better." -1 neut
Net-Neut: zero

Re:I Must Clarify One Thing (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066846)

Game over man, Game over!

What I think of when i see "neut" or newt or any variation.

Re:I Must Clarify One Thing (0, Flamebait)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32068592)

Perhaps that reflects the personage of a certain republican jerk named Gaimbrige. I assume the Newt name is in reference to his testicals failing to develop or perhaps refer to his obvious castration.
          Why would anyone name a kid with a name that sounds like a slimy lizard that lives under rocks in creeks? Maybe even his parents loathed him.

Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat tv (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066196)

Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat tv will likely fall under monopoly laws.

Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066296)

"monopoly laws"???? Can you be more specific? They have names... The Sherman Act.. The Clayton Act... and usually they are called antitrust laws, and not monopoly laws...

NBC refusing to deal with satellite companies would be a "unilateral refusal to deal." And it would be perfectly legal under current antitrust jurisprudence.

Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066340)

in the slashdot world, there's only one 'monopoly law' and it says 'companies are not allowed to do anything i don't like'.

Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (4, Interesting)

digitalnoise615 (1145903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066364)

in the slashdot world, there's only one 'monopoly law' and it says 'companies are not allowed to do anything i don't like'.

Glad to see someone else has finally said that.

Companies do stupid things. And they screw alot of people. But they're not charities - they're out there to make money; some of which goes in YOUR pocket if you work for them, are a supplier to them, have a 401(k) or some other investment device that has stock in them, etc.

Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (1)

Tycho (11893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066628)

Yes, but corporations still can't act against the interests of the public. Try making dangerous products. In such cases, the corporation would be making money, their suppliers would be making money and 401(k) accounts would be making money, but it would be dwarfed by the long term costs from people would end up injured. Making money in the short term is not a justification for bad behavior in the least.

If Comcast thinks that its actions related to FCC v. Comcast and other unrelated behavior should have no bearing on its current attempt at acquiring NBC, I assure you that both the FCC and FTC will have something to say about that. Either agency can and potentially even object to or block the sale of NBC to Comcast.

Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (1)

digitalnoise615 (1145903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066790)

Yes, but corporations still can't act against the interests of the public. Try making dangerous products. In such cases, the corporation would be making money, their suppliers would be making money and 401(k) accounts would be making money, but it would be dwarfed by the long term costs from people would end up injured. Making money in the short term is not a justification for bad behavior in the least.

Yes, but who defines the best interests of the public? I'm not saying you're wrong, simply playing Devil's Advocate here. True, dangerous products affect all - either directly, by those who are harmed, or indirectly - families who suffer from a loved one's death or injury, etc. Common Social Morality tells us that those products should be blocked, and companies stopped. However, you then get into gray areas - products that can cause harm when used incorrectly, or even when used correctly, but the choice to use them is left up to purchaser.

The problem when trying to use this argument with the Comcast/NBC deal is that the FCC/FTC/etc. have to quantify actual damages - they can't simply say "Well, they might do this or they might do that " and use that as the justification. You can't convict someone (and bear in mind that U.S. Law treats Companies as individuals with individual's rights) of something that they haven't done yet - even if there is some evidence that they might.

If Comcast thinks that its actions related to FCC v. Comcast and other unrelated behavior should have no bearing on its current attempt at acquiring NBC, I assure you that both the FCC and FTC will have something to say about that. Either agency can and potentially even object to or block the sale of NBC to Comcast.

Sure they can - I wasn't saying that they couldn't. But Comcast can, and will, most assuredly, appeal any decision to block the sale. My point was, the FCC/FTC/etc. will most likely loose on appeal - and they have to stop and question if that is the kind of precedent they want to set - appeal our decisions and they'll be overturned if we can't quantify them. What kind of enforcement power would they have then?

Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32070060)

You're not playing Devil's Advocate. You're just a corporate shill, Republican wing-nut. That much is obvious.

Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (1)

No Grand Plan (975972) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070556)

Yes, but corporations still can't act against the interests of the public. Try making dangerous products.

You mean like the carcinogenic aftermath of bovine growth hormones showing up in milk? You're right, no corporation would be that stupid...

Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066940)

However, no matter how poorly enforced, all corporate charters are contingent on their being in the public interest. In theory, it means any of then can be dis-incorporated at any time if as a whole they do more harm than good.

Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067454)

in the slashdot world, there's only one 'monopoly law' and it says 'companies are not allowed to do anything i don't like'.

It depends on what rules you agree to beforehand, though. The most common additional rule is that all taxes/fees are paid into a pot in the middle, and whoever the next person to land on Free Parking gets it. Some add $100 to the pot to start with, and each time the pot is emptied, the starting money goes up by $100.

Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (3, Informative)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066576)

"monopoly laws"???? Can you be more specific?

They're printed inside the box lid of every Monopoly game.

Re:Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069376)

Comcast makeing NBC cable only and kill off sat tv will likely fall under monopoly laws.

I'd imagine it would also make a lot of stockholders irate, reducing the earnings and profit potential of NBC.

Falcon

The internet is a... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066204)

...communications interface.

Re:The internet is a... (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066450)

and the internet uses RF spectrum to get to your computer. Even if it comes to your home on fiber it is converted to cat5 at some point.

Hold comcast to the same laws fox / directv where (4, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066210)

Hold comcast to the same laws fox / directv where under when Directv was owned by fox and they where not able to make fox directv only.

Re:Hold comcast to the same laws fox / directv whe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32067268)

Just in case someone besides me couldn't understand what he said at first.

"Hold Comcast to the same laws that Fox/DirecTV were held to: Fox owned DirecTV and could not make the Fox channels DirecTV only."

Say no NBC to Comcast (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066254)

Easy decision for the FCC. Sorry Comcast, your purchase of NBC will harm consumers. No Deal.

Re:Say no NBC to Comcast (1)

digitalnoise615 (1145903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066380)

Easy decision for the FCC. Sorry Comcast, your purchase of NBC will harm consumers. No Deal.

Except that under the Law, they have to be able to PROVE that - not just have a feeling. Plus Comcast would have a perfect avenue of appeal, should the FCC make that determination without evidence - to any jury, regardless of their feelings about Comcast, it'll look like the FCC is saying "Well, since we can't hurt you there, we can do this instead." Would you really want the FCC's authority to be further diminished by loosing two appeals against the same company? What kind of precedent do you think that would set?

Hype (5, Informative)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066260)

The only real impact is that the FCC will start using Title II instead of Title I [arstechnica.com] .

Re:Hype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066422)

I try to avoid arstechnica

Re:Hype (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32067628)

What's so much worse about Ars Technica than, say, Slashdot?

Re:Hype (3, Insightful)

butlerm (3112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067300)

The only real impact is that the FCC will start using Title II instead of Title I.

As they should have if they weren't engaged in politically opportunistic word mangling in the first place. The Supreme Court occasionally allows the FCC an unusual amount of latitude in that sort of thing (which was probably a mistake). If the FCC was doing its job, it would have classified Internet access providers as common carriers under Title II, for exactly the same reasons telephone network providers are considered common carriers.

Instead they essentially (temporarily) abdicated virtually all of their authority to regulate the Internet by classifying the whole thing as one big "information service". Youtube is an information service. Wikipedia is an information service. Internet access service, in the terms contemplated by the Communications Act of 1934, is not.

An "information service" is "offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications" (47 USC 153). Anyone think that sounds like what an Internet access provider does?

An "information service...does not include any use of any such capability for the management, control, or operation of a telecommunications system or the management of a telecommunications service." (ibid) Internet access is the latter. The opposite conclusion is specious in the extreme.

Legislators need to be legislating (4, Insightful)

camg188 (932324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066288)

This is a failure of Congress.
What is needed is clear legislation from Congress that enumerate what exactly the FCC is allowed to regulate. Regulation should come from our elected officials, not from the policy statements of unelected commissions.

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (2, Insightful)

digitalnoise615 (1145903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066396)

This is a failure of Congress. What is needed is clear legislation from Congress that enumerate what exactly the FCC is allowed to regulate. Regulation should come from our elected officials, not from the policy statements of unelected commissions.

Exactly. But unfortunately, Congress isn't interest, at least not very much, at the moment. And you always run the risk of over-regulation when Congress gets involved. The correct way to do this is to give the FCC the authority, with a high and low limits, and then let the FCC run with it. I'm afraid, however, that Congress will end up setting the exact rules, and as a result, things might get too tightly regulated.

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (2, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066604)

Congress by its very nature is incompetent because they put politics ahead of principle. Case in point, look at taxation and the new health care reform. They're both disasters of epic proportions. In fact, I'm willing to bet the only portion of the bill they read is their own amended riders they put into them, not the bill itself.

And you guys want Congress to regulate the Internet? I can only see this going from bad to worse!

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (1)

digitalnoise615 (1145903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066804)

Congress by its very nature is incompetent because they put politics ahead of principle. Case in point, look at taxation and the new health care reform. They're both disasters of epic proportions. In fact, I'm willing to bet the only portion of the bill they read is their own amended riders they put into them, not the bill itself.

And you guys want Congress to regulate the Internet? I can only see this going from bad to worse!

Except that without Congress, it can be argued that at times in this Nation's history, things would've been much worse. When the stars and planets align, they can do intelligent things, though not everyone at that moment may agree that they're intelligent. Problem is, it just doesn't happen that often.

And note that it's not about Congress regulating the Internet - it's about giving the FCC the authority and the tools to do so, which they currently don't have.

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069108)

And note that it's not about Congress regulating the Internet - it's about giving the FCC the authority and the tools to do so, which they currently don't have.

Three letter bureaucracies are used as control instruments by congress. Once powers are granted, rarely are they taken away, and often used as precidents when crafting new laws and regulation after the fact.

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (2, Insightful)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070080)

When your entire viewpoint of the world is binary, "regulation is bad! regulation is good!", then yes you would only be able to see regulating the internet as being a negative thing.

The healthcare bill in its current form was severely watered down by special interests lobbying Congress. The '96 Telecom Act was severely watered down over the years by Republican FCC's and special interest groups.

Now that we once again have a Democratic FCC, it's Genachowski's obligation to reclassify broadband under Title II and force open access on both DSL and cable carriers. In fact since Verizon has officially given up its expansion of FIOS, forcing open access on FTTH would make a lot of sense as well.

The problem is Julius doesn't want his "career" to be occupied with incumbent lawsuits against his agency's authority, and he's no doubt looking out for his own future. It's a serious problem we have in the current US political system right now.

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069422)

The correct way to do this is to give the FCC the authority

No, the correct way to do this is to abolish the FCC and allow the airwaves to be homesteaded [mises.org] .

Falcon

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (2, Insightful)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#32071138)

No, the correct way to do this is to abolish the FCC and allow the airwaves to be homesteaded [mises.org] .

Falcon

So how exactly are spectrum conflicts resolved, the guy with the biggest amp wins(mine goes to 11). There would have to be court actions to resolve disputes, or an agency could be created to manage the spectrum and license parts of the spectrum to people to radiate, the licensing fees would go towards the cost of managing the spectrum. The FCC needs to be redefined with a much clearer scope the ambiguity has lead to a power grab that blew up in their face. The reason FCC vs Comcast was overturned is because the FCC essentially created a law and tried to enforce it anyone with a half a brain can figure out why this is a bad idea. If Net Neutrality is going to happen congress has to write a law.

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066404)

Exactly. The FCC has been smacked down by the courts so many times in the past ten or so years that it should be clear to *everyone* that 1. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is a total failure AND 2. We need a complete overhaul of telecom regulation.

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066436)

Yeah, but that'd be totally unfair to American corporations. Instead of just buying off a few regulatory commission members, they have to go out and buy an entire party's worth of congressmen. That could get expensive!

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (1)

Anarki2004 (1652007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066732)

I want to give you a +1 funny, but there's too much truth to that statement.

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070090)

The problem is they already *have* bought off Congress. AT&T has on occasion trotted out a bevy of Congressmen, both Democrat and Republican, to the FCC's compounds to emphasize their point that Congress has the telecom incumbent's back. Julius will need a very strong backbone and a willingness to plunge his career into uncertainty if he's to use his current powers to reclassify broadband under Title II and forcibly regulate telecom. I just don't think Julius is that kind of person.

This is a failure of Congress. (3, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069416)

What is needed is clear legislation from Congress that enumerate what exactly the FCC is allowed to regulate.

It was a failure of congress to give the FCC and before it the Federal Radio Commission [wikipedia.org] , from which the FCC was created, the power to regulate the airwaves period. It was done at the behest of the large mass media companies, it allowed them to reduce a lot of their competition.

Falcon

Re:Legislators need to be legislating (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070070)

That would be called the 1996 Telecommunications Act, who if you were to ask Clinton the point of which was the give the FCC the authority to tightly regulate the internet. That's why most of these ISPs were originally under Title II regulation before a Republican FCC reclassified them to Title I in its now-failed deregulatory experiment with the broadband industry.

i'm skeptical of net neutrality (2)

orthicviper (1800010) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066356)

didn't the internet really take off without regulation? will regulation of the internet actually help, or just open the gateway for big business to control the markets in ways that favor themselves and hurt any chance of competition? will it give the CIA more opportunities to deal with problems like WikiLeaks, once the government gets its tentacles deeper into how the internet is managed?

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066398)

You can be skeptical of your regulators and politicians all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that net neutrality is desirable.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066748)

You can be skeptical of your regulators and politicians all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that net neutrality is desirable.

Uhm, I don't know what you've been smoking, but I don't need ANYONE to regulate my internet access for me or mine. That is MY job.
Net neutrality is NOT desirable.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (1)

IRWolfie- (1148617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067276)

Without net neutrality your internet access will be regulated by your ISP whether you want it or not.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32067592)

Hooray for changing ISP's.. because i still have a choice.. under net nut i won't.

Change ISP's? (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067854)

How? Most places there is only 1 ISP.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070534)

Enjoy your move! Be sure to pick up plenty of boxes BTW! I hate to break the news to ya pal, but many of us, hell if not most, have pretty much ONE choice of ISP if we wish to keep our homes. The prices keep going up (mine is currently $156 for 2Mb cable with a 36Gb cap, phone and basic cable..oh and NO choice on whether to take the TV, it is all or nothing) the service keeps getting shittier, and we are given the "choice" of that or move.

So I'm glad YOU live in free market land, where everything has tons of competition and if you get screwed you can just pick up another ISP, but for the rest of us net neutrality would be a VERY nice thing, okay? Personally I think ISP should be labeled common carriers and opened up like the phones were. If they want a monopoly? Run to all those places they haven't bothered to give a crap about! Oh and enjoy your cap, because believe me they ARE coming, and if you are living in a place with no competition like me, boy is it gonna suck. See how you like paying $156 for a 36Gb cap and then we'll talk buddy.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (5, Insightful)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066664)

Yes, it did really take off without regulation but lately, the ISPs have been trying to extend their role beyond that of "internet service provider". For example, many cable ISPs now provide phone service, via VoIP. Also, some ISPs are trying to become content providers (ex: Comcast's acquisition of NBC). In the last 5 years, ISPs like Comcast have tried to block bittorrent traffic, block competing VoIP phone services such as SKYPE and Vonage, discriminantly block emails websites and more.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066946)

Right, this is the real purpose of the federal government. Its NOT to meddle with things, but instead to step in when the people are being taken advantage of and steer things clear, then step back out of the way.

Don't forget about Timewarner.. they already had what Comcast wants.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067740)

Revocation of common carrier status then? Who gets to make that call?

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32068660)

Please, STOP SAYING THIS. ISPs do not have, nor have they ever had "common carrier status." Check out the relevant section on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_carrier#Telecommunications

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (3, Interesting)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070102)

The broadband industry took off after the passage of the '96 Telecom Act. It came to a screeching halt after the first 5 years, when a Republican FCC and Congress gutted the Act and the FCC's regulatory powers.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32066756)

There's no competition right now. There are no technologies on the horizon that will introduce competition. The incumbents have already stopped investing in upgrades to their networks.

It is either regulate or stagnate. Which will it be?

Real reform would introduce *real* competition. As of now, the vast majority of Americans have at most two options for broadband. Two options do not a competitive market make.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066808)

> Didn't the internet really take off without regulation?

No, but the regulation was easier as no one was making money from it.

Then, Al Gore ruined everything by opening it to everyone.

OTOH, your objections are arguments in favor of net neutrality, not against (well, the CIA question is orthogonal to all that).

On the gripping hand, net neutrality is defined in such a hand-waving fashion that it would be hard to write regulations to guarantee it without requiring excessive effort to demonstrate it, or freezing the technology of the Internet. For instance, if Comcast upgrades its connection to Google but not to Bing (at least, not yet), that makes Google a faster responding search provider, customers use Bing less, and Microsoft is screwed (or at least, so the lawyers will argue) by the obviously improper improvement in responsiveness of one section of the Comcast portion of the Net before another. Prove that something LIKE this could not possibly occur in the real world of delayed upgrades, especially with all two company combinations and all providers.

Clearly, what we need is a better definition of how much net *un*-neutrality is permitted under Net Neutrality, which the FCC had never tried, Congress had never specifically authorized, and I do not believe that net neutrality advocates ever cared about since their goal was perfect neutrality despite an imperfect world.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (2, Interesting)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069448)

if Comcast upgrades its connection to Google but not to Bing (at least, not yet), that makes Google a faster responding search provider, customers use Bing less, and Microsoft is screwed

Except the opposite would happen, ComCast would make Google slower not faster and Bing faster not slower. Comcast is in bed with MS [microsoft.com] .

Falcon

It's all about the competition (5, Insightful)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066816)

If Net Neutrality was good for big business, as you suggest is possible, then why is big business so strongly against it? I'm baffled by how many people buy into the arguments coming from big businesses that this will help big businesses step over consumers. Since when has Big Business been a watchdog for themselves in order to protect Average Joe?

The reason it took off without government regulation enforcing net neutrality was because competition was so much greater. There were tons of small internet service providers popping up everywhere offering dial-up service at increasingly cheaper prices and with better service and features. As more and more dial-up providers were born and competed, we went from paying by the minute or e-mail to unlimited usage because of competition. It led to many providers offering other services like Usenet access, extra e-mail accounts, free homepage space, and better customer support.

With so much competition and a culture of internet freedom, nobody would even think about trying to violate net neutrality without dooming their business.

Then came the rise of broadband. As broadband became more ubiquitous, suddenly the huge number of dial-up based ISPs began to dry up and internet access became dominated by telephone companies and cable companies. These companies usually had strong footholds in their areas, and enjoyed the luxury of limited competition.

Now, we have less and less competition, and we see consumers gradually losing what we gained due to competition. Not many ISPs give free homepages anymore. More and more are cutting free Usenet. Dealing with many of these businesses has become much more bureaucratic than it used to be. They want to bring back caps and paying by the byte, and they want to have more control over how you use the internet with less responsibility to their customers.

It's also important to remember what ignoring net neutrality can mean for Comcast. It's not just about them controlling the level of bandwidth customers use, it's about them controlling who is piping all that data to you. As they try to make you sympathetic to them by invoking images of bandwidth hogs committing rampant piracy, they are setting themselves up so that they can potentially make it more costly for you to stream any video that is not from their service (or NBC) and reduce the performance of VoIP services that are from competitors. I won't even go into the other potential cans of worms that this could open up, if they are allowed to continue on this course.

I don't believe that much regulation is needed as long as market forces are working in healthy ways, but when the number of competing companies shrink while their individual power grows, then sometimes regulation is needed to keep them from abusing this position of power.

Re:It's all about the competition (4, Informative)

orthicviper (1800010) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067094)

but the market hasn't really been free. people here don't forget how these internet providers wasted 200 billion that was supposed to be used to build up the internet infrastructure here. 200 billion just completely wasted... http://www.tispa.org/node/14 [tispa.org] the point is, the reason why we have limited competition might be because that 200 billion was just pocketed by those big companies, strengthening their ability to compete with anyone else not getting that loan. why did that loan go to businesses that were already big?

Re:It's all about the competition (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32068318)

What does one have to do with the other? I'm critical of how that money is spent too, but the loans weren't what reduced competition. The move to broadband squeezed out most of the small players that used to be in great numbers back when dial-up was the norm.

Re:It's all about the competition (2, Interesting)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 4 years ago | (#32068996)

The small ISPs, and I'd argue the rapid uptake of the Internet in the US, really only existed because of regulation. The '96 telco reform act forced the incumbent 'baby bells' to do business with startup phone companies. These in turn sold lines to ISPs in ways the bells wouldn't. Like affordable state wide phone trunking so no more physical equipment in every dialing area. When Powell's kid started running the FCC under the Bush era, they rolled back all the '96 telco reform rules in favor of big business. ISPs started dying quickly after this as the bells no longer had to play fairly, not even having to fake playing fair.

I'm all in favor of strong regulation by the FCC. Break up the physical lines from the service side of companies so there is fair and equal access. The lines were put in and more than paid for by taxpayers, time to move them to truly open as a public service. If the last mile was a commodity like it should be, we'd have so much competition available that net neutrality wouldn't be an issue as you could choose your provider of choice.

Re:It's all about the competition (1)

ps2os2 (1216366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069470)

With the supreme court ruling that corporations are "people" so they have the right to spend all the money they have on bribes to politicians the only way to stop that is to have a revolutions to kill off all corporations. Maybe then we have a Bastille day with a real guillotine to cut some real head off.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066838)

Two different types of regulation is at stake here. One is regulation of the internet itself, the other is regulation of the regulation on the internet itself.

You see, one is setting limits on the internet, the other is setting limits on those who attempt to set limits on the internet. Net Neutrality attempts to limit those wanting to limit the internet, not the internet itself.

And yes, this might limit start ups and new ventures to some degree, but no more so and perhaps quite a bit less than not regulating those who want to limit the internet would also impose.

As long as the net neutrality regulation is on those in charge of the internet and not the internet, it shouldn't have any adverse effects that aren't already present or open lines for other agencies to seize power and control over the actual internet.

A simply net neutrality law that could be implemented that would achieve this might be something that says

"no internet provider or supplier of internet services can take steps to restrict or impede traffic or other communications on the internet to rates of service below what was plainly and obviously advertised to the consumer of such services on the bases of additional pay from any third or more party; or present the services favorably to any product in which they have any stake in to where such favorable actions delivers or restricts competing services to rates less what was plainly and obviously advertised to the consumers paying for the service. For the basis of this paragraph, payment from a third party is enough to establish a stake in the product, service, or technology.

Nothing in this law should be construed to restrict internet service providers or suppliers to deliver service in addition to what the consumer paying for the service expects from deliberate and obvious advertisements of the service as long as the additional service does not restrict the expected service from deliberate, clear and obvious advertisement of services sold.

Nothing in this law should restrict the internet service provider or supplier from slowing traffic or otherwise manipulating traffic and other communications when the network is under attack or physical disrepair as long as steps are being taken to document such attacks and disrepair as well as documenting steps to remedy such environments and this documentation is available upon request of regulating authorities and parties in lawsuits pertaining to this law.

Nothing in this law should be construed to make internet services and suppliers liable for actions they have no control over as long as they adapt their service offerings to clearly and obviously take those conditions into account if they last longer then 1 month.

Aggrieved parties, upon findings of a violation by a court of jurisdiction or regulating authority can recover restitution in the form of 10 times the costs of services during the offending period of time if the offense lasts longer then 6 months or 5 times the costs of services if the offense lasts longer then 2 months to be credited to the accounts of the aggrieved parties or forgiven of any contract termination fees owed and 3 times the costs of services refunded in the form of a equitable currency equivalent that can be processed and spent like the currency of the United States of America if the violation caused the consumer to seek service with another provider.

The purpose of this law is to ensure that consumers purchasing the internet or internet services get what was advertised to them at the time of purchase or agreement of services and any restrictions of services is clearly and plainly disclosed in not only contracts but advertisements presented to the consumer before the purchase of the services. All interpretations of this law should take that as a driving intent."

There is a simple net neutrality law that could be adapted to most countries that basically says that you will get what you were advertised advertised and that the service providers can't limit or restrict your service to below what was advertises when you took the service. It says no restrictions can be buried in ten pages of legalese and that no service provider can block other services or sites or otherwise tamper with the delivery of third party communications to below what was clearly advertised when the service was purchased.

It probably could be refined a little bit but would ensure a neutral net and stop ISP's from cheating customers of network speed or bandwidth because Google or Yahoo or whoever doesn't pay some third party a ransom fee when the provider's customer attempts to use the external service or communications. It would stop things like Comcast from making vague claims like speeds up to 8 megs and having this mean 8 megs only if another site pays them or if you're looking/using their "approved" sites and otherwise delivering 1.5 meg speeds or blocking access altogether.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32068762)

You are terribly over-examining this. There is only one type of regulation, and it's the type that requires violent intervention or the threat of some sort of power if you want to enforce it. Telling ISPs what they cannot do is regulation, period. You are in no position to say what is best for the consumer or the ISP.

The only possible recourse (and a far better one I think) would be perusing them for fraud: They are offering Internet access, which implies unfiltered access, where packets are not modified by the ISP (but they may be prioritized or even dropped for network reasons, that's how IP and TCP was engineered).

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069532)

The only possible recourse (and a far better one I think) would be perusing them for fraud: They are offering Internet access, which implies unfiltered access, where packets are not modified by the ISP (but they may be prioritized or even dropped for network reasons, that's how IP and TCP was engineered).

No, another recourse is to have competition. Because of the limits on how many cables or fiber can be laid down in an area, the only way to have competition in land-line services is by separating ownership of the infrastructure from the services it can deliver. The owner of the infrastructure would have to allow any and all of those who wanted to provide a service to do so as long as they have the capability. Now, wireless doesn't have those problems. Discounting licensing of the airwaves, which I personally believe should be stopped and instead allow people to homestead radio/TV frequencies [mises.org] , any number of people or organizations could setup transceivers for wireless broadband.

Falcon

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069898)

No, in this context, there is two types of regulation. Sure, it is all regulation but if you noticed the distinctions of the types and the context I placed them in when considered with the context of the parent post. And yes, I am in a position to say what is best for the consumer and ISP when all that I have said is that the customer must get what they paid for and the ISP cannot take steps to prevent that or mislead the customer.

This also plays well with the fraud you mentioned. However, it's a lot like going to a fast food joint and ordering a combo meal, lately they ask you if you want that medium or large as if those are your only options, you choose medium thinking it's the one on the menu, and they up sold the consumer without them even realizing it. What I'm getting at is that fraud laws aren't currently strong enough to deal with the issues presented here.

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067586)

"Without regulation" just means the US gov gave a science netowrk away to the world.
Net neutrality means every packet on any network is treated the same. Your request for a fan site on old computers, a faith based radio station, a multinationals sports cast, youtube, Apple, MS, Linux, Adobe all move around the net with the same priority.
The telcos hate this as they become utilities - moving packets with average isp/user payback over years after all they the tax breaks and grants they invested in optical roll out.
So they want to offer a super wide path at $$$.
But to do that they have to sort packets, some to get priority or to get best effort lowest cost peering efforts with your ping going way up.
"Without regulation" used to be a given that all packets would just flow.
Without regulation will soon mean that if your not part of your cable or Bells "co prosperity network" your page, cam or game requests will be degraded unless you pay more or find a new isp ;)

Re:i'm skeptical of net neutrality (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070098)

The last time telcos had to worry about the meddling regulators was after the 1996 law passed. I remember...there was a period of about 5 years where the ILECs stumbled because they didn't know what hit them. There was budding competition, plenty of CLECs, that's when cable got in the broadband and telephony business. ILECs were fined for delaying facilities and repair orders for CLEC customers. You could get dial tone or DSL from a dozen competing providers.

Eventually, the ILECs regrouped, merged their way back to consolidation and monopoly status, put their competitors out of business with a combination of downright dirty tricks like delaying orders or claiming lack of facilities and predatory pricing....and what little complaints there were got silenced by their well paid lobbyists.

Revising history to conform to an idealogy is fun...but that doesn't mean it's the truth.

You think Tauzin or Dingell knew what they were doing? And Crazy "My Tubes" Eddie knew anything past his bottom line? Someone has to represent the public interest....clearly industry leaders and elected officials are not up to the task....the FCC needs to be strengthened and chartered with regulating all facets of "connectivity" before India and China eat our lunch.

You're misinformed: it always HAD regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32070844)

You're misinformed: it always HAD regulation. The net neutrality laws are instatements of the laws that were part of the internet regulation since its inception. Those laws (unlike most laws) had a sunset clause. The sun is setting and rather than deal honestly you or your informers are falsely accusing this of being NEW LAWS (hence bad) when they are merely OLD LAWS RENEWED.

corporatism is not capitalism (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066460)

in fact, any student of economic history knows that corporatism, monopolies, oligopolies are greater threats to capitalism than socialism or communism ever could be

the libertarian naivete that a free market of equals is a natural balance and that governments can only interfere in that is nonsense

the truth is that some players in the free market grow and begin to use their heft to suppress smaller players. this is completely natural. the way to fight that is to have a government with strong regulatory powers to enforce equality amongst 800 pound gorillas and tiny players. you want to be taxed to do this, and you want the "bureaucracy" that does this. or you will suffer far more than any inefficiency or waste in the government. fight the inefficiency and waste in government, don't fight government itself

insomuch as the government is merely a tool of the big time players is the extent which corporate dollars warp and infect and corrupt the government that is supposed to regulate them

in other words, if you are a true believer in capitalism, you will lose your libertarian naivete and insist on a strong regulatory government to keep the marketplace healthy

and you will recognize the greatest threat to capitalism is not the government, it is corporations and their corruption OF government

stop fighting government. start fighting corporations, or more exactly, the immoral infuence of corporate dollars on a government that is supposed to represent you, but is bought off by corporate dollars to work against you

and i didn't say it was easy. but when you fight government itself, you are actually making it worse

fight the corporate infection of government, even though you are working against powerful addicted junkies of corporate money and it is a hard fight. but please, stop fighting government itself. it is supposed to represent your interests, so get it to do that

Re:corporatism is not capitalism (1)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066616)

I agree with this

Re:corporatism is not capitalism (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067724)

I agree with this

Only because you're Uncle Enzo's lackey.

Re:corporatism is not capitalism (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066624)

While we are refining threats to capitalism (and democracy), I think you'll find that it's not the fact that lobbyists are representing corporations, more that corporations are obscenely rich, and can afford lobbyists. Would it change your mind if it was an individual pushing a law you disagree with, instead of a corporation? The system should be more or less invariant to the amount of money you have, and the problem is that isn't towards the "very rich" end of the scale. We desperately need some kind of reform over lobbying laws, regardless of where the money comes from.

absolutely (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066658)

but i am not "refining" threats to capitalism or democracy, i am clarifying

because currently there is a lot of fud out there that it is the government itself which is the enemy, when we both know that is a red herring

if the people who believe that fud could see that (bought and paid for) demagogues are redirecting their righteous anger in the wrong direction, then maybe we could finally pull the curtain back and see the wizard for what he is

financial influence in a democratic system warps and weakens it. we both see this. so let's keep hammering that point home so the fools who believe the blame lies somewhere else for our troubles wake the fuck up from their tea party delusions. their anger is valid. where they are directing their anger is invalid

Re:absolutely (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069038)

If only an incorruptible government can protect us, we're better off without any.

I understand the points you're making - but I think blame is placed perfectly as it is. "Corporations" (as if they're a single, monolithic entity) have been wildly successful within their intended purpose - make money.

Government, on the other hand, is characterized by failure, the largest of which is the one you mentioned - failure to regulate the Corporations.

Granting the legitimacy of both Corporation and Government, which should we be angry at? The Corporations at least were successful!

Re:absolutely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32069106)

what, so i should prefer a successful murderer to a failed thief? I think the co

Re:absolutely (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070122)

That's why I said, "given the legitimacy of both." If you assume one or both are illegitimate, the question's a moot point.

lol (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069336)

you imagine society and civilization is possible without government

for your sake, i hope you are 13 years old, with a lot to learn in front of you. any older, and you're simply low iq

Re:lol (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070106)

I'm tempted to hope you're much older than my naught-and-twenty, because someone younger would hardly be justified in accusing me of having "a lot to learn in front of me." Then again, you have the same success with capitalization as 13-year-old texters.

Society and civilization are definitely "challenging" at best without government. But, I challenge the assertion that we should be angry only at corporations. They're just playing the game whose rules are decided by a corrupt government.

somalia (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070944)

you ignorant moron

that's what you get

no government=no security, no stability, no progress, no prosperity, no education

its mad max

furthermore, government is self-creating. its an inevitable byproduct of humans in groups to regulate the group. if you magically removed all the governments in the world, after a period of great suffering, governments would reemerge

all your words signify is that you are woefully out of touch with the reality of human nature

you're just... dumb

Re:absolutely (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070120)

If your entire analysis of history is binary ("government is characterized by failure", "only an incorruptible government can protect us"), then your understanding of reality will be warped and inexorably wrong. Corporations were only successful because of government protection- ie consent of the governed. Now corporations want to have their cake and eat it too: protection by government without consent of the governed.

You simply fall for their FUD by believing government is unsuccessful. In fact, the claim itself is so ridiculously incorrect it often stumps me how any literate human being could come to such a conclusion.

Re:absolutely (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070134)

The post I was replying to was arguing that we should hate corporations and corporations exclusively because they corrupted the government.

My argument is just that if only an incorruptible government is good, we're doomed.

you're completely wrong (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32071276)

there will ALWAYS be corruption. there ALWAYS was corruption. the point is to simply minimize it

the problem is your idealism that thinks the only valid government is one which has 0% corruption. but this is an impossible goal. the real metric you should be using is 0.1% corruption is better than 10% corruption

currently, according to your way of thinking, country A of 10 million people that had no murders, no rapes, but 10 robberies is the same as country B of 10 million people that had 10,000 murders, 1,000 rapes and 100,000 robberies. both countries have crime. but according to your current way of thinking about corruption in government, both countries are the same, because there is some crime somewhere in both. how is your way of thinking useful? it isn't. your current way of thinking about corruption and government is idealistic nonsense. country A is obviously a hell of a lot better than country B, and that's the point

we are country B, in terms of corporate influence in government, and we want to be country A. so lose your ignorant naivete that assumes that anything less than 100% corruption is an abject failure. 0.1% corruption rate is not the same as 10% corruption rate, and in fact makes all the difference in the world in terms of confidence and justice

Re:absolutely (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069810)

because currently there is a lot of fud out there that it is the government itself which is the enemy, when we both know that is a red herring

As I stated in my prior post, you're wrong again. Government is the problem. Big businesses were able to grease the palms of politicians.

if the people who believe that fud could see that (bought and paid for) demagogues are redirecting their righteous anger in the wrong direction, then maybe we could finally pull the curtain back and see the wizard for what he is

financial influence in a democratic system warps and weakens it.

If only people like you didn't believe the FUD. You would make it worse not better.

Falcon

government is not the problem (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32071104)

government is the solution to corporate influence

you tell me how to solve the problem of corporate influence if you weaken the government

you need a strong government with strong regulatory powers to manage the corporations. do you know a way of managing the power of corporations and the potential abuse there without government?

the point is to FIX the government, get the influence of corporate money out of it

but you want to weaken the only tool you have against corporate power

sMALL caps (1)

wye43 (769759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32071268)

circletimessquare, just stop it with the small caps. It's not a nice "cool" style, it's just plain annoying.

no (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32071530)

if you don't like my writing style, don't read my posts, and don't reply

go fuck yourself twatstain

Re:corporatism is not capitalism (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066988)

in other words, if you are a true believer in capitalism, you will lose your libertarian naivete and insist on a strong regulatory government to keep the marketplace healthy

I agree with you that those who advocate free markets should focus much more on the problems of corporatism, and I agree that corporations are currently a greater threat to economic and even personal liberty than socialist proposals are, at least in the U.S. I don't understand those who claim to support a free market but don't recognize that corporations themselves are creations of the state -- that the entitlement of limited liability they enjoy shields their owners from responsibility for their actions at everyone else's expense.

But that said, you seem to believe that it's possible for significant political power to exist, but for it not to end up being used at the hands of those with wealth and power to maintain their positions. How is that any less naive than what libertarians believe?

Re:corporatism is not capitalism (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32070128)

All you need to do is look at Western Europe to support his point, or the US government before 1980. It's not the size of government that lends itself to being corrupted, it's the ever-burgeoning size of international corporations that is the real problem.

there's a magical far away land (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32071176)

call "europe"

they seem to have a much better grasp on corporate power and undue financial influence than the usa does

there's another magical make believe land called "canada"

take a look at their finance laws some time

what i'm talking about is not naive. its pretty obvious. the only hurdle is our legislators who are like heroin junkies with corporate money. i didn't say it would be easy to get rid of corporate influence, but its obviously the direction we need to go in, no matter how hard

the problem is the public needs to understand the government is the problem only to the extent the government has been warped and corrupted by corporate influence. but certain bought and paid for demagogues have a horde of angry fools believing the government itself is the problem, not the real problem: the corporate money in government

Re:corporatism is not capitalism (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066996)

The problem is the middle ground where libertarians come out wrong as well as the government regulation wannabe's come out wrong.

You see, just like with the libertarian and the concept of free market being equal turning sour when in practice, so does the idea of regulation to provide equality. What happens is that the regulation ends up being crafted or manipulated to favor existing players. This stops competition from entering which ends the idea of regulation helping. This is also perpetuated by the bureaucracy in which you seem to favor.

So the best way to fight the corporations, is to fight the regulation which limits the competition from entering which also ends the stranglehold that the corporations have with the government. Laws can be made that when enforced, do not regulate a specific industry or corporation, but in turn make specific actions illegal and has the same effect as regulation without the corruptible and inefficient bureaucracy.

We can't have no regulation, we can't have too much regulation, what we need is proper regulation with enforcement. Have you tried to start a business that competes with large corporations or enters a regulated market? It's next to impossible unless you have ten times the capitol then someone starting something like a barber shop or law firm. Those have regulations too, but the differences are that those regulations or more productive and appropriately enforced. They require qualifications to offer services to the public, not hoops to jump through and limit competition. If you look at the debate surrounding regulations like the prevailing wage laws, you will find that it didn't pass because the government wanted people to make money or because they wanted to waste money, it passed because it favored established firms working with the government and retarded the viability of minority contractors who weren't big enough to pay prevailing wages. The laws have since then been changed to remove some of this prejudice but they still work in ways to favor larger union shops over smaller independent contractors and competitors.

In my home town, the concept of regulation went so bad that an IT consultant was drove out of business because after a city rezoning, his residence that he worked from became completely residential, they didn't grandfather the existing business and required him to open an office in a business district even though he only had one employee (himself) and had no customers ever go to the business (home). So unless your large enough to make enough money to pay for an office in an area with limited space, you can't start a business in my home town any more. And in his case, which is being appealed and should be going to court soon, the city planning commission basically said it was illegal for resident in these new zones to work from home on anything commercial so you would technically be in violation if you took your work home with you or remote'd into the office to finish things up.

So attach it all, government that's broken, corporations that corrupt it, and markets that allow it to happen. No one area of focus will solve anything.

Re:corporatism is not capitalism (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32069786)

in fact, any student of economic history knows that corporatism, monopolies, oligopolies are greater threats to capitalism than socialism or communism ever could be

the libertarian naivete that a free market of equals is a natural balance and that governments can only interfere in that is nonsense

Where did you get your education so that you know more about economics than Dr Milton Freidman [wikipedia.org] who won the Nobel Prize in Economics?

the truth is that some players in the free market grow and begin to use their heft to suppress smaller players.

Maybe but that happens in other markets too, such as the mixed economy we have now. The large telecos and cablecos got the way they are not in a free market but because governments gave them monopolies. Nearly every large business got there with government assistance.

the way to fight that is to have a government with strong regulatory powers to enforce equality amongst 800 pound gorillas and tiny players. you want to be taxed to do this

No, the way to end it, the 800lb gorilla beating up the tiny players, is by allowing a free market not by granting monopolies.

you want the "bureaucracy" that does this

Again no, a free market needs no bureaucracy. At it needs are the courts. Before first the Federal Radio Commission [wikipedia.org] then it's replacement the Federal Communications Commission [wikipedia.org] licensed the airwaves courts used common law to allow people to homestead the airwaves [mises.org] .

insomuch as the government is merely a tool of the big time players is the extent which corporate dollars warp and infect and corrupt the government that is supposed to regulate them

That is precisely why the airwaves were licensed. Big broadcasters had trouble with the courts siding with those who started broadcasting on a given frequency in specific areas so they went to congress passing out money to buy congressional votes requiring licensing. They had the money to buy licenses while the neighborhood kids didn't. Oh, boo hoo the broadcasters claimed the airwaves were a scarcity [reason.com] , it wasn't true then and it's even less true today [ieee.org] .

in other words, if you are a true believer in capitalism, you will lose your libertarian naivete and insist on a strong regulatory government to keep the marketplace healthy

Again no, it's precisely the opposite. The government created the problems we have today and more government won't solve it. What will solve it is a freer market, no government granted monopolies.

and you will recognize the greatest threat to capitalism is not the government, it is corporations and their corruption OF government

Which is why you want less government not more, the more government the more power corporations have. Say I, or you or someone else, runs a small lawn care and landscaping business in town. An 800lb gorilla comes to town but doesn't want to compeat with the local businesses, what is it going to do? Ah, "we've pay off the local government to require testing and licensing, that will reduce the competition."

Falcon

Appeal to errant authority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32071058)

Appeal to errant authority.

And your other rebuttals are no such thing since you merely ignore the corporation problem and push it on the government.

If corporates didn't try to bribe government, there would be no problem. If there was no government, the corporations would merely pay thugs. The problem didn't disappear when you get rid of the government.

In fact, it got worse.

But libertarian your heart out.

(smacks forehead) (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32071146)

here, let me break it down to the most bare bones obvious choices:

1. no government or weakened government = unfettered corporate power (what you get with your ideology, but don't admit it or don't realize it)

2. corrupt government = unfettered corporate power (our current state)

3. strong government = curtailed corporate power (where we should go)

so what we need to do is FIX the government, get the corporate influence out if it with strong finance laws. it won't be easy, our current legislators are like heroin junkies with corporate money

but what you seem to want is obviously far, far worse. with no government or weakened government, the only power around, without any checks or balances on it, are the corporations. how does the individual defend themselves form corporate abuses in such an environment? the only tool the individual has to protect themselves from corporations is a strong government with a mandate to protect them. do you have another way?

The FCC should tell Comcrap to pound sand! (4, Insightful)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32066692)

The FCC should DENY the transfer of NBC's broadcast licensees to Comcrap (which is the approval that Comcrap is seeking). Giving the largest cable operator and ISP in the country ownership of network TV stations that cover 2/3rds of the population, and control of a major TV network (and all their cable channels and retail) is monopolistic. It's bad enough that Comcast has the pure arrogence to challenge the FCC's control over them-now they want it ALL, with NO oversight whatsoever!

Comcast needs let Directv have CSN Philly and NW a (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067142)

Comcast needs let Directv have CSN Philly and NW as well as all over flow feeds. No moving games to TCN just to lock out directv!

CSN Chicago (all feeds) has been on Directv for years and they even had the CSN + and CSN + HD feeds even back in days when they where on the cable only MOJO HD and cltv.

What precisely IS FCC's Authority? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067938)

We are talking about the Federal Communications Commission which is ostensibly charged with ensuring that everyone works and plays well together when sharing and implementing communications technologies.

According to the FCC's site

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions.

I fail to see how the FCCs authority DOESN'T include network neutrality, frankly. It's about time this ruling is appealed to either the supreme court or to the authority that created the FCC which would be the executive branch. If there are "certain communcations" that the FCC doesn't get to regulate, they should be indicated. (Postal communications is obvious, but what else?) The internet is communicated over radio, wire, satellite and cable. The only medium not mentions is fiber optic which is just a type of cable as far as I am concerned.

The whole point of the FCC is to ensure that while specific entities can use "public spaces" to conduct their business, they must, in exchange, comply with the interests of the public and not abuse the public's interests. This is true of railways, roadways, electric companies and lots more. In this case, a collection of companies seek to abuse the public's interests while at the same time having "right-of-way" though public spaces such as where cables can be placed and what portions of the radio spectrum are clear and available for their use. Violating the principles of network neutrality is an abuse of the public's interests and is CLEARLY within the realm of the FCC.

Be careful with congressional involvement (4, Informative)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 4 years ago | (#32067970)

I watched the congressional committee on the National Broadband Plan. Everyone should really watch C-SPAN once in a while as it can be very insightful. Every so often you see a congressman that isn't too bad and it would be a shame to kick these people out of office because you're so angry at party X.

Most of it was everyone just giving speeches for camera time and repeating the same thing as everyone else in their party. The Democrats pointed out all of the studies showing how we're far from the top country in terms of broadband access, while the Republicans waved their hands and said "We're the best! Don't change anything!" without any facts to back it up. So of course on the topic of net neutrality the Republicans were very vocal about this evil "net neutrality" business and how terrible it is that the FCC wants to "regulate the internet." Not one of them appeared to have any grasp of what net neutrality is really about. Genachowski tried to explain it to one of them but didn't do a very good job. Even the Republicans in the FCC were against net neutrality. One of them (I forgot his name) said he thinks it doesn't need enforced because the free market will fix it as broadband speeds increase, showing he doesn't really understand the problem. Not to mention even if he was right this is just another incentive for the ISPs to make sure speeds don't increase too much.

But the Democrats had an equally scary complaint. Most of them were bothered by the fact that the National Broadband Plan didn't lay out ways to police the internet for copyright and IP infringement. It does mention the need to address the problem (and Genachowski said several times that this is a problem), but it doesn't lay out anything specific, which is why they were complaining. Off the top of my head the lady from Tennessee was the most vocal about how "her constituents" demand strict enforcement of intellectual property laws on the internet.

So for anyone saying congress should pass laws about this stuff be careful what you ask for. I feel a lot better about Genachowski making these rules than any of the congressmen I saw in that room. Though I know in general it is preferred to have elected officials making the rules, our congressmen generally don't know what they're talking about in this field.

On an interesting side note apparently this plan mentions opening the market for set top boxes, which the congressional chairman (Boucher) pointed out they had discussed 15 years ago and nothing came of it. He told the FCC "please do this as soon as possible". I am planning on building a MythBox so I was happy about this.

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