Net Neutrality

Mark Cuban: FCC's Net Neutrality, Title II Actions "Will Fuck Everything Up."


Speaking at the Code/Media conference in California, entrepreneur Mark Cuban—who made his pile selling back in the day—told his audience that allowing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet in the name of Net Neutrality (or anything else) will "fuck everything up." He continued: "Having them overseeing the Internet scares the shit out of me."

Since the sale of to Yahoo in 1999, Cuban has become better known for his hosting job on Shark Tank and for owning the Dallas Mavericks, whom he turned from one of the worst franchises ever to NBA champions. He's also kept his hand in all things tech-and-net-related via plays such as HDnet.

At the conference, Cuban (correctly) argued that apart from a couple of isolated cases, there's no evidence that ISPs are throttling or banning access to particular sites and services and he said he's fine with Congress passing a law prohibiting ISPs from blocking legal sites.

The hot-button issue of the day is less the blocking of whole sites and more preferential treatment that might be given to some traffic. Although it's not an exact fit for Net Neutrality (read more here), the case that scares many neutrality advocates revolves around whether Comcast slowed down Netflix streaming video as a way of getting more money out of the video service to deliver its content. Comcast and other ISPs claim that Netflix was bogging down their networks and the company should pay higher fees to carry their content so the ISPs can increase capacity. Netflix and others argue that ISPs, which control "the last-mile" to users are essentially extorting high tolls out of companies with popular services. The ISPs, they charge, have effective monopolies over service areas and this sort of action will become increasingly common if the 'net isn't regulated more heavily by the government.

Cuban is having none of it:

Discussing the Comcast/Netflix fight (which ended last year with Netflix : "It's a battle between two fairly large companies," Cuban said. "[They] worked it out, just like happens in business every day."

Read more at re/code.

When it comes to Net Neutrality, it's very easy to get bogged down in technical details. But in a large sense, I think Cuban is absolutely right (this isn't his first slag at the FCC either). There's no reason to believe that the FCC will be a particularly good steward of the Internet if its attempt to regulate the internet under Title II regulations and as a public utility become law. The FCC has a terrible track record when it comes to allowing innovation (see the decades in which it helped create and then regulate the telephone monopoly in the United States). More important, Net Neutrality advocates are waging every bit as much as pre-emptive war on ISPs as George W. Bush did on Iraq (and that turned out so well). Worse still, as outlined so far, the FCC is saying that it wants huge power but will use a "light touch" and engage in massive "forbearance," meaning that it won't use the full scope of the regulatory powers it has decided it has (this, despite losing court battles on precisely whether it has the right to regulate the internet as its' proposing).

Lord knows I've got no interest in defending Comcast, Time Warner, or Verizon as ISPs—each has failed me as a paying customer. But the FCC's own data show that the number and variety and speed of both fixed and mobile connections are growing and that 80 percent of Americans have access to at least two high-speed providers (see chart 5b). If the FCC wants to do something, it should work to relax rules constraining the deployment of more new and different ways to access the internet.

Despite its positive name, Net Neutrality is best understood, I think, in terms of public-choice economics and theories about regulatory capture. The Netflixes of the world are on top of the internet heap and want to freeze the market at this particular moment in time. Of course they do: It's worked perfectly for them. But their move is hardly disinterested at all. And their preferred solution of giving the FCC the ability to control the business plans of ISPs now and in the future amen is one that threatens not just to freeze the market as it exists right now but to slow down the pace of innovation and change in an industry that has radically reinvented itself every couple of years. 

Reason on Net Neutrality.

Economist Tom Hazlett discusses "the fallacy of Net Neutrality." Take a look:

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  1. At the conference, Cuban (correctly) argued that apart from a couple of isolated cases, there’s no evidence that ISPs are throttling or banning access to particular sites and services…

    As if that’s even what the takeover is about.

    1. rest assured if the gov is involved the primary purpose is taxation.

      1. And control. Power is an end, not a means.

        1. once they regulate it,

          THEY OWN IT

          Everyone seems to forget the definition of Fascism – government controls and directs the means of production but doesn’t actually own it- at least not in name but truthfully they are the majority shareholder and can shut down or seize companies at will.

          That is where we are now and will continue to be until we get rid of the excess regulation and taxation (most namely the income tax- corporate and private)

    2. There is no way at all the government views this as a move to improve service or competition. It’s about controlling the Internet, something they’ve been trying to do since the web got going.

      We should be resisting this down to the last man, woman, and child, not clapping in glee that the government is going to fuck things up and use this power to spy on and control us all the more.

      1. But…but…COMCAST. How will we ever fuck Comcast without stupid and over-reaching regulations that screw the golden goose for everyone?

        You really need to get your priorities straight there, fella.

        1. The answer is so obvious, even a leftist child should see it. Remove every fucking barrier you can to competition, then watch inflexible, government-created behemoths like Comcast suffer.

          1. Remove every fucking barrier you can to competition, then watch inflexible, government-created behemoths like Comcast suffer.

            Look, do you want the FCC to solve a non-existent problem or not?

            It’s almost as if you want things to just work and better than it did before. I don’t get it.

        2. The best part about that particular fever dream is that the Comcast head honchos are Democrats that have been forking over the cash bigtime and openly supporting President Obama and his policies.

          So, yeah, I’m suuuure that there won’t be any preferential cronyism going on here, no sir. Top Men will spank some of their biggest campaign contributors and tell them to stop being naughty, because that’s happened so often with this administration.

          1. Of course! It’s just like the rest of the companies that street-level lefties hate, while their Democratic overlords favor with preferential treatment.

            We’re only where we are because we are, by and large, fucking idiots.

          2. The Revolution devours its own.

    3. It may not be what it’s about from the government’s side, but it sure as hell is from the retards that post on reddit and huffpo (and really just about anywhere else on the internet) side.

  2. “[They] worked it out, just like happens in business every day.”

    Yeah, but now Netflix subscribers may have to pay a higher price some day in the future. And that’s NOT FAIR.

  3. Net Neutrality (or anything else) will “fuck everything up.”

    Isn’t that the idea?

    1. Freedom means asking permission and obeying orders. The internet will only be free when innovators must ask permission to do anything, and do whatever they do in the manner dictated to them by the regulators.

      Freedom is slavery.

  4. Remember that the FCC is supposed to be nonpartisan but was strong armed by the White House into doing this. Obama hates the internet. He cant’ control it and it reduces the power of the Progressive operatives who run the major media outlets. The internet more than anything makes centralization and control hard. This of course costs Obama’s cronies in big business money. So of course he is going to try and control it.

    The only good news is that from everything I have read these regs stand little or no chance in court. The Act they are based upon just doesn’t give them this power. They have tried twice before and lost each time. Chances are they will lose this time.

    If they do not, however, Cuban is right. This will totally fuck the internet up and take away a huge amount of our freedom. This is a very big deal.

    1. If Congress were worth a shit, they’d go all-out to block this. Even if they can’t get overrides to do it with bills, they can do damage by withholding FCC funding and launching investigations that tie up the commission.

      1. They need to do all of that. I think they are definitely going to call the FCC up to account for it and investigate the shit out of it. There seems to be little doubt the White House strong armed the FCC chair, which is illegal.

        Starting this fall they are going to have much more ability to strong arm Obama with the budget. This year’s spending was set by the last Congress where Reid controlled the Senate and was set by CRA sans DHS. Next year’s spending can be done by the proper budget process and will be presented to him in parts rather than in one giant bill. This will keep Obama from shutting down the entire government to get what he wants.

        1. “budget”

    2. They have tried twice before and lost each time. Chances are they will lose this time.

      Hopefully. In the judgement striking down the FCC’s original net neutrality rules, whichever court it was suggested the FCC could use Title II to implement their policy.

      1. Bingo.

    3. That’s funny – Obama hates the internet!
      Tell me some more funnies. Does he hate electricity also? Airplanes? French Fries?

      Where do you get this crap from? I have to see this web site!

  5. All regulations do is stifle innovation, because all government does is say “No, you can’t do that” or “If you do that then you’re doing it our way.” This is because they view innovators as buccaneers who are only rocking the boat.

    Yet at the same time they’ll argue that without government funded research, there would be no innovation at all.

    So government is both the stopper of innovation and the creator of innovation.

    Doublethink is an amazing thing.

    1. It is not so much double think as it is them not really understanding what innovation means or how it works. They want innovation but they want it done in a controlled way that will make sure that the right people come out on top. They want innovation and still to be able to pick winners and losers and keep things fair in their mind.

      That of course is absurd. You can’t have “controlled innovation” and you can’t embrace innovation consistent with a commitment to stability. These people honestly think they can.

    2. All regulations do is stifle innovation? That’s really all? The Jungle is calling you, my friend.

      1. Then please enlighten me as to how I am wrong.

        1. Look how immigration and drug regulation have spurred on innovation:


      2. Sarcasmic is wrong about this. Regulations cost money and jobs too.

        1. Innovation creates money and jobs, so stifling it costs money and jobs.

          1. I know, I was being sarcastic. I mean that post as a show of agreement with you.

            1. It’s hard to tell sometimes.

              1. You are telling me. I miss sarcasm all of the time.

                1. Just do what I do on this site, pretend that everything written that you do not agree with is sarcasm.

      3. what I hate most about regulation is being dragooned into doing free work for the government. a government employee would flip out if it happened to them.

  6. maybe we need 2 internets. a shitty, frozen in amber one regulated by the fcc for the comcast customers who hate comcast but not enough to unsubscribe, and one for everyone else.

  7. If anyone promoted Net Neutrality without giving regulators additional power, I’d listen to them. I’m not sure if agree, but a law demanding a equal-sized pipe with civil recourse isn’t an awful idea. But any bill that I see pushed is an FCC power grab that would stifle innovation.

    1. To be fair, it wouldn’t stifle innovation. It would redirect it from improving the product and service into a mix of rent-seeking and regulatory avoidance.

      1. That statement makes no sense, unless you consider rent-seeking “innovation”.

        1. Oh, those middle managers and fucktarded cronies will get pretty innovative about how to rent-seek while doing everything in their power to fuck with people.

      2. There’s nothing innovative about rent-seeking and regulatory avoidance.

        1. Innovations to route around “the man” are innovations, but they are innovations that suck resources away from more productive innovations.

        2. Tell that to Elon Musk.

    2. Yeah, let’s promote ‘Net Neutrality’ to ostensibly solve a problem that doesn’t exist in the 1st place. Sounds like a winner of an idea.

  8. Wow, this should make certain troll heads explode…Teh Lightworker vs Cuban. WHO TO CHOOSE?!?!?!?!

  9. Obumbles has had nothing but bad ideas. Of all of them this could be the worst.

    I know you are never supposed to ascribe malice to what can be explained by incompetence, but if he were not an idiot and was deliberately trying to fuck up as much as he could, what would he do differently?

    1. if he were not an idiot and was deliberately trying to fuck up as much as he could, what would he do differently?


      Just continue to clap and compliment him on his choice of fine clothing, peasant.

    2. “Obumbles has had nothing but bad ideas. Of all of them this could be the worst.’

      Yes, as we all well know, if a white dude like Rand Paul was doing all the exact same stuff as Obummer, you’d all find ways of approving of 80% of it……..

      1. Totally, just like how everyone around here thinks those white presidents like FDR and Clinton were the cat’s pajamas.

        My god you’re dumber than a bag of hammers. Are all people from Massachusetts like you?

        1. Look away! Look away!

  10. What depresses me is that the leftist idiots at my school cheer this stuff on. The prospects for liberty in my life are not good.

    1. Dude, if you’re waiting on general society to emancipate itself from statism? well, you’re going to be waiting awhile. Liberty will never be won via democratic consent or any other political process.

      1. I know all i hear is bad news though, everything is about the expansion of state power

        1. I’m a cynical fuck, but there’s many emerging developments to be optimistic about?you just have to think outside the narrow confines of politics to see it. Consider instead how various technologies and the market will gradually drive statism into obsolescence, in ways that’ll render societal interactions/transactions/etc. less prone to centralized control. Shit like Bitcoin, 3D-printed firearms, and so on being a few inchoate examples. It’ll be a tacit evolution, i.e. stuff that people are either born into or simply grow accustomed to without thinking much about it. Eventually politics won’t matter.

  11. Too bad everybody doesn’t use TOR.

    1. It is something of a pain in the ass to use if you go to places frequently.

      Now, anything financial, that is a very good reason to use it. I must admit that I’m too lazy/otherwise occupied to put forth the effort.

    2. NSA is already inside of TOR.

  12. I’m glad we have Mark on our side on this one.

    I think the public perceives him the way Donald Trump perceives himself.

    1. Unlike Mr. Cuban, Government does not have an “exit plan” and needs to actually plot for the long run as opposed to taking their money and doing TV shows for the rest of their lives.

      1. current price of rice in China : about $452 per ton.

  13. my roomate’s step-sister makes $62 /hour on the laptop . She has been without work for five months but last month her income was $20670 just working on the laptop for a few hours….. ??????

    1. Just wait till Net Neutrality puts her out of a job.

  14. Net neutrality has always been a solution in search of a problem. Now that we have the solution…

    1. The problem is crap internet for high prices.

      This isn’t going to help, but pretending there isn’t a problem isn’t helpful, either.

      1. Agreed, but the problems with speed and availability are largely functions of regulatory cartels. Most cities and incorporated areas have fairly strict limits on the number of physical providers of wired services, and the barrier to entry ( fines, etc., effectively payoffs to city councils and so forth ) tend to prevent competitors from entering. The nod to competition usually comes in the form of forcing owners of physical lines to allow resellers to buy bulk access, which is a crap solution and still leaves consumers at the mercy of the original providers when it comes to maintenance and expansion.

        In rural areas of course the problem is more simply that the cost of running broadband to dispersed populations generally doesn’t get balanced out by the profit from subscriptions, but that’s what satellites are for. With better compression algorithms and other tech that hopefully won’t be as much of an issue in the future.

  15. A word about this so-called “forbearance.” When you read the public statements on the issue offered by team Obama and his appointees on the FCC, it sounds as though “forbearance” is a simple matter. I am no communication law expert by any means, but even my cursory review of the statute make very clear that “forbearance” is a case-by-case, complicated procedure in which the FCC must build a factual record and determined on the basis of that record that a specific regulation can be “excused” in a specific circumstance. This procedure must be followed for each specific regulation that the FCC seeks to forbear. Implementing “forbearance” in the manner described by team Obama could therefore take years. And in the interim, the Internet will be subject to the full panoply of FCC regulation. And as some commenters have already noted, the net neutrality crowd is already urging the FCC not to “forbear” on many regulations.

    Don’t be fooled by this talk of “forbearance.”

  16. Takeover???

    I thought the big bad gubment invented the darn thing, spent billions helping it get going, did away with taxes on much of it for a decade or more and continues to champion for a level playing field….

    I guess the Kochs want to own the internet also now….with their “freedom loving” Libertarians friends helping them…

    Funny that Cuban is happy taking the 500+ million from the taxpayer funded internet…but then says they fuck it up. I guess they fuck it up for everyone except him, and he already has his.

  17. Obama’s big government grab. They’re not interested in what successful private sector bosses are concerned with. While he tries to grab Net Neutrality control, he continues to sic FCC director Mignon Clyburn, daughter of SC Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn after the 1st amendment 7 conservative talk radio & other media. Our president with Constitutional Law background trying to shut down an opposing view through his agencies.


      read this from these republicans who work in the tech sector

  18. Earth to Mark Cuban. What the hell did you think you were getting when you voted for a socialist for president? Duh!

  19. The WEB has ALWAYS been nothing but wire communications using the common carrier IP protocol.

    Wake the fuk up!

    This has been demanded by me in United States District Court for YEARS! I learned calling an ignorant Lord Most Honourable Jimm Larry Hendren “senile” lead to the opposite of justice and will cause any appeal to be unfair.

  20. My dear, the next five minutes can change your life!
    Give a chance to your good luck.
    Read this article, please!
    Move to a better life!
    We make profit on the Internet since 1998!
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  21. Boo government… Lets trust that the corps all in the name of quarterly profits!

  22. I just read this from a group of conservatives that work in the Tech world in response to ted cruz saying basically the same thing that this is a bad idea…..these republican Tech industry workers tell it differently…..…..t-Ted-Cruz

  23. 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……

  24. “But the FCC’s own data show that the number and variety and speed of both fixed and mobile connections are growing and that 80 PERCENT OF AMERICANS HAVE ACCESS TO AT LEAST TWO HIGH-SPEED PROVIDERS [my emphasis] (see chart 5b).”…..4884A1.pdf

    This is not true necessarily. Figure 5b does not claim that at all.

    Figure 5b, on page 10, is preceded with: “…Again, we emphasize that
    such providers may not necessarily offer services at those speeds everywhere in the census tract, and that
    these data do not necessarily reflect competition. “

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