Now that the split vote on the FCC commission has decided to accept their secret plan to turn the internet into a public utility, prepare for all the same rubber stamp decisions that your state run Public Service Commission’s operate in the utility sector.
As anyone who ever interacted with PSC type regulators can attest, the corporatist legal teams that shepherd their clients’ monopolist proposals, almost invariably get their way. So much for a crony system, that seldom protects the interests of the rate payer.
When it comes to government regulation of the internet, the stake dramatically escalates far beyond simply the cost of service. The essay, When Net Neutrality Becomes Programmed Censorship argues the case that inevitably the web will eventually be assimilated into a Chinese styled content restrictive enforcement system.
“The major argument, however, stands that the ISPs have to expend several billion dollars to install and upgrade a high-speed mobile/fixed broadband network. Disallowing discriminatory pricing policy will significantly reduce their revenues and margins, which will in turn result in lower investments in the high-speed broadband sector. Consequently, broadband equipment service providers will suffer (due to lesser investment by ISPs) and lots of jobs will be eliminated from this sector.
Telecom behemoths Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ – Analyst Report) and AT&T Inc. (T – Analyst Report) have decided to challenge the new regulation in court. In Jan 2014, Verizon won a federal court case against the FCC’s previous set of net neutrality rules.
Major cable multi-service operators, namely Comcast Corp. (CMCSA – Analyst Report), Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC – Analyst Report) and Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR – Analyst Report) also strongly opposed the FCC’s decision and may file legal suits. This group made clear that though they have no objection to the open Internet concept, enforcement of stricter regulations by the government is not acceptable.”
For the millions of addicted internet users who confine their online habits to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Twitter, the promise of higher speed connection is so attractive that sacrificing their independence and free speech rights becomes immaterial to their narrow minds.
Look; any fundamental imposition of government regulation on the free flow of information, prohibits the very existence of the miracle that connects the world instantaneously that took off some twenty years ago. With the introduction of MS Windows 95, the PC community, which included most business computers at the time, experienced a true productivity revolution.
Reflecting on the strides achieved from worldwide connectability, the essential functions of the internet is not presently broken. So what is the basic reason to accept Federal management of the most defused and individual liberating tool that has ever been invented? The answer according to Zacks is: “Telecommunications is a necessary utility.”
Well is the internet really a utility or is it a DAPRA project that Al Gore invented? Proponents of more government regulation want the people to accept that the public will benefit under FCC altruistic guidance, which will be superior to the commutative collection of billions of content contributors.
Content is king and the mere threat of consenting to a government filter on political speech is the true risk that is being imposed upon internet users, who overwhelming oppose censorship. The Electronic Freedom Foundation urges that “Internet blacklist legislation—known as PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House—invites Internet security risks, threatens online speech, and hampers Internet innovation”, should be opposed.
Note that such enactments are proposed as actual laws, while the FCC decision to inflict utility status upon the interconnection system is both arbitrary and capricious in the legal jargon of future court litigation, which is sure to come.
Utility designation is not just the preverbal slippery slope; it is the predictable introduction of specious authority to mirror the Chinese model for future command and control over the internet.
Businesses are obviously intimidated by federal oversight that picks winners and losers. So the manifest question must be asked, if the internet is not broken, why force a fix that is so risky and really unnecessary?
Simply stated, constructive legislation to improve the “so called” bottleneck issues could be enacted that allows and encourages innovation that has been the backbone for growing the success of the internet.
Alas, such an approach does not achieve the actual objective. Reward the insiders of the Corporatocracy and build the authoritarian governance infrastructure that is so necessary to complete the total interdependency of world commerce.
The internet is all about independence, not conformity. That is why allowing free exchange is so dangerous for the oligarchs. FCC grabbing authority over the internet, extensively under the guise of utility denomination, is pure theater.
“If the FCC can impose rules based on what might occur, can’t we oppose those rules based on what will almost definitely occur and in fact has already occurred? A Fairness Doctrine for the Internet isn’t hard to conceive . Like the television and radio version, it will ensure that not only our “access” is fair and open, but that the content itself lives up to the federal government’s fairness and openness standards.”
Is it better to face the facts than to believe in the fantasy that Big Brother will protect your true interests? How you answer may well determine if you are one of those susceptible surfers eager to give up your rights to unfettered speech.
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