Advertisements
Advertisements

On December 14th a vote is going to take place that will most likely repeal another Obama-era ruling called "Net Neutrality." We know that it will likely be repealed because the voting commissioners, all five of them, are split along party lines with the odd advantage to the Republican party. Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai is Republican and in favor of deregulating the landscape.

Unintended consequences

The problem is that this landscape doesn’t need to be deregulated, it just needs to be left fair. The term is a fair description of what the current law achieves for consumers; neutrality, where the interference of the quality and speed of the inherent capabilities of internet signals to the consumer, is not allowed.

Advertisements

This simply means that no cuff, gauge, or restrictor will be put on said signals in order to create artificial quality tiers for the consumer.

The perspective that Pai is selling, is that the #federal government needs to get out of deciding which business model works best in the #Free Market economy. The model that he and the corporate entities of the same mindset are pushing, dictates that first the feds would require companies that are priority screening and pricing their internet portals to consumers, to let the government know that they are doing it. Then, it will allow the FCC to go after (can you say more bureaucracy?) anyone not disclosing such information. Those two unnecessary steps smell of waiting to set up some sort of tax sting on companies after raising rates above some basic level of service for consumers.

Advertisements

If it's not free market, let's make it that way

While the FCC chairman is committed to free-market economics, it’s clear, he is proactively creating another level of cluster mess, In order to give corporations like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon more variable priced services to sell, resulting in less quality to more consumers that cannot afford the upper-tiered services.

When I was a pre-teen riding my bike all over town, and selling candy and lemonade by the side of the dead-end street, one neat trick was to ride to the candy store and buy a pack of gum, Pixie Sticks, or Twizzlers. You would take them back to the lemonade stand, de-bundle the contents, and sell them profitably for a couple pennies more than they were worth in the bundle. This was the oldest sales move in the book. However, it didn’t work equally well for all products.

For instance, because the Twizzlers were not individually wrapped, they didn’t work as naturally for this form of price manipulation. Afterall, no one wants to imagine someone else’s fingers on your somewhat sticky Twizzler.

Advertisements

Thus, they just weren’t a natural fit in this scenario. With the Twizzlers, you were better off to leave well enough alone. We are better off to leave well enough alone with Internet speeds and bandwidth, too! There is already a natural barrier to price and performance equality given the affordability or availability of Fiber Optic, Broadband, or DSL, to consumers.

The argument that the internet should not be treated as a telecommunications utility, is not valid. In fact, there is evidence that another intangible utility in the public domain, radio frequencies, has done just fine with gentle oversight by the federal government since before WWII. You see, In this repealing of #Net Neutrality, it is the FCC that is trying to grapple control away from the public domain, and, well, pass out their Twizzlers. It’s just not a natural fit.