One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
- 5G Wireless Makes Net Neutrality Even Dumber Policy - September 16, 2019
- When Deregulation – Actually Makes Things Worse - August 29, 2019
- Localities Shouldn’t Be Dictating (Inter-)National Policy - July 17, 2019
They either have absolutely no idea what any of this is – or they are lying through their printing presses.
The Times calls for the federal government to illegally commandeer control of the entirety of the World Wide Web – so as to then impose Net Neutrality. Guess with whom they are in agreement?
The hardcore Media Marxist Left wants President (Barack) Obama’s Federal Communications Commission to unilaterally change – for the worse – how the government regulates the Internet. Which would be an egregious violation of existing law – the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
This law classified the Internet as Title I – a very light-touch regulatory regime. As happens when the government largely leaves something alone, the Internet has become a free speech, free market Xanadu. Arguably no endeavor in human history has grown so big, so well, so fast.
If ever there was an example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – this is it. Yet the perpetually broken government is listening to these Leftist loons – and considering the move to Title II.
Title II is the uber-regulatory superstructure with which we have strangled landline phones – you know, that bastion of technological and economic innovation. Which do you find more impressive – your desktop dialer or your iPhone?
Title II regulations date back to the 1930s – so you know they’ll be a perfect fit for the ultra-modern, incredibly dynamic, expanding-like-the-universe World Wide Web.
This would be the most detrimental of all Information Superhighway road blocks. Rather than the omni-directional, on-the-fly innovation that now constantly occurs, Title II is a Mother-May-I-Innovate, top-down traffic congest-er.
Imagine taking a 16-lane Autobahn down to just a grass shoulder.
The Times’ editorial wrongness begins in their title.
There will be no “fast lanes.” There will be what there have been since just about the Internet’s inception – innovative ways to make uber-bandwidth hogs, like video merchants, easier to deliver. Which keeps the traffic for everyone flowing smoothly.
The Web would have long ago ground to a halt had not these innovations been developed and continuously enhanced. The bandwidth hogs are looking to have the government mandate that the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) build, maintain and grow them – and give the hogs free, unlimited access.
Guess who would then get to pick up that gi-normous, ever-growing, ongoing tab? Hint: You saw him or her this morning brushing your teeth.
The Times then gets the first half of their very first sentence wrong.
The Federal Communications Commission, which could soon allow phone and cable companies to block or interfere with Internet content,….
Actually, ISPs have always and forever been able to do that. But they haven’t. Why? Because they are in the customer service business – if they intentionally fail to service their customers, they will no longer have customers.
It’s called the free market, Times. You should look into it – instead of looking to end it.
And there are already existing laws and an existing government entity – the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – to address this if it ever does happen. Which it won’t.
The F.C.C. is trying to decide whether telecommunications companies should be able to strike deals with powerful firms like Netflix and Amazon for faster delivery of videos and other data to consumers.
As Amazon grew and their package tally exponentially increased, it didn’t demand the various delivery services keep their shipping rates exactly the same. That would be absurd.
And I’m sure the government-run Postal Service would have been very accommodating of that request.
Small and young businesses will not be able to compete against established companies if they have to pay fees to telephone and cable companies to get content to users in a timely manner.
Small and young businesses don’t and won’t have to pay – because they are but a blip on the Internet radar screen. Netflix and Google’s YouTube are at peak times more than half of all U.S. Internet traffic – they should pay a little something, you know, for the effort.
If you leave the grocery store with twenty steaks, you pay more than if you walk around a little and leave with nothing – is that so complicated?
Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the F.C.C. who was appointed by Mr. Obama, has proposed troubling rules that would allow cable and phone firms to enter into specials with companies like Facebook and Google as long as the contracts are “commercially reasonable.”
Apparently it is, in fact, too complicated for the Times. Which wants to mandate grocery stores allow someone to fill up an eighteen-wheeler with steaks – and pay the store nothing. Which isn’t “commercially reasonable”- it is supermarket death by government.
Which is exactly what the Media Marxists want for the Internet.
“(T)he ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”
How very Hugo Chavez of them. And, of course, the New York Times.
[Originally published at NewsBusters]