Power Surge


The FCC has another mega-issue on its groaning plate. Using electrical power lines to provide fast Internet connections is moving from the interesting idea phase to trial runs. Power companies would be another competitor to the phone and cable outfits who have their own lines running into homes.

That, of course, is all good and fits with the "managed" competition model the FCC dearly loves. But it looks like questions of spectrum interference caused by sending frequencies down unshielded power lines is getting the brush off. The electrical industry's position seems to boil down to "too bad" and the FCC is acting like ham radio operators and the like don't matter. Gee, the FCC in the pocket of corporate lobbyists? That never happens.

Broadband Reports has all the dope, including links to examples of interference.

NEXT: It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lula

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  1. Because it has so much on it! har har!

  2. In a related FCC issue I saw this story on Washington Post – FCC to Allow Video on AOL Messenger which can be found HERE.

    I love the use of the word ALLOW. It really sums up the essence of our system quite nicely.

    What’s really needed is a “managed” withdrawl of Gov from the broadcasting business in total. Powell talks a good game on regulations but his actions simply perpetuate the system of Crony Capitalism – protecting established interests RIGHTS (as in the right to be free from “unfair” competition and the “needless” costly innovation it often “forces” on market “players”).

    This is the predictable result from our love-affair with mixed-economy statism. Don’t forget – we still use century old technology to get radio news. It’s a real world example of Branden’s “Divine Theory of Stagnation”.

    Unfortunately for free-marketeers – the real danger of mixed economy statism occurs when some Corp/State yahoo decides to “de-regulate” ONLY certain aspects of a regulated concern. The results are often disasterous – setting up unresolved contradictions and conflicts that create entire new realms of problems. (see california energy crisis for testimonial)

    Of course – captialism and free markets take ALL the blame.

  3. Jeff —

    AOL was required by a consent decree they signed to open its protocols before it offered such services. In essence, the FCC is trying to let AOL out of its own agreements. This has relatively little to do with the regulatory state and a lot to do with a gratuitous power-grab by the FCC.

    One can argue forever over whether AOL should have signed such an agreement, but the FCC’s decision to unilaterally invalidate AOL’s obligations is the real scandal here.

  4. Speaking of disasters, the UN HQ in Baghdad was just blown-up. Three deaths confirmed so far; hundreds apparently work there.


  5. ” This has relatively little to do with the regulatory state and a lot to do with a gratuitous power-grab by the FCC.””

    Grant – The FCC is the regulatory state. That it’s actions as such manifest in a “power-grab’ is fully anticipated by it’s nature.

    With whom did AOL agreement to terms? The state.

    In a properly limited and focused government – with a full seperation of Economy and State such an “agreement” would not be possible or even necessary.

  6. ICE CREAM VENDOR to FTC: “Mother, I’d like to add orange-flavored ice cream to my line. Is that OK?”

    FTC: “Hmm, we’ll see. Here, fill in this paperwork.”

  7. Why is the FCC’s plate groaning?

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