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

redpill-master toddwbucy at grandecom.net
Sun Jun 21 21:50:43 CDT 2009


On Sun, 2009-06-21 at 17:37 -0500, Henry Pugsley wrote:
> 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.
The way I see it the deregulation of the telecommunications
infrastructer in the 1990's was part of the problem.  sure at first it
lead to alot of competition. (who here remembers MCI, Century
communications or Adelphia)  however like all competitions sooner or
latter there are only a few left and they tend to operate in a
oligopolistic manner.  
>   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.
you know when I here people talk about the "free market" it always makes
me think of a (formerly) East German friend of mine who said when asked
about the difference before the wall vs after the wall "the only
difference is that before the wall fell we had all the money we could
ever want but we could not buy any thing now we can buy anything we want
but we don't have any money."  Made me wonder if there was really any
difference at all
> 
> 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.
> 
I definitely feel you there. Given the power that governments can wield
through the nationalization of access control to the Internet this bill
may not be the best approach.  But what should we do.  the ability for
the consumer to leave one for the other is negated when both are trying
to screw you out of your money.  Here in San Antonio some of us are luck
in that we have a viable alternative with Grande Communications but that
is not the case for much of the rest of the country.
So just how are we to ensure that corporate entities such as TW and AT&T
don't use there power over access to gouge our wallets?  What entity has
the power to do that when individuals have been denied real choice and
false competition? Do we stay in the frying pan or jump in the fire?


Todd



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