Internet

Don't Extend the Dead Hand of the FCC to the Internet

Entrusting the FCC with broad and ambiguous regulatory powers was, and remains, a grave mistake.

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Rock 1997

On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on a proposal to regulate companies that provide Internet access as public utilities. Spearheaded by President Obama and reluctantly embraced by FCC chief Tom Wheeler, this plan is undoubtedly the U.S. government's most brazen effort yet to police the Internet—which, until now, has thrived thanks to the absence heavy-handed federal mandates.

If the FCC's Democratic majority approves Obama's rules, Internet providers will invest less in their networks, hurting Americans who appreciate faster Internet speeds at lower prices. In turn, these providers won't compete as vigorously, setting up the FCC to justify further encroaching on the Internet in years to come. This vicious cycle might not end until the government effectively controls the wires that connect Americans' homes and mobile devices to the Internet.

Why the sudden march to regulate? In 2008 and again in 2010, the FCC tried to impose somewhat less onerous rules on Internet providers, but both times, a federal court found that the agency exceeded its authority. Rather than admit defeat and move on, the FCC took a third stab at rulemaking in 2014—this time proposing more modest rules that hewed to the court's rulings. But last summer, the White House began making its own plans for the Internet, as if it were a "parallel version of the FCC itself." In November, Obama outlined his plan to regulate Internet providers as utilities in a YouTube video. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a top bundler for Obama's presidential campaigns, took the hint.

The rallying cry behind the FCC's impending rules can be summed up in two words: net neutrality. According to this superficially benign concept, coined by the left-leaning law professor Tim Wu, Internet providers should be barred from discriminating against applications, services, content, or devices without an extremely good reason. Over time, net neutrality has morphed into the broader notion that Internet providers shouldn't even be allowed to accept payment from content companies such as Netflix or Amazon for priority traffic handling.

In practice, therefore, net neutrality means that content companies can't partner with Internet providers to fund improvements to the last mile—that's the portion of the Internet closest to individual subscribers' homes and devices. In the name of fairness, net neutrality declares unlawful a wide swath of voluntary arrangements that have the potential to fuel lower prices and better services for consumers.

Interestingly, some big content companies seem content with this outcome, perhaps because household names like Netflix already have the attention of consumers. But as Berin Szoka and Geoff Manne presciently observe, net neutrality is especially harmful to the little guys—Internet startups—who strive to differentiate themselves from entrenched players, perhaps through paid prioritization. Predicting the Internet's killer app two decades hence is a fool's errand, but whatever it is, it will surely entail unprecedented volumes of data. We should embrace commercial deals to fund network expansion, not declare them illegal.

Why the drive to handicap Internet providers' business models? Because, the argument goes, infrastructure is special—so much so that it deserves comprehensive federal oversight. Internet service providers are supposedly all-powerful gatekeepers with the incentive and ability to pick winners and losers online. 

This flimsy rationale for regulation is easily extended elsewhere in the tech sector. Apple is the gatekeeper to iPhones and iPads, for they depend on Apple's notoriously restrictive App Store—derided by the Electronic Frontier Foundation as a "crystal prison"—for apps. Similarly, Netflix is the gatekeeper to its popular streaming service, which enjoys far more U.S. subscribers than the largest home Internet provider. And Google is the gatekeeper to its search engine, which accounts for roughly two-thirds of Americans' Web searches.

Still, for now, these companies do not face the prescriptive regulation Obama now wishes to impose on Internet providers. For instance, the U.S. has no Federal Search Commission—much to the chagrin of some academics—nor do we need one. Though Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are large and profitable enterprises that face few imminent competitive threats, each firm nonetheless continues to invest in risky and seemingly fanciful gambits, such as virtual reality, driverless cars, wearable devices, and holographic displays. These companies realize that long-run success depends not only on their ability to plan for the future, but to make it happen. It's no coincidence, then, that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt urged the White House not to regulate network owners as utilities.

Compared to Silicon Valley's giants, Internet service providers may seem like sluggish behemoths, but they too are gambling big on an uncertain future. In 2005, Verizon stunned the market by launching its fiber-optic network, FiOS, which now reaches about 20 million homes and businesses (though Verizon has put FiOS expansion on hold due to lackluster consumer demand). Even Comcast, despite its iffy customer service, has upped its standard tier Internet speeds seven times since 2003—an eightfold cumulative increase—while the cost of service has dropped in inflation-adjusted terms. All told, U.S. Internet providers are investing twice as much per household as their European counterparts, according to Penn law professor Christopher Yoo.

To be sure, the broadband market isn't the poster child of perfect competition as it's taught in college microeconomics, with lots of firms cranking out undifferentiated products for negligible profits. But so what? The fact that relatively few firms account for most Americans' Internet subscriptions is no justification for letting bureaucrats in Washington dictate how broadband is priced and delivered. Indeed, markets are remarkably capable of self-correcting when firms think they can act like monopolists and get away with it.

Just five years ago, Google announced it would join the broadband game with a cutting-edge fiber-to-the-home service. Today, Google Fiber has been deployed or announced in seven metro areas, including Atlanta, Kansas City, and Charlotte. And Google will announce plans to bring fiber to up to five more cities later this year. Top Internet providers like Comcast and AT&T have no choice but to keep up with consumers' evolving desires, lest they lose subscribers to their competitors—both extant and potential.

The FCC's upcoming vote is about much more than net neutrality. Unlike the agency's two failed attempts to regulate Internet providers, Obama's new plan would have the FCC reverse its longstanding decision to treat Internet service providers as lightly regulated information services. Instead, if the FCC gets its way, these providers would face strict regulation as telecommunications services—de facto public utilities. Although FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has pledged he will abstain from imposing outright price controls on broadband providers, a future FCC cannot be trusted to do the same. The very authority Obama and the FCC now wish to seize for the Internet has been used in the past to force Internet providers to make their networks available to competitors at government-regulated rates—a policy aptly described by Adam Thierer and Wayne Crews as "infrastructure socialism."

President Obama's brazen decision to embrace Internet regulation should send a clear signal to Congress as it rewrites the nation's communications laws for the first time in nearly two decades. Entrusting the FCC with broad and ambiguous powers to regulate America's telecommunications sector was, and remains, a grave mistake. Congress should start from scratch on telecom laws, identifying which FCC functions—if any—cannot be sorted out by markets or courts, and vest such authority elsewhere in the federal government.  Otherwise, broadband providers will soon look and act like power companies and the old Ma Bell telephone monopoly: stagnant, slow-moving, and anything but innovative.

NEXT: Gun Rights and Civil Rights Go Hand-in-Hand

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  1. What absolute BS. The reason they have to do this is because we don’t live in a world where principles are the only things that matter. I’m as much laissez-faire as can be but that reaches a point- point being, our internet sucks. And I can guarantee you that TWC, Comcast, etc. have no reason to upgrade.

    You know what’s funny? As soon as Google mentioned they were going to Austin, TWC and ATT suddenly offered 100Mbps packages and upgraded current packages for free. So why weren’t they doing that before? Why do they have zones carved out where only one provider goes in (hence TWC and Comcast’s argument that they don’t really “compete”)?

    Simply put, ISPs act as a cartel and FCC regulation is the only thing that’s gonna bring them in line. I fail to see how they’ll just stop trying to invest or do anything. It’s in the nature of a business to get ahead and will remain so whether or not the FCC forces them to live up to a certain standard.

    1. There are going to be more bad unintended consequences than good if this decision goes through. Always happens that way, not one regulatory agency ends up being efficient or good for the consumer in the long run. Then there is the inevitable regulatory capture.

      Its gonna end in tears.

    2. Idiot. That’s how competition works. Google saw an underserved opportunity and moved to fill it. Competitors moved to compete.

      The fucking system is working, dood. Government regulation has never worked. How can you claim to believe in principles?

      1. The Internet has easily been the greatest success story of at least the past century. It’s no coincidence that it’s success has came without government regulation and interference, it’s huge success is the direct result of freedom from government regulation and interference.

      2. And google has been fighting a uphill battle the whole way, AT&T has been trying to block google from expanding. Any where that isnt in a city is woefully slow. Where I live the fastest you can get is 10 download/ 2upload. But yet they charge exorbitant prices. I pay for that top speed they offer yet they don’t even deliver that most of the time, and guess what? They are the only company in the area, so they don’t have to care! Many other people feel the same way about the predicament, why else would the FCC complaint box have been so congested? Other countries have faster internet than us yet they are less developed as a whole, so tell me why you think that this market is so competitive when its not?

        1. cis190|2.8.15 @ 6:16PM|#
          …”Other countries have faster internet than us yet they are less developed as a whole, so tell me why you think that this market is so competitive when its not?”

          No, YOU tell US why your sad story means the government takes over the internet.

          1. People have been arguing when the government takes over its going to ruin the internet and how it work, that is already happening. With companies like Comcast and Time Warner merging, meaning less competition, and how other companies like Verizon are tying to make fast lanes for the internet by making people pay a premium, or how others are tying to sensor the Internet (that’s some scary stuff, sounds like something China would do). Its a great idea for the government to get involved, if not they would still be making headway, and ultimately getting away with it. So obviously no government supervision is not working, we need to try something new, if nothing was wrong then people would have not spoken up and voted against what was going on and allowing the government to supervise more. Its pointless to argue about it now, because the FCC has already decided that is the way they want to go, and the reason why they are doing this is because majority of American citizens wanted that.

            1. A+. I almost fell for it.

              1. You really thinks that’s trolling?
                I’m a say it’s an ignorant twit who truly bleeves the world owes him what he wants at what he thinks is a ‘fair’ cost.
                IOWs, your typical lefty ignoramus.

                1. Okay, okay. Forgive my laziness.

                  Every single sentence was trivially disputable, but I couldn’t pick any one that was worse than the others and can’t afford the bandwidth that a complete response would require. Hence, the troll joke.

                  I’ll try not to do it again.

                  1. Hey, I’m not leaning on you! I thought maybe you saw something I didn’t.
                    I been caught by trolls before and will be again; I appreciate your ‘eye’.

                    1. I was wanting to have an actual debate about this, yet no one has given an actual defense. All that has happened was a bunch of trash talk and hate talk because I believe in a something different than what y’all believe in. I wanted to see if there was a good reason to believe that this FCC ruling was bad. Plz prove my opinion wrong, I would like to hear facts as to what makes this new bill wrong for the american citizens.

                    2. Let’s ignore the very pertinent fact that it’s not a bill. It’s not legislation or the act of a democratic or republican process. It’s three guys on a commission.

                      In your 8:29 post you raise a panoply of hypothetical concerns, about mergers and censorship, and exactly one real concern, about premium pricing. But premium pricing is how premium service is paid for! If you don’t charge the high-need users a higher price, then everyone else ends up subsidizing the high-need users. Not only that, but total service is maximized when people pay the cost for the service they use. Incentives to provide higher total service fall dramatically when a provider cannot charge for higher marginal service.

                      Based on your hyptheticals and your misunderstanding of the vital role of price discrimination, you then conclude that the system is broken and that other people who also fear your hypotheticals and also fail to understand price discrimination is still further evidence.

                      The only problem here is local government franchises that make monopolies of last-mile Internet providers. That is something that the government can fix. But, ceteris paribus, Internet providers providing premium services for premium users at premium prices is a good thing both for the premium users and for nonpremium users, and that is something the government can only break.

                    3. Pulled from the Wiki page on the FCC “The FCC is directed by five commissioners” so I don’t see where you got three.But thats besides the point.

                      Apparently I didn’t make my argument clear enough, I was not saying that companies can not charge a premium for a higher tier service. What I was saying is that they are charging exorbitant prices for less than many other countries, even worse off countries. The United States is behind the rest of the world as far as broadband is concerned ? that is if you can get it. We trail South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Latvia, Romania, and Ireland. Yet communications companies declare that reclassification will stifle their ability to provide high speed services. But that is not the only problem, we have internet “fast lanes” that were going to happen yet this “act”, since you dont think its a bill/legislation, will stop that from happening.

                    4. …I don’t see where you got three.

                      It’s the deciding majority of five.

                      Of course reclassification will stifle the ability to provide high speed services. Those who more need higher speeds are willing to pay more for them. If it is illegal to charge them for the higher speed, there will necessarily be less high speed service.

                    5. Who said it’s illegal to charge more for higher speeds?

                    6. Let’s ignore the very pertinent fact that it’s not a bill. It’s not legislation or the act of a democratic or republican process. It’s three guys on a commission.

                      It is very pertinent indeed. The term “net neutrality” is nothing more than a propaganda buzzphrase. If the FCC starts regulating the internet it’s only a matter of time before butthurt lefties start shrieking that “hate speech” has to be removed from the internet, and I would not be shocked to see the FCC attempt to oblige them.

                    7. “If the FCC starts regulating the internet it’s only a matter of time before butthurt lefties start shrieking that “hate speech” has to be removed from the internet, and I would not be shocked to see the FCC attempt to oblige them.”

                      The new laws that they are going to pass actually protect freedom of speech more than now, so in reality, they would not remove this hate speech, nor would I care for it to be removed as I’m not “butthurt”.

                    8. “net neutrality” is infinitely less of a propaganda buzz phrase than “regulating the internet.”

                      What does that last connote? It suggests a sort of all encompassing regulation of everything that transpires on the internet. Like what you are allowed to view, how much time is spent online, what applications are allowed to run, etc etc.

                      That phrase is incredibly dishonest, peddled by anti government bigots who want to treat the most infinitesimal constraints of access to the internet by the FCC as some sort of Stalinist take over of the web. It’s a lie. I don’t expect any of you to denounce the lie, you’ll mostly repeat it because of your own bigotry against any and all things touched by the government, but it would be nice if just this once you damped that down and looked at the issue without your own internal baggage.

                      To invoke Godwin, if a private company was engaged in awful activity and run by hitler, that would be less of a concern compared to a government agency trying to reign in the activities of that company through policy restrictions.

                      Because to the libertarian mind, the actual policy details don’t actually matter to too many of you, only the associations. The unthinking blind hatred of government, and presumption of purity of all things private.

                      Grow up, the world is more complicated than that, unless you really think the world ought to be some randian dystopia.

            2. Has your cable bill gone down since the government decided to regulate their cost? NO its only gone up

              debate over.

              Want another why is it that Time and Comcast are lazy and don’t upgrade? Because the government gave them monopolies ie: regulations gave them monopoly over certain areas hence no competition hence no need to improve

              again debate is over.

              conclusion government fucks things up

              1. “Has your cable bill gone down since the government decided to regulate their cost? NO its only gone up”

                The Act hasn’t went into effect yet, this is only hurting your argument, it shows that you acknowledge that cable bills have been going up, yet speeds stay the same.

                “Want another why is it that Time and Comcast are lazy and don’t upgrade? Because the government gave them monopolies ie: regulations gave them monopoly over certain areas hence no competition hence no need to improve”

                And the government does not “give monopolies” its called a Free market, the government has no say so in the matter. Yet the prices are shooting up while the speed and reliability stay the same. There is no competition in the market right now so they can do whatever they want, like you said, but its not the government’s fault, its the fact that the cable companies are unregulated and it has gotten out of hand.

                The government has not been involved in the market as of yet. So all of that f’ing up that you were talking about is the companies own doing. And thats the point I’m am trying to make.

                1. And the government does not “give monopolies” its called a Free market, the government has no say so in the matter.

                  Most of us live in municipalities where the cable is delivered by a government-mandated franchise monopoly, not by a free market. It must be nice to live wherever you live.

              2. Ron, follow for a moment.

                Company A decides to offer broadband internet service to a city with ZERO % penetration (dial up does not count). What is their potential market? up to 100% of the population.

                Company B decides to offering broadband internet service to the same city. Does the “pie” of potential broadband internet customers increase? No, it stays constant, the two companies will have to fight it out for customers, prices will probably go lower, slowing the financials needed to build out more expensive infrastructure.

                What about company C and D and E offering the same service? Internet access is a finite pie, and due to the high infrastructure costs of the last mile it is less and less worth it for new entrants to build out access for lower returns than the companies that got there first. Google can afford to do these things because they have a financial base that is outside that core business. THEY can afford the capital expense. How many others can?

                I need you all to THINK. There are more constraints on competition in this world than JUST government.

                Now what the UK did was unbundle the last mile. British Telecom owned the wires into peoples homes, but were FORCED by the government (que libertarian fear mongering) to open up the last mile to other ISPs. Competition exploded. Smaller ISPs still pay BT for use of the wires, but there are specialized ISPs that cater to things like less internet usage, or lower latency.

              3. (continued)

                The counter argument to that model is that BT has less incentive to actually spend money on infrastructure to increase speeds since everyone else can use their wires in the last mile.

                Possible. I guess the only way to counter that claim would be to see BT refuse to spend money on infrastructure.

                http://hothardware.com/news/br…..ng-in-2016

                OOPS ! Guess they are spending more money. Now, here we have a clear example of libertarian predictions about the refusal to invest in more infrastructure IF we regulate the internet FAIL and fall on its face. I don’t expect ANY of you to reconsider your positions about the world, because they are not based on empirical reality, they are based on what you THINK reality is shaped like. And as we all know, what you THINK is reality is the SAME THING as reality. That is the kind of humility about the knowledge of the world I’ve come to expect from the typical libertarian. But it may give pause to the non zealots, that maybe there are other models that produce results other than GOVERNMENT CAN’T TOUCH ANYTHING IS THE ONLY LEGITIMATE SOLUTION.

            3. So your solution to government created monopolies is more government regulation?

              Genius!

              1. What if the government regulation is used to remove said monopolies?

          2. The government is not “TAKING OVER” the internet. No one wants that or expects that, they are regulating the access to the internet, not the content.

            The entire universe of innovation generated by the electrification of the world was not held back due to having electricity delivery regulated. All the devices that use electricity to function are not affected by that. When you and others make a claim that regulating the access policies of the internet is going to lead to some sort of degradation of what runs on TOP of the internet, you are being demagogues. Because government. That’s your argument. Which of course is not an argument at all.

      3. Tell me, what do you think about municipal broadband? Many towns are too small to attract the attention of a google, and the local ISP does not think it cost effective to “invest” in such lower return areas. So some of those localities have decided to use tax funds to build out their own networks. Should they be allowed to do that?

        The market did not serve them on the time scale they wanted, so they used tax funds to build out internet infrastructure in the same way a town might use such funds to build a bridge. And yet larger state officials often try to shut them down, with the backing of national ISPs with enough clout to bully smaller towns. Is this not a case of a corporation being the greater evil compared to a local government that is actually trying to address the desires of it’s own community?

        Who knows better what the needs of the local community are? Comcast? or their own elected officials and voting and opinions?

    3. You argue for government regulation by giving an example of competition forcing the current ISP’s to upgrade their internet packages. Ok.

      I feel like you are the same troll from last weeks net neutrality article who claimed to be for free markets but then argued vehemently for the FCC to control the internet. And if my memory serves me, no amount of example of government regulations ruining things breached your skull.

      1. If one more person claims to be pro free markets while in the same breath demanding the complete opposite I’m going to beat my head against the wall.

        1. You should beat their head against a wall instead.

          1. ‘I’m all for free speech, BUT…’

      2. I feel like you are the same troll from last weeks net neutrality article who claimed to be for free markets but then argued vehemently for the FCC to control the internet

        It’s almost like he’s totally in favor of laissez faire markets, but he just has some concerns.

        1. Take a look at the examples of trolling, in the concern troll section. No examples of lefties trolling…all of them are from those horrible people on the right.

    4. Flowingwords213|2.8.15 @ 8:35AM|#
      …”I’m as much laissez-faire as can be”…

      You’re full of shit.

    5. Simply put, ISPs act as a cartel and FCC regulation is the only thing that’s gonna bring them in line

      ISP’s don’t “act as a cartel”, they act as a government-created near-monopoly. And FCC regulation is going to raise additional barriers to entry and increase prices further, making the problem worse.

      ou know what’s funny? As soon as Google mentioned they were going to Austin, TWC and ATT suddenly offered 100Mbps packages and upgraded current packages for free.

      That’s not “funny”, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. The reason it isn’t working more like that is because government keeps it from happening. My city isn’t getting competition or Google fiber because the city council made such stupid demands on Google that they crossed us off their list.

    6. Your response to market competition improving improved options to consumers is more government regulations? Please explain.

  2. Speaking of dead, here’s some bad news:

    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/…..ies-at-83/

    1. (CAUTION: autoplay ad)

      1. There’s usually a little box below the auto-play videos that when ticked makes it so videos never auto-play. It usually works until the cookie is deleted.

    2. RIP Coach Smith. Good man.

  3. Here’s the abstract from that paper recommending regulation of search engines:

    Should search engines be subject to the types of regulation now applied to personal data collectors, cable networks, or phone books? In this article, we make the case for some regulation of the ability of search engines to manipulate and structure their results. We demonstrate that the First Amendment, properly understood, does not prohibit such regulation. Nor will such interventions inevitably lead to the disclosure of important trade secrets.

    After setting forth normative foundations for evaluating search engine manipulation, we explain how neither market discipline nor technological advance is likely to stop it. Though savvy users and personalized search may constrain abusive companies to some extent, they have little chance of checking untoward behavior by the oligopolists who now dominate the search market. Against the trend of courts that would declare search results unregulable speech, this article makes a case for an ongoing conversation on search engine regulation.

    Blecch!

  4. Watching this play out, I have the same feeling I got when they were ramping up for the Iraq war. The feeling that there’s a train a mile from the crossing, and there’s a car full of kids parked on the tracks. What pisses me off is that they’re going to wreck things, and THEN blame the free market.

    1. The last place allowing Americans the opportunity to exercise free speech is about to be closed. Another huge defeat for the American people, as well as anyone else who values freedom, and another huge victory for dirty politicians who demand their unethical, often criminal, activities stay hidden from public view.

  5. The banner under the Firefox search box encouraging me to sign their petition surrendering control of the Internet to the FCC caused me to switch browsers.

    1. Yeah, I threw up in my mouth a little bit too. Unfortunately it’s the only feature complete cross-platform open-source browser that fits my needs.

  6. There’s a good rundown on the FCC’s incoming regulatory cruft here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2…..s_hold_up/

    From what I gather thus far, the measures will be fairly benign?for now. The problem will be that much of the proposal is very open-ended in nature, and could be readily expanded/modified on a whim at a later date; think of it like a regulatory trojan horse.

    It’s arguably the worst outcome this NN idiocy could’ve had, considering the heap of paralyzing market uncertainty this introduces. Making ISPs far more reluctant to invest in improving network infrastructure or offer faster services, etc. for the foreseeable future.

  7. My son attended a computer security competition yesterday and the participants (college students) were excited about FCC regulation. The key reason cited: Comcast screwed Netflix by making them pay for faster access.

    1. “The key reason cited: Comcast screwed Netflix by making them pay for faster access.”

      Poor little twerps have to pay for what they want?!

  8. Don’t let the government touch the internet!! I don’t care what reasons they say they have. Keep the scumbags away. The internet is the last place on earth there is even a semblance of freedom. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

  9. Funny, when we use the phone we would never think it’s okay to call our local pizzera and be encouraged to use domino’s instead. We would never let our newspaper delivery service edit the newspaper’s content. Reason has this issue all backwards in the name of misunderstanding and rhetoric.

    1. One of the problems with the typical NN argument is that it relies on a slew of hypothetical maybes about what ISPs could potentially do?meanwhile, over here in the reality of the world, few if any ISPs have actually done these things.

      Yes, the telecom monopolies are screwing over the internet in other ways. But the shit NN derps whine about just isn’t happening on any kind of significant scale, and never has.

    2. Funny, when we use the phone we would never think it’s okay to call our local pizzera and be encouraged to use domino’s instead.

      That’s only because the phone is a common carrier, so such is not legal. But should people be able to get a free land line if they have to hear a 30 second ad — perhaps for pizza! — before every call? Of course they should.

      We would never let our newspaper delivery service edit the newspaper’s content.

      The newspaper would never let their newspaper delivery service edit the newspaper’s content. So that’s both producer and consumer who would not let it happen. Why in the name of all that is holy do you think it would happen?

    3. mark able Jones|2.8.15 @ 4:25PM|#
      …”We would never let our newspaper delivery service edit the newspaper’s content.”…

      Statists have no choice. The have no argument, so naturally, like the asshole posting here, the lie.
      They lie in the morning, at noon and night.
      Statists lie; it is what they do.
      BTW, mark, fuck you.

  10. Reason’s coverage of this issue inspired me to start a White House petition to make the FCC’s proposal on Net Neutrality public. Regardless of your position on the proposals (which is hard to take when it’s not public), there is no reason this proposal should not be public before the FCC votes on it. Whatever happened to candidate Obama’s promise of transparency?

    The petition is on the White House petitions site, We the
    People. Will you sign it? http://wh.gov/ibqg6

    1. “Whatever happened to candidate Obama’s promise of transparency?”

      Ha, ha, and ha. Statists lie.

  11. Shrug. Internet companies have only themselves to blame.

    Sure, it’s great that Google decides to occasionally deign to roll out better internet in some random cities and thus force some competition. But unless you live in on of those cities, you’re SOL.

    It’s also pathetic seeing how excited people get when there are rumors of google vans being spotted in their area.

    1. JeremyR|2.8.15 @ 7:01PM|#
      “Shrug. Internet companies have only themselves to blame.”

      Poor, poor Jeremy! Wants free shit and can’t get it.

    2. Sure, it’s great that Google decides to occasionally deign to roll out better internet in some random cities and thus force some competition. But unless you live in on of those cities, you’re SOL.

      The limiting factor isn’t Google, it’s the f*cking cities. My city isn’t getting Google fiber because my city council put up so many conditions and barriers that Google moved on.

      Shrug. Internet companies have only themselves to blame.

      No, Internet users only have their politicians to blame. And more regulation will not improve things. Internet service will get more expensive and slower. Unlike Europe, where they have no qualms raising taxes to overpay for “free” crap, in the US, these efforts don’t achieve the desired effect because politicians can’t even raise the taxes to implement their pipe dreams.

  12. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.jobs700.com

  13. Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me. I started working for them online and in a short time after I’ve started averaging 15k a month… The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start…
    This is where to start???.

    ????? http://www.netpay20.com

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  15. Does anyone else remember how many years of lobbying it took by broadcasters to get the FCC to allow digital TV and once they did they outlawed any alternative forms of TV, as in analog, which then forced people to buy satalite or cable if they lived anywhere out of line of sight. Any improvement to the internet will also take years of lobbying since the government is always the last one to catch up to capitalism speed.
    We are so screwed since we all know when it comes to government “if it’s failing subsidize it if its working tax it or regulate it”.

  16. I agree that regulating the internet using Title II classification is a big mistake, but the part about “hurting Americans who appreciate faster Internet speeds at lower prices” is laughable.

    Even here, next to Washington, DC, everywhere I’ve lived has been a monopoly. Whether it be Verizon, Cox, Comcast, etc. I’ve NEVER had a choice in internet provider. I’m stuck with 25mbs/15mbs for $60/month, which is very expensive and slower than the rest of the world. I can upgrade to 50mbs/25mbs, but it would cost me $80/mo., which doesn’t include the $15/mo. router.

    I don’t like the FCC getting involved in the way that they are proposing, but there must be a third option to fix the current situation.

  17. Once again, when it comes to issues that affect the big money crony capitalists, Reason takes the side of the crony capitalists.
    From a pure libertarian property rights perspective, the internet providers don’t have a leg to stand on. But they can rely on their PR departments at Reason, and every other bought and paid for site, to produce intellectually dishonest trash like this article to support their special interest.

  18. This is simply big government’s insatiable greed for power and money. The power to control will be reason to tax to pay for the new rules and the persons to enforce them.

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