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Report: Verizon Claimed Public Utility Status To Get Government Perks

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the best-of-both-worlds dept.

Verizon 140

An anonymous reader writes "Research for the Public Utility Law Project (PULP) has been released which details 'how Verizon deliberately moves back and forth between regulatory regimes, classifying its infrastructure either like a heavily regulated telephone network or a deregulated information service depending on its needs. The chicanery has allowed Verizon to raise telephone rates, all the while missing commitments for high-speed internet deployment' (PDF). In short, Verizon pushed for the government to give it common carrier privileges under Title II in order to build out its fiber network with tax-payer money. Result: increased service rates on telephone users to subsidize Verizon's 'infrastructure investment.' When it comes to regulations on Verizon's fiber network, however, Verizon has been pushing the government to classify its services as that of information only — i.e., beyond Title II. Verizon has made about $4.4 billion in additional revenue in New York City alone, 'money that's funneled directly from a Title II service to an array of services that currently lie beyond Title II's reach.' And it's all legal. An attorney at advocacy group Public Knowledge said it best: 'To expect that you can come in and use public infrastructure and funds to build a network and then be free of any regulation is absurd....When Verizon itself is describing these activities as a Title II common carrier, how can the FCC look at broadband internet and continue acting as though it's not a telecommunication network?'"

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Corruption (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47117635)

Really, all these articles assume that the US government isn't run solely for the benefit of a handful of corporations. If there's evidence that it's not then I'd like to see it.

Re:Corruption (3, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47117647)

Its worse then corruption... its incompetence. Basically its all too complicated for the limited number of politicians to manage and most of them don't really care anyway. So its all left to bureaucrats that often don't really have authority to do anything unless its kept quiet... which means there is a "don't rock the boat" mentality which means they just take the path of least resistance in all cases.

Now you could give them more authority... but then you wouldn't have even a fig leaf of democracy because you'd have a technocracy rather then a democracy. We already see some of that happening already with the EPA etc just doing what they want indifferent to law, court orders, or public opinion. But it could get a lot worse.

Truly, I think the solution is to scale back the government's authority or localize things more so the politicians aren't so overwhelmed with responsibilities. I really think they're just overwhelmed with the complexity of the system they're supposed to govern. So... simplify it by decentralizing it. Increase local autonomy and you if anything enhance democracy while improving efficiency.

Will corruption go away? No... it will just be more local instead of federal which I'm actually happier with because local corruption at least recognizes that the corrupt have to still live in the place they're being corrupt. If its done at the federal level then the corruption can profit people thousands of miles away that care nothing at all for the consequences.

Re:Corruption (4, Insightful)

The Rizz (1319) | about 5 months ago | (#47117669)

Decentralization isn't the solution to this. If you think the system is a clusterfuck now, just think about how much worse it would be if instead of one law there were 50+ (states + DC + territories) - or, thousands (county/city level). It would keep small businesses from easily doing work outside of one area, while allowing mega-corps the ability to even more easily venue-shop for their headquarters.

You want a solution that gives more authority to regional/etc. agencies? Simple: Allow each agency, at each level, to throw up a challenge to this type of shenanigans. Verizon pulled some bullshit costing NYC $4.4billion? Then NYC can turn around and enforce the Type II requirements, and send a ripple up the chain to have the feds declare it so nationally. However, you have to be able to stop some in-Verizon's-pocket federal agency from telling NYC, "no."

Re:Corruption (5, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | about 5 months ago | (#47117867)

You ignore the public utility regulatory agencies of the 43 states that have them. This entire morass came after the TCA of 1998 and subsequent revisions of the FCC rules and regs brought on in the post Judge Greene rulings that initially broke up the Bell System.

Public utilities had to deal with all of these regulatory authorities, and then calculatedly lobbied to create US Federal control so that they'd only have to bribe-- I mean lobby and render campaign contributions-- to one target instead of so many. In-state vs Intrastate vs Interstate issues helped hold them to the floor.

NYC is not a regulatory authority. NY State is, as is the FCC, and to a smaller extent, the NTIA.

Decentralization was good for several reasons: rights of way and easements are local, even personal issues. These are last-mile issues. State issues concern everything from keeping infrastructure support fair and even (including low-profit/sparsely populated areas) to zoning policy, and so forth.

The FCC has evolved what was once called "data communications" as a separate classification, away from telephony. Now these things are the same, but the public's needs have evolved. Decentralization isn't so much meaningless as it's the ability to tailor historical infrastructure to locally evolving needs, and is better democracy.

  It's time to conflate consumer communications into a single mandate, IMHO. It has to service we consumers, whether in urban, suburban, or rural areas. Whether it's a text, phone call via wire or cell, or a browser session, it ought to have to meet a set of basic standards, where consumers have well-known and flexible rights.

Re:Corruption (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#47118209)

Public utilities had to deal with all of these regulatory authorities, and then calculatedly lobbied to create US Federal control so that they'd only have to bribe-- I mean lobby and render campaign contributions-- to one target instead of so many.

So, I'm the first to agree that we need to rein in the telcos. However, one of the problems of local control is a lack of standardization. Look how hard it is to collect sales tax when every little town with 12 houses in the US can establish a local tax policy. Now, imagine this town wants everything to be charged by the kilobyte paid by the sender, another town wants the costs shared between sender and recipient, and another town wants everything to be flat-rate-unlimited. Some town wants usage for each customer reported to some central authority on 6-copy carbon paper. Another city buys a fancy 911 system from some vendor and the onus is on the telco to make it work with their systems despite it not adhering to any particular standard.

Local regulation made a lot of sense back when most commerce was fairly local. These days it seems like even national-level regulation can barely keep up with stuff like the internet. Could you imagine the decency standards for the internet imposed by every little town in the deep south?

Re:Corruption (2)

postbigbang (761081) | about 5 months ago | (#47118309)

You're talking about sales models, not the wholesale carriage that telcos, actually datacom providers, are supposed to render. I'm not talking about parochial harrassment of companies, rather that regulated utilities ought to be scrutinized at both state and federal levels. The for-profit model that most utilities have changed to was a mistake. Shareholder profit, rather than the basic needs of basic infrastructure to be a world-class connected republic, is the rule.

We're almost a third-world-quality connected country in the US. Consideration for ALL of the connectivity needs, from central switching right down to the WiFi in your home/office, cellular data transport, to tip-and-ring telephony needs to be made where the jurisdiction makes sense: central to the last few inches. The Feds are awful at the last few inches-- states much better. Decency issues are another topic for another time.

Re:Corruption (5, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47117909)

This community is too smart not understand the virtues of decentralization in management systems.

Understand... I'm not trying to patronize you or slight you... just express my opinion here and hope you at least give it a look before rendering a judgement.

Here we go:

Think back to the old city states in Europe. Look at them in your mind on a map. Notice how at the center of each is a large capital city from which everything is run. Okay, note the history where in each of those powers going into nation states continually tried to expand. They'd eat far flung islands and various powers all over europe only to lose them again if they were too far from their base of power.

Note the continuing failure of those powers to hold on to anything that was more then about 500 miles from their capital city.

Then consider the great exceptions in this pattern... the colonial empires of Spain and England. Note that they had to employ a decentralized power structure because employing a centralized power structure was obviously impossible at that range. Notice how powers that previously were unable to hold on to things at more then 500 miles suddenly can hold on to things thousands and thousands of miles away.

Why? Decentralization. Limited autonomy.

Now consider the United States. The US is one of the largest countries in the world both by geography and population. Yet it holds together better then many powers a great deal smaller. Why is that?

There is a general lack of insurrection due to democratic and republican governmental forms. However, just as important is the state system where in local populations have a greater say in local administration then does the national system or people that don't actually live there. This ensures that government is more responsive to local issues, attentive to local sentiments, and that if there are conflicts of interest they tend to favor local interests rather then national interests. This helps bind the country together because there is less downside/cost to the union.

What breaks apart big countries is ultimately that the people in those countries decide it is in their interest to break up rather then stay together.

To help hold a union together, you want as much as possible for there to be few if any downsides to the union and as many upsides as possible. The instant it is more in the interest of a given portion of the country to break away then stay together you will have to hold a gun to their head to hold them there.

Holding that gun there is both expensive and unstable because the instant the gun comes off they'll likely slit your throat or equivalent.

Police states are very aware of this which is why they make a point of never putting the gun down. Examples of what happens when the gun gets put down would be the French revolution... bodies in the street, corpses hanging from rafters, and other fun stuff. A general explosion of violence against the authorities.

I'm going through all this just to explain my understanding of the basic political forces that hold large numbers of people together.

Now if you look at the US government, we have a federated system rather then a unitary government. That is, unlike France or England, the US has 50 states with limited autonomy as well as various territories that are afforded something of the same interdependence.

This is a hierarchical command structure. With lower and more localized elements given authority to make certain types of decisions independently while other nominally higher authorities are given responsibility over different decisions.

Ideally, you want the more localized systems to handle all problems that they reasonably can handle while those at the higher and more generalized level are left with either managing the interrelationships of these powers or dealing with miscellaneous problems that impact all the various states.

In effect, you want the localized systems to handle nearly everything themselves... really as much as you can possibly make them handle and then whatever is left is the grudging responsibility of the centralized authority.

That authority should however always be carefully administered as to not favor any particular state and not create animosity between them. The federal system must be seen to be fair, impartial, and benign.

I think we can agree that the federal government does not enjoy that status at the moment and that is a problem.

We are already seeing rather serious pushback throughout the nation from various states against the federal government.

This is a giant warning sign to anyone that is paying attention because it means the forces that encourage breaking the union are starting to overcome the forces that hold it together. Yes, there is the gun against people's heads if they decide to take up arms but as pointed out that is expensive and unstable. If you rely on that long term then eventually it will fail spectacularly in a giant flurry of blood and carnage.

That should be avoided. And it can easily be avoided not irritating people with needless micromanagement or tying people to a federal bureaucracy that ultimately doesn't care anything for their state or local situation.

Understand, I am not saying the feds are evil or bad. I am rather saying that they have information overload.

The notion of centralization is that one genius is superior to a thousand normal people.

In some situations that is true. However, a normal person while not as clever can still process a significant amount of information and make reasonable choices. A thousand of them can process a lot of information and make a lot of reasonable choices... and in fact they can process more information and make more reasonable choices then that one genius.

The proper division of labor is to have the genius take care of a limited set of difficult problems while leaving the vast majority of decisions to the normal people.

This is in effect what happens in a federated system. Where we have elite government officials at a higher level deal with a limited set of issues while the vast bulk of decision making happens at a lower level by a much larger number of people more aware of local conditions and whom actually CARE about the outcome because they happen to live there... where as the "genius" in this case lives in a far off capital and while he might be a good person has no emotional investment in the outcome of far off issues.

I hope some of this makes sense.

I think this can be called "game theory"... but I won't pretend to that knowledge. I'll just say this is my personal assessment of this issue.

Re:Corruption (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118137)

By the old city-states of Europe, are you referring to the ones that have been in various states of war and peace (read: violent disagreement while waiting to have enough sons for more fighting), or the other ones?

Re:Corruption (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47118291)

There's nothing really unique about that. That has been the natural state of human politics for tens of thousands of years.

You only get peace when there is something that stops the war... such as a large dominant power or the physical impossibility of conflict.

Without that, humans war with each other. Always have.

Re:Corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118465)

Advances in technology also improved communication and projection of force/violence over increased distances.

So it was a mix of that and limited autonomy.

Re:Corruption (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47120273)

True, but consider if you will the mongol empire same thing... decentralized...

Point is that centralization is not scalable... if you want to have a big country you need to decentralize or collapse.

One of the two.

Re:Corruption (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 5 months ago | (#47118761)

Understand, I am not saying the feds are evil or bad. I am rather saying that they have information overload.

Actually, it's worse than that. The Federal justice system is a complete mess and totally corrupt.

Take the example of the Gibson Guitar raid [forbes.com] , which according to the CEO was incited by Lumber Union protectionists. After years and hundreds of thousands spent in legal fees, the warrant is still sealed. Really. And this is the way the Federal Justice system has developed since the 1980's.

Now I'm no Randian, or Objectivist, but I did read Atlas Shrugged in my youth, and this situation reminds me of the national laws in that book, which were designed to ensure that they could always arrest anyone they wanted to, then find a law to charge them with. We're there now. But even Rand didn't envision the government passing secrecy provisions where you can send the swat team in to raid someone and you don't even need to tell them why.

"When you have a system predicated on jurisdictional interests rather than on specific, identifiable, understandable, definable violations of law, there is a great opportunity for tyranny."

Re:Corruption (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 5 months ago | (#47119061)

The Gibson factory raid was a complete and unjust fiasco; another example (somewhat like the IRS scandal) where an entity is harassed and punished for contributing to the republican caucus, under pretentious bullshit justifications; in this case, "Illegal" use of Indian rosewood... which other companies like Fender (which contributes to the Democrat cause) used with no penalty.

Re:Corruption (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47119129)

Which is why I vote Republican, they're the ones that gave the homeland defense those powers, they'll make sure they're only used the way they ought to be.

Re:Corruption (0)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 5 months ago | (#47119211)

I don't know if you're trolling or serious, but honestly I don't trust either party that much, though I think originally those powers were granted with good intentions.
People are people; no group is solely saints nor demons. But lately I've seen a lot more dirty underhandedness from the left than from the right.

Re:Corruption (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47119805)

In regards to corruption, I didn't say it didn't exist. And I would agree in the Gibson case. That is clearly a break down in due process with the FBI.

However, if we're honest we'll see that sort of thing at every level of government.

Re:Corruption (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 5 months ago | (#47119935)

However, if we're honest we'll see that sort of thing at every level of government.

I don't agree with that. That is, yes, there is corruption, but at the local and state level the system of checks and balances seem to be working well, even if it sometimes requires appeals to federal courts to correct (which sounds ironic, but it's not when you see how things are playing out). Those checks have broken down once you have federal enforcers. The bureaucracies are so powerful they have become impossible to fight. Even getting a court to hear your case is difficult and expensive, as the agencies now have their own "hearing and review" divisions and the courts won't hear your case until you have "exhausted" the internal appeals. They can keep that going for years, which is why Gibson gave up without even getting to see the accusations.

Re:Corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47120573)

Now I'm no Randian, or Objectivist, but I did read Atlas Shrugged in my youth, and this situation reminds me of the national laws in that book, which were designed to ensure that they could always arrest anyone they wanted to, then find a law to charge them with.

A few years ago, I took my son's cub scout troop to the local sheriff station. The deputy told the kids that at any given time, whatever they are doing, there is a law that regulates it. Pretty scary, people.

Re:Corruption (4, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 5 months ago | (#47118287)

Decentralization for wire ownership is the answer. The wires are owned by local municipalities, and ISPs provide services over those wires. With fiber, there's no excuse not to go this route. The feds can tax and provide service to disadvantaged areas much like the Universal Service Fund now, in fact, there would need be little to no change there. Just that the wires belong to the local municipalities, and they cannot sell the property, only maintain and improve it as necessary. Cities, counties, states, etc, can work to improve the infrastructure, but at it's core, it's still locally owned. What else matches this pattern? Roads, railroads, the electrical grid and various pipelines all at least started this way, as does the global internet. So there's no reason this particular component cannot be handled this way at a more local level and finally remove the evil specter of Ma Bell and its wanna be clones.

Re:Corruption (2)

currently_awake (1248758) | about 5 months ago | (#47118521)

The wires and the content must not be owned by the same people. Those who own the last mile must not have a vested interest to favour themselves.

Re:Corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118657)

Complete decentralization may not be the cure, but some decentralization would definitely help. We currently have one big system far removed from the taxpayers & easily influenced by the companies it is supposed to regulate. Putting it closer to the taxpayers, and hence more visible/accountable would be a good step. When tens of millions/billions of dollars gets blown hundreds of miles away by some bureaucrats, citizens can't really do much about it. When the decisions are occurring at the state/local level waste gets much more attention and said bureaucrats get some very unpleasant questions from those citizens & the local press.

No to decentralization (2)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 5 months ago | (#47118235)

As bad as politicians are at the federal level, they're even worse at state and local levels. The state where I live has a problem that all the neighboring states have too so I can only assume that it's like this everywhere in the USA. Basically our state Senators and Representatives are grossly incompetent and spend most of their time debating things and passing bills that have little use to the average citizen. The only reason that anything useful gets done at all is because we've had a tradition of (mostly) strong and competent governors who force through the really meaningful stuff. I don't believe for a minute that moving the authority away from the federal level and down to the state level would make things better.

Re:No to decentralization (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47118939)

Its the same thing at the federal level, they just have more power. That's the only difference.

And in large part your state government is passing laws about nothing because 1A they meet too often and 2B they have less power then they use to because the fed has taken most of it over time.

Education policy for example used to be exclusively a state issue. Now its increasingly a federal issue which means states have less and less control over their education policy.

never mind that many states have never really had a problem with education and did quite well without federal oversight.

True, some did... but imposing rules on all states often creates a one size fits all situation that tends to be a compromise between very different situations and therefore tends to suit no one properly.

If specific states have a problem those specific states need to correct it. Don't drag every state into a giant federal clusterfuck simply because some states are run by halfwits.

Re:No to decentralization (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 5 months ago | (#47119637)

If specific states have a problem those specific states need to correct it. Don't drag every state into a giant federal clusterfuck simply because some states are run by halfwits.

then dont assume all central regulation is bad just because one current chairman is a former lobbyist toadie without the stones to use existing regulations to what should be done and label ISPs under Title 2.

two can play that game, and I'll win, because regardless of what you may think most government programs are actually successful and achieve the goals they set out to accomplish. and most actually go away once their mandate is met. several dozen come and go every year and you never hear of them, because most of them ARENT the social security's, the medicares, etc.

calls for decentraliziation are not much different from calls for privatization. there are limited cases where it might be warranted but by and large its a useless misdirection because subordinate personel and agencies ALREADY have sufficient autonomy to do their jobs and meet the minimum goals or standard set, and considerable discretion to beyond their mandates in limited ways (and answerable when they go beyond and fail). It's called Delegation and its a form of decentralizaion. We already have that. actually we have more than that: You want total segragation with each state being totally independent, with 50 different standards. We actually have that already too, but its not completely segregated because by and large they are still united by a common minimum standard or framework from the Federal level. You seem to want to abolish even that.

Thats nonsense. In all, you dont seem to actually know what youre talking about. You think the EPA is a technocracy, a rogue agency. You dont seem to actually know what state legislatures are doing or what they talk about, or how often they actually meet (hint: most of them dont actually meet 5 days a week 52 weeks a year). states have TREMENDOUS control over their school systems, and many states pass that control down to the cities and counties. The states micromanage their schools far more than the fed does; all the fed really does is contribute cash. Thats it. Literally. We have one of the most decentralized educational systems in the world.

The US Department of Education itself dictates NOTHING to the states. It exists almost solely to funnel the federal funding allocated by congress to the state departments of education. They also get to enforce federal civil rights and privacy laws regarding schools, cheifly in regards to Universities. The only real federal standard in this area is NCLB which came from Congress. Actual enforcement of standards is handled through accredidation, a process which the USDOE is completely uninvolved in.

So I say again: you post many words, but you say little of merit or value.
You quite literally don't know what youre talking about.

Re:Corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118815)

Its worse then corruption... its incompetence.

Corruption is worse than incompetence. Incompetence fails because responsible parties either don't know or don't care enough to do their jobs. Corruption fails because responsible parties get paid not to do their jobs.

If incompetence is the problem, then the occasional good-two-shoes can have some influence. If corruption is the problem, then the existing structure will actively resist any reform. I've got news for you: there's incompetence at every level: government, business, even NGOs. The fraction of people who actually care about their jobs is trivial compared to the fraction who are just looking to get a paycheck. Look at us both, here on slashdot, when we could be doing something productive.

Managing large-scale projects isn't magic: it requires a hierarchical structure with accountability and auditing at every level. It requires benefits for good behavior and penalties for bad behavior. It is harmed by people who know they have 2 years to spend in the "job" as a political appointee, completely independent of their performance. (That's why all of these agencies are run by career bureaucrats and not by career politicians).

Re:Corruption (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 5 months ago | (#47119307)

We already see some of that happening already with the EPA etc just doing what they want indifferent to law, court orders, or public opinion. But it could get a lot worse.

you were doing well until this bit of BS.

Re:Corruption (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 5 months ago | (#47120323)

Actually no. The EPA has repeatedly acted and regulated various things without congressional approval for it.

I really have no patience for a moronic political "ya huh, nu uh" debate on the internet right now. We'll just agree to disagree and move on.

Re:Corruption (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 5 months ago | (#47120495)

The EPA has repeatedly acted and regulated various things without congressional approval for it.

Considering the level of scientific knowledge demonstrated by Congress lately, is that a bad thing?

Re:Corruption (1)

rpillala (583965) | about 5 months ago | (#47119385)

You're giving them too much credit by ascribing this kind of thing to incompetence. Politicians know what they're doing, or rather they know whom to trust to do what they want. And what they want is to get re-elected. It is impossible to ignore the constant state of re-election campaigning that goes on now. Fundraising and servicing lobbyists are the responsibilities we ought to lift. Not the actual work of government. I think Douglas McGregor described the administrative overhead that appears as an organization grows in size. In our case, the organization that's gaining in overhead cost is not government, but the country itself. Trying to dedicate fewer resources to a growing cost won't work.

Re:Corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47120479)

Its worse then corruption... its incompetence. Basically its all too complicated for the limited number of politicians to manage and most of them don't really care anyway. So its all left to bureaucrats that often don't really have authority to do anything unless its kept quiet... which means there is a "don't rock the boat" mentality which means they just take the path of least resistance in all cases.

Now you could give them more authority... but then you wouldn't have even a fig leaf of democracy because you'd have a technocracy rather then a democracy. We already see some of that happening already with the EPA etc just doing what they want indifferent to law, court orders, or public opinion. But it could get a lot worse.

Truly, I think the solution is to scale back the government's authority or localize things more so the politicians aren't so overwhelmed with responsibilities. I really think they're just overwhelmed with the complexity of the system they're supposed to govern. So... simplify it by decentralizing it. Increase local autonomy and you if anything enhance democracy while improving efficiency.

Will corruption go away? No... it will just be more local instead of federal which I'm actually happier with because local corruption at least recognizes that the corrupt have to still live in the place they're being corrupt. If its done at the federal level then the corruption can profit people thousands of miles away that care nothing at all for the consequences.

All of this can be easily laid out for politicians to understand by experts from Universities, to Freedom Fighting organizations, ect... All of it in plain english for their incompetent minds to understand. You say " scale back the government's authority or localize things more so the politicians aren't so overwhelmed", but look at the infighting in Washington, it is always about running a puppet show for the Dem or Rep voters, little is actually being done. Anything that is done is is constantly under criticism because it is nothing more then a public display the bills/laws/courts that they do pass is to get the American people vote, it never goes far enough or it was poorly thought/written out then widely abused by any lawyer/court.

Scaling back would be great, you need to start with Federal Regulatory bodies/branches first because the abuse/arrogance/ignorance is far more rampant since there are no cameras around (c-span) to catch them in the act of something sinister, like corruption and abuse. If we lived in a """Democracy"" you would have organizations like the EFF, Public Utility Law Project, ect ect. running things, open/free and public funded organizations looking out for the public, and consulting politicians that like to act or pretend their to retarded to understand anything, besides bribes/lobbyists money/corporate stock portfolios..........

Re:Corruption (1, Troll)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 5 months ago | (#47117741)

You know the saying: the proper role of government is to help the rich get richer faster than they would without it.

Re:Corruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47120217)

Politicians are too worried about their next election to actually give a shit about any of this. Worse, they are too busy worrying about their next election to give a shit about anything that isn't going to be an election cycle buzzword. Do corporations have an extraordinary amount of power in political decisions? Yes. However, the reason is because their money gets politicians elected, not because government is designed around them.

Who has senators/congressmen on the committee? (4, Interesting)

spiritplumber (1944222) | about 5 months ago | (#47117657)

They should be hammered with this. Make it simple, so that staffers can relay the information. Make it a net neutrality issue. Make it a no-pork issue. This is great news because it's a simple message. Someone needs to ask, at the right moment, "So Mr. Verizon Guy, were you bullshitting last year, or are you bullshitting now?"

Re:Who has senators/congressmen on the committee? (5, Funny)

ALeavitt (636946) | about 5 months ago | (#47117919)

Verizon does.

Law & Money (5, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 5 months ago | (#47117663)

To expect that you can come in and use public infrastructure and funds to build a network and then be free of any regulation is absurd

To expect a government to take decisions based on reason, morality or legality is naive. In what regards corporations, the only law is money, the only lawyers are lobbyists and the only judges are (corrupt) politicians.

If Verizon has made about $4.4 billion in additional revenue in New York City alone, they clearly had enough to pay for a lot of campaigning, lobbying and bribery.

Re:Law & Money (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | about 5 months ago | (#47117687)

Its not that simple.

First, verizon actually is deveral businesses in one. The internet portion is and has been considered an information service while telecommunications portion is regulated. The problem arises when those portions of the businessvare not separate from each other. The internet should be spun off into a subsidiary that leases access to the infrastructure to make it clear. Of course that would lead to others getting lessvrestricted access and cause competition.

It is the same problem with cable internet. Thecuse the regulated portion to build out infrastructure then ride the internet on top of it. It they were forced to separate and lease this out, there would be more competition for the internet all the way around.

But looking at verizon or comcast as one entity with obe type of product isn't accurate. The separation just needs to be more separated.

Re:Law & Money (2)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 5 months ago | (#47117905)

Did you just type that with a 'smart' phone?

Re:Law & Money (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 5 months ago | (#47118109)

It would have taken him forever to type that on a 'dumb' phone (I remember the T9 keyboards). Smart phones still win despite their 'problems'.

Re:Law & Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118447)

blackberry physical keyboard FTW

Re:Law & Money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47119095)

Just no. Unless you have small thumbs. And a tiny penis.

Re:Law & Money (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 5 months ago | (#47119631)

Yes.. i need to stop doing that too.

Re:Law & Money (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#47118285)

The internet should be spun off into a subsidiary that leases access to the infrastructure to make it clear. Of course that would lead to others getting less restricted access and cause competition.

While I agree I'd go a step further. I'd completely split the last mile off of any kind of service provision. Have a utility provide a fiber/wire/whatever to each house from a central office. They would charge each house a flat rate if it is used at a rate based on cost - just like your water bill/etc.

Within the central office the utility would maintain coloc facilities and would charge a basic fee structure for anybody who wanted to put equipment in there, and for the attachment of connections to individual homes.

I'd also have a standardized protocol for multiplexing multiple services over the cable.

Beyond that it is anything goes. If somebody wants to deliver video/phone/internet/whatever over that wire they can have at it and charge whatever they want to for the service. That side of the business would be completely de-regulated, and the last-mile would be completely common carrier. For the cost of a router and the colo fee and uplink you could run your own ISP for a small town if you wanted to.

Re:Law & Money (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 5 months ago | (#47118595)

Well put. GTE became Verizon Global Networks and was a very separate division. As it became integrated and FIOS was rolled out things became very difficult. They obviously chose a favorable way to request treatment, which should be expected. If they didn't have that support, they would have pulled FTTN and limited how much they were willing to spend going to the home. In the end, it would have set things back more.

But, the government should only allow a limited time monopoly for these services. Phase in competition over the infrastructure to encourage competition, higher levels of service, and lower costs.

The decision doesn't have to be binary.

blame Republicans for Robber Barons (-1, Troll)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#47117681)

this regulatory environment brought to you by the GOP.....

sure trolls can probably pull one Democrat or so who are not as vocal about regulating this industry...but we all know the truth

Republicans, by their policy votes and rhetoric, support giving Verizon open season to have their way with us as consumers

if you don't like the news in TFA, your only option is to vote for Democrats...they are the only realistic choice if we want t-Com robber barons brought under control

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (5, Insightful)

some old guy (674482) | about 5 months ago | (#47117719)

Bullshit. Money knows no party affiliation, and your sainted Democrats are equally as corrupt.

The only difference between the two faces of the Oligarch Party is the range of hot-button issues they use to create an illusion of real choice.

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (1, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 5 months ago | (#47117753)

Bullshit. Democrats are crap, but when it comes to ruling for the interest of moneyed interests there's no comparison.

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 5 months ago | (#47117935)

You are absolutely correct that there is no comparison when it comes to ruling for the moneyed interests. All you have to do is look at which party the moneyed interests make their home. Let's see, John Corzine, Tom Steyer. George Soros, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, to name just a few.

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (1)

sabbede (2678435) | about 5 months ago | (#47117973)

Goldman Sachs and the Democrats: Best Friends Forever.

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118067)

Koch bothers and every other billionaire NOT on your list donates to the Republicans.

Never the less, going back and forth, naming names is pointless; since the bulk of done via corporate entities to skirt election funding laws and to keep the anonymity of the money.

Let's look at an actual list of organizations (where the bulk of the money comes from) and see what's up. [opensecrets.org]

And let's look at the most famous case of big money getting into politics, Citizens United [wikipedia.org] where their goals are

"assert American values of limited government, freedom of enterprise, strong families, and national sovereignty and security."

Now what party wants - at least on its public face - strong families, limited Government, and freedom of enterprise?

Hmmmm, it's not the Democrats. Which leaves,....

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 5 months ago | (#47119155)

The Koch brothers also donate to the Democrats. A lot.
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/d... [townhall.com]
http://www.americanthinker.com... [americanthinker.com]

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#47119689)

Yep, the corruption is so bad that the only way for even an honest business to stay on top is to pay off both sides.

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (1, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#47118017)

Bullshit. Democrats are crap, but when it comes to ruling for the interest of moneyed interests there's no comparison.

You're right bullshit. Wanna go look at who the biggest recivers of money from media, pharmaceuticals, and wall street is? Give ya a hint, it's not the republicans.

Seriously, if I can find this shit and I don't even live in the US I guess it's easier to say "fucking partisan hack."

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 5 months ago | (#47118751)

Bullshit. Democrats are crap, but when it comes to ruling for the interest of moneyed interests there's no comparison.

While the Republicans seem to pull in more money, there are certainly moneyed interests that invest heavily in the Democrats. The **AA and unions come to mind for starters. Then you have stuff like ethanol additives to the fuel which is something both parties can agree to as long as it means paying more for corn.

false equivalence_check the policy votes (0)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#47117801)

good...let's get the false equivalence of arguments fallacy out of the way right now...

The only difference between the two faces of the Oligarch Party is the range of hot-button issues they use to create an illusion of real choice.

we can check this...we can look at the votes on *actual policy* and see which party votes for dumb wedge issues (creationism in textbooks, anti-abortion) and to enrich oligarchs by deregulating...deregulation is a Republican philosophy

obviously money influences all politicians...just because that fact is true does not mean that one party cannot be dramatically and irredeemably more corrupt

Republicans are, by policy vote which is 100% checkable, the party that supports Oligarchs and conjures artificial budget scarcity to justify cutting funding to government programs that help people who are not Oligarchs

Re:false equivalence_check the policy votes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118101)

You, sir, are a fucking troll and Democratic shill. Go away.

Re:false equivalence_check the policy votes (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 5 months ago | (#47119775)

Which party is trying to cut food stamps and unemployment when its a known fact these things helps slow and arrest the falling economy?
Which party thinks the poor deserve their fate, and if they die younger, poorer, and more often to violence "oh well its a cultural problem"?
Which party reguarly use dogwhistle attacks to appeal to racism, or openly ponders if certain folks were better off as slaves?
Which party regularly denies basic science because "God said so"?
Which party supports basic rights only for WASHPs and only when convenient, and which supports it for all persons at all times even for people they rather dislike?
You go away gutless AC.

Re:false equivalence_check the policy votes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47119173)

A shining example of blind, willful, hateful ignorance. Go fester in stupidity.

Re:false equivalence_check the policy votes (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#47119705)

They're only dumb wedge issues when they're not your wedge issues.

Re:false equivalence_check the policy votes (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 5 months ago | (#47119711)

Bingo. Mod up.

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47117833)

From a European perspective the only difference is that the Democrats at least give lip service to being decent human beings, the republicans truly don't give a fuck.

Once they get in they're both as bad as each other though.

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47120375)

The CEO of Comcast golfs with Obama.

If left-wingers want to bring right-wingers onto the regulate-the-telecoms bandwagon, then they have to drop the excessive rants against capitalism. There are effective arguments for regulating the industry, but just shouting "corporations are the devil" isn't a solution. A solution is vertical separation of content providers and internet service providers. A solution is last-mile rules. A solution is outlawing new copper lines (to force companies to lay fiber). A solution is to induce competition in virtual ISPs.

The problem is that the cable companies don't really work for their consumers. It's sort of like broadcast television. You sell advertising to companies based on viewership. The numbers matter more than if consumers are happy. An example of this is they Disney/Time Warner dispute over pricing. Time Warner decided to block the channel and put up a message "Disney Has Taken ABC Away From You". How the hell does that help consumers? They want to watch television and the two companies are playing games. It's sort of like the Comcast-Netflix dispute (though Netflix is probably in the moral right here).

Blame two parties for electing immoral idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47117991)

No, the fracking two party system is part of what got us into this mess. If you want change, then go make it yourself, or find someone that neither party can dictate terms to. Find an independent, libertarian, anarchist, bull moose, pirate party, it doesn't matter who, just so long as they have morals they stand by despite those excluding them from the big parties. You have a choice, you owe it to everyone else to not just consider two options, but to look at them all before you make a decision that will effect people for at least two years, and may haunt them for the rest of their lives. If I gave you the options to elect Gengis Khan, or Pol Pot, would you really make that choice? Or would you write in a candidate who is fit for the office? We have politicians with the governing ability of children, easily swayed by candy, incapable of making hard choices, stubborn as h**l, with a lack of honesty and sense to match.

I charge you sir, as a person capable of voting, to act as my proxy in electing a government capable of earning back the respect it has squandered, fixing this mess we've made of this country, respecting a persons freedom to choose a lifestyle, and most importantly, behaving in a manner that if they were your neighbor you wouldn't want to hurt them. Can you do that? Or is it too much for a child to ask of a grown man that he take responsibility for the consequences of his and others actions on their behalf? Is it too much for us youth to ask that you deliver into our hands a country we can be proud of? Rather than a source of constant shame, a joke that is refered to as the "Free world", a country where we reward people for producing more drains on society, where we can't take safe guarding our rights into our own hands, where the best men and women go off to be killed to protect this festering boil of a culture, where pricks picket the funerals of hero's and I can't go and be mad at them, where we take half measures as drastic action. I charge you to fix this country, so that no more children have to become like me, bitter, cynical, paranoid, faithless, pessimistic, and almost without hope. Are you capable? Or do you find hardwork to be too much of a challenge for you? Leave the next generation a gift, not a curse. Please sir, I beg you on the behalf of those who will need these changes in years to come, act. Before they become more entrenched.

Re:Blame two parties for electing immoral idiots. (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#47119741)

I think a different game needs to be played. The two party system needs to be broken by any means necessary, even if it means voting for people that you would otherwise consider unpalatable. Unfortunately, there are too many "lesser of two evils" dufuses out there.

Re: blame Republicans for Robber Barons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118257)

I'm so sick of people thinking they are making an intelligent comment while blaming one part or the other. They are the same party. Bought and paid for by the same monied interests. The differences are only superficial.

If you can't see this, please stop breeding immediately.

Re:blame Republicans for Robber Barons (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#47119677)

Corrupt government causing problems? Solution?

MORE GOVERNMENT!!!!!

When you're in a hole, keep digging. Sooner or later the walls will fall in on you and you won't have a problem anymore.

Block their cookies (1, Interesting)

paiute (550198) | about 5 months ago | (#47117733)

If I leave a package of Oreos on the floor and a toddler with no impulse control and no reason to have impulse control at that age anyway gets into the package and eats them all, is it the toddler's fault for being a toddler or is it my fault for leaving the goddamn cookies on the floor?

Re:Block their cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47117827)

Toddler's parents fault. Oh wait, your analogy fell apart.

If we're going to expect the same behavior as toddlers with no impulse control from organizations run by supposedly non-sociopathic, responsible adults, we really need to rethink how we handle criminal behavior of said organizations.

Re:Block their cookies (1)

Thruen (753567) | about 5 months ago | (#47117917)

How did it fall apart? I think his point was it's up to the parents to keep the Oreos out of reach, much like how the government should do something to prevent this behavior by Verizon.

And we don't just expect these organizations to behave like toddlers with no impulse control, we watch it happen regularly, and we certainly do need to rethink how we handle their criminal behavior. As for them not being run by sociopaths, isn't it already established that sociopaths are ideal candidates for upper management positions like CEO? If they had morals like good people, we wouldn't need to regulate the crap out of them, they'd feel bad screwing us all over.

Re:Block their cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47119071)

"How did it fall apart?"

I would suggest that it fell apart the moment that it was suggested that the corporations were analogous to toddlers & the government was analogous to a parent. At best their both toddlers fighting over the package on the floor, at worse the corporations are analogous to a somewhat older child waiving around a shiny object in front of the toddler (government) to distract them while they swipe most of the Oreos.

Re:Block their cookies (2)

mimino (1440145) | about 5 months ago | (#47117851)

Now imagine that the toddler somehow was responsible for forcing you to put the cookies on the floor and then to leave them unattended. Using something like lobbying.

Re:Block their cookies (2)

jesseck (942036) | about 5 months ago | (#47118139)

By throwing a temper tantrum until you cave and leave the cookies on the floor? At that point, you didn't give the toddler the cookies... you just placed them where the toddler would be pacified. The toddler is the one who abused your "trust".

That sounds a lot like politics... "I sponsored this bill, but I didn't realize it would be used for this."

Re:Block their cookies (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 5 months ago | (#47118543)

Didn't the author of the Patriot Act say that recently. He was shocked, shocked! that his bill is being used/abused in the manner that detractors of the bill have been saying it would be for years.

Re:Block their cookies (1)

jesseck (942036) | about 5 months ago | (#47118709)

Yes, he did... that was exactly who I was thinking of.

Re:Block their cookies (1)

PPH (736903) | about 5 months ago | (#47118913)

By throwing a temper tantrum until you cave and leave the cookies on the floor?

This toddler has enough money to see to it that his current parents are voted out and replaced by more compliant parents in the next term.

End result: The cookies will be left on the floor. Either by you or your replacement.

such deceptiveness (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47117735)

such deceptiveness - is the organisation run by Muslims?

Re:such deceptiveness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47117981)

such deceptiveness - is the organisation run by Muslims?

Are ACs governed by Doges? - much butt-hurt

Fair? FAIR?! (2)

korbulon (2792438) | about 5 months ago | (#47117761)

Who said the world was fair? Rules and laws only apply to those too meek to resist.

Mark my words: the worst that happens to Verizon is a finger-wagging and maybe a slap-on-the-wrist fine.

The most traditional pass time is... (4, Insightful)

phamNewan (689644) | about 5 months ago | (#47117779)

Isn't running circles around government regulation the oldest pass time in America. Look back at how effectively the Stamp Act was circumvented, 250 years ago. The more complex the laws gets, the easier it is to get away with things like this, because even the government can't sort through the complexity of the laws.

The solution is not more regulation, but simplifying it. If a corporation can make billions, by simply hiring 50 lawyers, or 500, to find a way to make billions, that is huge return on investment. Anyone who expects an efficient and responsive government is dreaming. The only effective solution is to make it so simple, that dodging becomes impractical.

Re:The most traditional pass time is... (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 5 months ago | (#47118037)

The solution is not more regulation, but simplifying it. .

Bingo! Simplify, apply equally, and enforce.

Re:The most traditional pass time is... (2)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 5 months ago | (#47118491)

The only effective solution is to make [regulation] so simple, that dodging becomes unnecessary.

FTFY.

Regulation (and legalese in general) becomes complex because it has to deal with all the crazy ways that creative, highly motivated, self-interested entities will find to circumvent it.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that more complex regulation is better. Regulation should be as simple as possible. The key to that sentence and the problem in your understanding of this matter lies in the last part: 'as possible'. Everybody can yell 'Well, just have every x below parameter y be illegal! Problem solved!' until they are confronted with a case for which their simple rule does not solve the problem.

Relevant XKCD: http://xkcd.com/793/ [xkcd.com]

Re:The most traditional pass time is... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 5 months ago | (#47119195)

Simple regulation can still be quite onerous. That's why industries lobby for exemptions for special cases. Low profit, high cost markets could not be served were the providers held to the same requirements that higher revenue markets are. And then the corporations start gaming the system.

What we need are less burdensome regulations with clear goals. You want more rural service? Relieve the providers of some of the urban regulations. But then watch them to make sure they aren't playing with definitions.* We also need smarter regulators who are motivated to serve the public rather than seek big future paychecks from businesses under their jurisdiction.**

*A power company I used to work for defined a rather significant city in Washington State as a rural area so as noto to be obliged to increase service reliability there.

**But then 'troublemakers' like this are the first ones to either be hired away by businesses. Just to get them out of the way. Failing that, business lobbies Congress to have them removed.

Bona fide carrier (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#47117787)

When Verizon itself is describing these activities as a Title II common carrier, how can the FCC look at broadband internet and continueacting as though it's not a telecommunication network?

"Ha ha," he nelsoned.

Reminds me of the WWE, who declared themselves "not a bona fide athletic competition" so they wouldn't have to pay for ambulances on standby*, officially answering once and for all the great debate.

* For the athletes. I'm sure they have ambulances on standby for the dozen or so fat audience members who have heart attacks every stadium-full.

Follow the money (2)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 5 months ago | (#47117837)

Verizon "as paid to Obama and legislative leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and his predecessor, former Rep. Roy Blunt (now a senator), and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as well as to members of four congressional committees charged with developing the laws governing its business.

The President’s re-election campaign and groups tied to it have been the largest single recipients of the company’s aid, the study found, taking in nearly $224,000. Obama has spoken repeatedly of his support for Net Neutrality but the issue received little attention during his successful re-election drive last year and he’s had little to say about it during his second term."

http://www.commondreams.org/ne... [commondreams.org]

Re:Follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47117937)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

But Reid is a DINO so you can blame the Republicans for everything bad he has done.

Re:Follow the money (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#47119947)

Seriously?

I can't blame them... (1)

sabbede (2678435) | about 5 months ago | (#47117985)

...for using whatever argument they can to further their interests. That they are contradictory or just plain BS is another matter entirely.

Which is not to suggest that I think they are behaving as anything other than jerks; just that they are being rational about it.

I think we need to fix the regulations.

Re:I can't blame them... (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47118045)

By that logic you cannot blame a robere, as what he is doing may be in his best interest.

Re:I can't blame them... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#47118533)

you cannot blame a robere

What the hell is a "robere"? Besides a French surname, I mean...

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118171)

I think we need to fix the regulations.

Obviously.

But how, when they - Verizon and the whole industry - doesn't want to fix anything. They want the status quo because they are making bucket loads of money.

Net Neutrality. That should be an open and shut case. Right?

Nooooooo. The ISPs - like Verizon - lobbied heavily to make sure it doesn't happen.

With big money corrupting politics, we the people have very little control over what our government does.

Quite easily ... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 5 months ago | (#47118075)

When Verizon itself is describing these activities as a Title II common carrier, how can the FCC look at broadband internet and continue acting as though it's not a telecommunication network?'

Because the head of the FCC is a former cable and wireless lobbyist.

Wheeler knows all of the dirty tricks these companies use, likely because he was involved in them. Which means there is no way as the chief of the FCC he isn't aware of these shenanigans.

Which means he's quietly happy to allow it, knowing that when he finished his term at the FCC there will be some big fat checks waiting for him for all of his help through the years.

In other words, your regulatory system is broken when you start appointing lobbyists to be your regulators.

It's the fox guarding the hen house. You might as well appoint Bernie Madoff as the head of the SEC.

Re:Quite easily ... (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 5 months ago | (#47120497)

I can't believe an avalanche of "Yea, but you have to appoint former industry bigwigs as regulators because they're the only ones who really understand industry" replies haven't shown up yet.

It appears the lobbyist apologists are slipping here on slashdot...

Wheeler knows all of this (2)

l0n3s0m3phr34k (2613107) | about 5 months ago | (#47118091)

He has worked deep in telecom, and with Verizon. He already knows all of this, and is just playing a game with us. This is all a show, smoke and mirrors. Wheeler and gang decided this long ago, probably before he was ever appointed. I've watched the way the FCC treated anyone at their "public comments meeting" that stood up and spoke out - they where all escorted out of the room without even finishing what they were saying.

This is all lip service. Every single American could march in the street, and threaten to burn down every FCC office, TV station and radio broadcast system, and net neutrality will still loose. However, the blow back from this could be intense. "fast lanes" for corps sounds like a very juicy target, thanks for separating all those packets for Anonymous.

Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118103)

Lobbyist and lawyers.

I got a subsidized ball (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118107)

So I have this really nice ball, and it was partially funded by the taxpayer. But now i dont want any of the negative outcomes of the regulations of those same subsidies. and if you guys make me comply with those regulations, i'm taking my ball and i'm going home * WAAAAAHH!!!*

Public Utility (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 5 months ago | (#47118193)

So if they are a public utility they get to charge 10 x the amount shown on the dice

Reminds me of the airline industry.... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | about 5 months ago | (#47118255)

They classify themselves as either a "commodity" or as a "service" depending on what they want to take advantage of.

Verizon and New Hampshire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118439)

In New Hampshire, Verizon (land based, not Verizon Wireless which is their cell phone arm) got huge concessions from the Public Utilities Commission based on the promise of rolling out fiber across the state. After they reaped the benefit of those, and rolled out fiber in Nashua, repeatedly delayed rollout elsewhere in the state and then they sold all their "stranded assets" to Fairpoint and exited the state. Apparently when they got the concessions to roll out fiber, they didn't realize the relatively low population density would cause them problems, but they did figure it out later. Why didn't NH PUC recoup the resources that Verizon got under false pretenses?

Sounds like fraud to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47118907)

Which is also a good reason to declare all communications services as "common carrier", and then an anti-trust lawsuit to force a split between communications and media.

Class-Action Lawsuit Time! (1)

Khyber (864651) | about 5 months ago | (#47119483)

Well, if the PULP lawyers see this, why the fuck aren't they filing suit for the American People?

Nothing new under the sun. (1)

lfp98 (740073) | about 5 months ago | (#47120061)

A real eye-opener, and almost an exact replay of the Credit Mobilier railroad scheme of the 1860s: A government-regulated corporation receives a monopoly franchise as well as generous subsidies from the government, yet still manages to rack up huge losses because so much of the money is siphoned off to other ventures, while a few of the principals accumulate astronomical wealth.
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