It hasn’t been a great year from the perspective of shrinking government. In fact, it’s been terrible. Really awful, pork-and-cronyism-filled programs are being refunded, renewed – and even resurrected.
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent decision to claim full regulatory power over the way the Internet works was bad enough, but the next battle in the government’s war on consumer-friendly innovation is approaching fast.
Nothing has changed my mind that it would be “unthinkable” for the FCC to classify Internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, the part of the 1934 communications law derived directly from the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The purpose of the Interstate Commerce Act was to constrain what was then seen as the monopolistic power of the railroads. The railroads were deregulated in the 1980s – long before the emergence today’s broadband Internet providers.
The Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming “incentive” auction of TV airwaves is already at war with itself.
Somehow the FCC imagines it can maximize the revenue necessary to incent TV broadcasters to sell their 600 MHz spectrum by minimizing actual revenue collection via dis-incenting, and even banning some wireless company bids.
Crony Socialism is, in part, the government cutting special deals for certain companies – at the expense of other companies, and the free market. It is particularly pathetic when companies publicly troll for this treatment. It’s almost as if they’ve given up on actually, you know, trying.
With due credit to “Ripley’s Believe it or Not!,”® so much odd and bizarre is happening in Washington in the “name” of “U.S. wireless competition criticism” that the topic calls for its own collection of: “Believe it or Not!”® oddities.
The FCC and DOJ do not want to look ridiculous applying a spectrum cap to Verizon and AT&T and not Sprint when the FCC’s own Wireless Competition report shows that Sprint controls roughly twice as many MHz per population as either Verizon or AT&T.
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