[SATLUG] New Bill to Stop Internet Overcharging | Save the Internet

Henry Pugsley henry.pugsley at gmail.com
Sun Jun 21 17:37:16 CDT 2009

I'm not sure how to take this.  Competition is good .. the more the
better for the consumer.  It keeps the companies honest because the
consumer can speak with their wallet.  If they don't like Company A,
they cancel and sign up for Company B.  Back in the 90s the government
opened up competition by requiring last-mile providers to share their
copper and coax with ISPs who simply provided bandwidth.  This opened
the door for competition because anyone with Internet pipe could open
shop without paying millions to build new infrastructure.  They had to
pay for usage of the infrastructure of course, so the last-mile
providers could recover the cost of installing it.

However, this bill goes beyond regulating anti-competitive practices.
ISPs have to file with the FTC before they can introduce tiered
services?  I presume this gives the FTC the right to say go or no-go
on any tiered service offering, which basically amounts to
nationalizing the ISPs.  Will this open the door for ISPs to have
their operational costs scrutinized by the federal government, and
eventually the public and their competitors?  This could stifle R&D
and any attempts to gain efficiency in their business because
ultimately the FTC will control their profit margins.

What we really need is a way to kill anti-competitive practices
without government controlled price-fixing.  The lesson to be learned
here is the same as the bailout: don't pretend to have a free market
economy then turn around and try to regulate it when things don't go
the way you like.  It doesn't seem logical to enforce freedom through
more regulation.

If you want to know what a nationalized Internet looks like, check out
Australia.  The government owns all the bandwidth, and you end up
paying about 3 times more than Time Warner was proposing for their
*basic" tier of service.  You also have to worry about silliness like
government enforced content filters that you can't opt out of.


On Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 9:28 PM, ed<horned0wl93 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thought you might like to see that we're not the only ones fighting to keep
> Time-Warner's and AT&T's teeth out of our throats...
> http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/09/06/17/new-bill-stop-internet-overcharging
> Cheers;
> Ed
> --
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