Saturday, January 17, 2015

The FCC Takes Another Run At Net Neutering

Since telephone deregulation, Lily Tomlin's Ernestine
from the phone company sketch isn't funny anymore. The.
phone company now has competition and can no longer
bully customers like Ernestine did in the comedy sketches.

The FCC is at it again after they lost a lawsuit that threw out an attempts to create so-called Net Neutrality regulations. They're back with a 1930s style regulatory scheme that makes the Internet a public utility regulated heavily by the government - coming in February. Net Neutrality they're calling it. I call it Net Neutering.

In essence it gives us locked in rates, locked in connection speeds and ties the hands of Internet providers to regulate the delivery of Internet service as they see fit. If you grew up before the de-regulation of the telephone industry, you'll know what that means.

Prior to deregulation it cost you hundreds of dollars a month and a six to 12 month wait to get a car phone. After deregulation, within a few short years we were carrying cell phones in our pockets for a fraction of the cost. If you'd like an idea what pre-deregulation phone service was like (back when the government "regulated" phone service), get hold of one of Lily Tomlin's old skits about the phone company and you'll get an idea of where the Internet will be headed.  It's rather like communism - everyone equally misereable as government regulation suppresses the quality of Internet access for everyone. It's the old shared misery of communism/socialism all over again.

Think slowing down your streaming video on Hulu and Netflix to where it jerks and jumps so that Joe Blow can publish cat videos that jerk and jump in high def on his blog, just like the big guys. I can guarantee a major degradation across the board since competition between carriers will be virtually eliminated. So where will the motivation be to provide faster service? 

It's the old idea that if everyone is forced to be the same, suddenly, out of the goodness of our collective hearts, we all will strive to make everything better. It's kind of like thinking that if the boat sinks, the way to save lives is to have all the drowning people and all the swimming people clump together into one big mass and hope everyone decides to swim equally hard, only better because they have drowning people clinging to them and trying to climb on their heads.

One thing though: Internet customer service will probably be better - you'll be told they can't do anything about your probably because of government regulation in half the time it takes them to fix your problem now.

© Daily Tech

Won't it be a brave new world once the government controls the last free market on the planet? 

Yeah, right.

© 2015 by Tom King

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