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Government Network The Internet United States Politics Technology

Tom Wheeler Defends Title II Rules, Accuses Pai of Helping Monopolists (arstechnica.com) 134

simkel shares a report from Ars Technica: Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler spoke out against the FCC's proposed repeal of net neutrality rules this week, saying the repeal will help monopoly broadband providers abuse their dominant position. There's "a monopoly provider for three-quarters of the homes in America, and no choice," Wheeler said in a forum (video) in Arlington, Virginia Monday hosted by US Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.). "When you've only got one provider, who makes the rules? The provider makes the rules." Wheeler was referring to FCC data that shows most Americans live in areas with either one provider of high-speed broadband (at least 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream) or none at all. With the FCC's new Republican leadership seeking to overturn net neutrality rules, "the question becomes, will giant companies be able to exploit their monopoly position?" Wheeler said. "Who is going to stand up for consumers? Who is going to stand up for innovation? And who is going to stand up for the most important network for determining our future in the 21st century?"
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Tom Wheeler Defends Title II Rules, Accuses Pai of Helping Monopolists

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  • by r2rknot ( 1102517 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @08:05AM (#54718847)

    It will save us. For some reasons someone will find tons of money in rolling out infrastructure to fight those established companies and provide us with competition!

    (sarc)W/e we do, we cannot allow the government to create this public infrastructure, its not their place(/sarc)

    • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @08:32AM (#54718991)
      It's hard to have a free market, when in most jurisdictions the local government sells monopoly rights for service to a single cable provider. I'd agree with removing net neutrality restrictions if there is no ability for local governments to restrict access to the market. Government granted monopolies (e.g. utilities) have always faced regulation, and the cable companies expecting to have their cake and eat it too is silly.
      • by msauve ( 701917 )
        " I'd agree with removing net neutrality restrictions if there is no ability for local governments to restrict access to the market."

        ...a local franchising authority may not grant an exclusive franchise, and may not unreasonably withhold its consent for new service...

        -FCC [fcc.gov]

      • in most jurisdictions the local government sells monopoly rights for service to a single cable provider.

        Do you have a citation for this? I doubt this is true.

        Most ISPs are monopolies because it just isn't worth it to build out duplicate infrastructure when the resulting competition will lead to a fall in prices insufficient to recoup the investment. But it is rarely illegal.

        • Do you have a citation for this? I doubt this is true.

          It's true in many jurisdictions (google "franchise agreements") but it's more nuanced than that.

          Even where multiple franchise agreements can be granted, pole-access is the limiting factor. To be sure, the first entrant gets a huge chunk of market share for very little market cost, but getting pole-access agreements in place from the owners of the poles (typically power or telephone) can cost over a million dollars in legal and regulatory fees because th

          • It's true in many jurisdictions (google "franchise agreements")

            Ok. I just googled. I found ZERO examples of even a single EXCLUSIVE agreement anywhere in America. So I find it very, very unlikely that "most" or even "many" of these agreements are exclusive.

        • It was true at one time in recent history: Sort of long read.
          https://www.mackinac.org/10118 [mackinac.org]

        • There are lots of places with only 1 provider, and in those places anybody who is a Republican will tell you it is because of regulations. In a few of those places, the ones that are most "red," it is actually true, however, in most of them it is just straight hogwash. They just presume it is the ebil gubermint that is at fault, whatever is wrong. And if they discover that no such law exists... they immediately propose to enact one!

          • by Anonymous Coward

            If you really believe that the regulations aren't oppressive, go ahead and figure out how to legally string a one block sized network. I dare you. Oh wait, you're full of shit. There are no less than 3 dozen regulatory agencies with their fingers in the pie in Ohio.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              And if you believe regulations aren't necessary then I have a bridge to sell you.

              Yes, it is quite a logistical nightmare to get all that wire deployed, you have to deal with all kinds of agencies and often land owners as well.

              There is a fine line between over regulation and under regulation when it comes to infrastructure. When you have none at all you end up with this.

              Nobody wants that. People just seem determined these days to relearn the lessons we already learned from history and somehow expecting i

            • If you really believe that the regulations aren't oppressive, go ahead and figure out how to legally string a one block sized network. I dare you. Oh wait, you're full of shit. There are no less than 3 dozen regulatory agencies with their fingers in the pie in Ohio.

              What I'd love to see happen is for both the big ISPs and the government to end up being cut out of the loop entirely regarding controlling/regulating the internet by advances in technology making mesh-networks viable and destroying the choke-points used to limit access and enable monitoring & tracking of data traffic.

              Strat

          • In a few of those places, the ones that are most "red," it is actually true

            Bullcrap. It is not true anywhere.

            • They make this thing called the internet, you could look up which type of place passes that sort of law, and what the opinions of various local political groups is.

              Oh, right, sorry, I forgot you were alliterate. How insensitive to talk about reading.

        • by Luthair ( 847766 )
          There are a lot of regional telcos, from a market perspective they ought be attempting to expand into neighbouring territories. Collusion?
      • It's hard to have a free market

        There is no such thing as a free market. They do not exist, have never existed, and cannot exist.

        • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @01:21PM (#54720979) Homepage

          If you read Adam Smith, he explains it; a free market can't exist naturally. They come about when government regulates an industry to enforce trust and ensure that new market entrants have a level playing field. When government continually and disinterestedly prevents entrenched interests from interfering with competitors and newcomers, then a Free Market can arise.

          There are lots of them, the language has just been heavily attacked and obfuscated by the fuedalists, so people don't realize it and would identify the wrong things if they tried.

      • California bans this practice and still the best that might be available is a duopoly.

      • by knope ( 4837449 )
        lol, sure- but you'd first have to realize there was never a fair free enterprise. Just a giant fucking land grab of ISPs. There is no way any competition (outside of cell tower providers) will get into the areas already owned by the giants, which is pretty much all of it. The internet providers bundle telephone for many of their drones, how is it anything less than continuation on telecommunications? Its bad enough the monopolies have been allowed to grow to their current statuses, let alone allo
        • by anegg ( 1390659 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @10:59AM (#54720033)

          Interestingly enough, there was something a lot like a free market for ISPs at one point: when consumer Internet access was via dial-up. All you had to do to be an ISP was to get a dedicated Internet circuit (like a T1 with a heady 1.544 Mbps) and a number of POTS lines (say 10 to 40 or so) with modems on them, and you were an ISP! (With 56Kbps modems your service speed was "smoking!" At that point the "phone company" didn't even really know what Internet service was, and cable companies just provided TV channels.

          Then Digital Subscriber Line came along, typically deployed as Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), with download speeds that might have been 768Kbps, no need to tie up your house's phone line with your Internet connection, and the connection itself was "always on!" The paying public abandoned dial-up ISPs, switching to DSL. DSL was more limited access on the provider side, because you had to be in the telephone company CO. There were some legal provisions for telephone companies to provide access to their copper lines for alternative DSL service ISPs, but it really crunched down the number of competitors as the "telephone companies" realized that there was a lot of money to be made as an ISP. Verizon's move to FIOS seems to have been in part inspired by the fact that although they had to share access to the copper cable plant, they could install the fiber cable plant and NOT have to shared it. At most of the locations that I'm aware of, as soon as a household switched to FIOS, the copper plant was disconnected from that house (loophole in the rules I think - they only had to share the copper if it was connected to the house, they couldn't be forced to provide a copper connection to a house for use by an alternative provider).

          Cable companies got into it as they had their own cable plant and realized they could make $$$ just like the phone company of Internet service. Since cable Internet and FIOS offered much better bandwidth than DSL, the public switched again...

          So - each time the public has voted for increased bandwidth, the public has also voted to constrain competition, albeit unknowingly. It this point, many households in the US need Internet almost as much as they need electricity and water. Its a utility and should be under the common carrier rules (in my opinion).

          • You can't get 56k between two modems talking to each other. The fastest symmetrically-connecting modem was either 28.8k or 33.6k, I do not recall at this time which it was. You have to get a PRI to get your what, 24 lines? Of 56k... whoops, 53k-in-the-USA modem. But any time before that 56k, yeah, you could do it with one PRI and a bunch of POTS, instead of two PRIs. ISTR the budget basement ISPs using Ascend gear to handle the 56k stuff, and their ISDN too.

        • Just a giant fucking land grab of ISPs.

          ISPs have never had a "land grab" and there is no place in the US where an ISP has EVER had a government-granted monopoly.

          Cable television and telephone companies HAVE had government monopolies (telcos still do, cable does not), but they are just one medium for internet service. The vast number of available ISPs pretty much disproves any claim to a monopoly status.

      • Such agreements are not legal and no one in the industry takes them seriously. The Government cannot sell monopoly right of way access, it's as simple as that. Public Rights of way are available to the public, that includes any public that serves as a utility.

        The reason there are only 1 provider in many locations is because the cost of installing the infastructure is astronomical. It costs around $1500 bucks to pass a house with broadband in cities where homes are no more than 150' apart, in rural areas whe

      • Free market
        See "Yemen"
        "Chad" or other failed states.
        They all live by the law of Capital
        Who has the Capital, makes the rules.
    • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @08:38AM (#54719031)

      It will save us. For some reasons someone will find tons of money in rolling out infrastructure to fight those established companies and provide us with competition!

      To me the problem is that the industry is highly regulated, by the government of course. So, relaxing/repealing net neutrality results in an imbalance.

      I would like to see us go either all one way or the other. An examination of the way the Post Office was treated in the first ~100 years of the US would be very instructive to this whole debate. That is how critical the Internet is to us now. I have commented on that previously here on /.

      That said, I would be less bothered by the net neutrality relaxing/repeal if there were an accompanying relaxation of the regulations which frequently prevent local municipalities and co-ops from providing competing services.

      I live in an area where my options are dial-up, T1, satellite, or microwave. The services are all either slow, expensive, or poor quality (usually all three of those). I have talked with some of my neighbors about what it would take to form a co-op to provide the homes in our area with fibre optic service. We know that there several fibre backbones that pass not very far from us and if we pooled our resources then we could likely provide ourselves far better service than is currently available. Cost would be a bit of an issue up front, but the far more problematic piece of it is the ridiculous level of regulation involved to get anything done. It would take literally years of constant effort to get to where we could even have the first trenches dug.

      So, I suffer through having crappy Internet because I really like the area where I live. Net neutrality won't affect me very much personally and I don't think that having it or not having it will result in big monopoly providers extending service to areas they view as unprofitable. For that to happen, there would have to be a mandate for them build out or the government would have to do it. The other option which I mentioned above, people doing it for themselves in the form of co-ops would be a great solution, but for the stifling regulations which are clearly intended precisely to prevent what I am suggesting.

      • I have talked with some of my neighbors about what it would take to form a co-op to provide the homes in our area with fibre optic service. We know that there several fibre backbones that pass not very far from us and if we pooled our resources then we could likely provide ourselves far better service than is currently available.

        Why does this sound somewhat nefarious...

        "Fred and Louise have the metal detector--they'll find exactly where the cables are run. Once we find them, Bob'll take his backhoe and dig a trench from there back to Audrey's barn. Nate and his kids will dig down to the cable. Mark, your job will be to use that blow torch to carefully> cut through the cement around the cables. Then I'll come in and splice our cable in. Any questions?"

        I don't think that having it or not having it will result in big monopoly providers extending service to areas they view as unprofitable.

        This is actually where I get grouchy about the monopoly aspect.

        Okay, I'm g

        • Generally speaking, there are repeater junctions and if you're willing to pay the fee for the install you can get an access point added.

          It is not uncommon for rural groups to create a co-op and get access. No need to imagine nefarious plots, just look at what people do already. In your scenario for example, maybe Audrey's barn will have a line of sight high speed wireless connection to the top of the pole a few miles away that has the nearest access point, and so they just have to run their fiber from the b

        • Okay, I'm granting you exclusive rights to provide service for this community.

          Hi. I'm from the US DOJ. Cease and desist, let's chat about your financial future as a local government, ok? You cannot legally grant exclusive rights for this.

          So they set their rates, make money,

          Back when there was the ability to grant exclusive franchises, many of them came with local regulatory bodies that had control over the rates that a cable company could charge. I know, I have been on two of them. Every rate increase had to be approved.

          With DEregulation, that power was taken from the local communities and rates began their nearly un

    • I should write a bot to monitor slashdot and just repost the best of my rants about cable monopolies whenever a story pops up about the FCC or broadband or whatever. Here is the short version.

      FIND OUT WHAT PART OF GOVERNMENT IS CAUSING THE MONOPOLY IN YOUR AREA AND FIX IT.

      For the vast, vast majority of American slashdot readers, your area is economically viable for two or more systems. There are cable companies that are eager to expand into your area. They have the money. They know how to build a fiber

      • FIND OUT WHAT PART OF GOVERNMENT IS CAUSING THE MONOPOLY IN YOUR AREA AND FIX IT.

        Yes, I'll quickly go and fix the cost of installing the last mile wiring to my house. I'm sure that I can change the cost of installing wires.

        Where I live, local governments are not allowed to give a monopoly to any one provider.

        The only real way to fix it is to force last mile owners to make their infrastructure available to competitors at cost or near cost. With the current makeup of Congress and the Administration, any chang

        • Yes, I'll quickly go and fix the cost of installing the last mile wiring to my house

          While I don't know your actual physical situation, I can promise you that for most people reading this, the "last mile" is not the problem. Have you looked into the actual cost? Do you have any idea how much the cable companies expects to pay per subscriber anyway? Or are you just assuming that the economics don't work?

          Where I live, local governments are not allowed to give a monopoly to any one provider.

          There are about a

          • The only real way to fix it is to force last mile owners to make their infrastructure available to competitors at cost or near cost.

            This is a nightmare. Or, at least it was when it was imposed on the telcos. If you know of a way to make it work, please share with the rest of us. I'm in favor of this idea, in theory. But I've seen it crash and burn too many times in practice.

            Of course it was a nightmare: they stood to lose their monopoly status.

            As for not working: it works in the UK and it worked in the U

      • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

        FIND OUT WHAT PART OF GOVERNMENT IS CAUSING THE MONOPOLY IN YOUR AREA AND FIX IT.

        Honestly? It's the part that will arrest me if I just go steal spools of fiber off of trucks, or if I enslave people to dig trenches for free.

        Google Fiber was expected to spend $10 billion on installing fiber in the neighborhoods they were welcomed into with wide open arms and special government treatment (Kansas City cost over $1 billion alone [recode.net]). How many other companies have billions of dollars just lying around? Not only th

    • It will save us. For some reasons someone will find tons of money in rolling out infrastructure to fight those established companies and provide us with competition!

      Remember when ISDN was the anointed information service and CableTV was a sketchy entertainment service?

      Who would have thought that in 30 years more people would have telephone over Cable than on PSTN copper? And that's *with* having to do an end-run around regulation.

      So, yeah, your sarcastic statement turns out to reflect reality pretty well.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 30, 2017 @10:42AM (#54719903)

      Free market is best market.

      However, free does not mean free from regulations. Without regs, powerful companies form and control the market.

      We do not have a free market for internet.

      IMO, regulations should be designed to keep markets free and healthy. This way the market can respond to Changing conditions rather than waiting on congress, who is often ten years behind.

      My idea is this:

      Legislatively separate the markets that have been used to form internet trusts. Basically, trust bust.

      Mandate that you can only own one of the last mile, the ISP, or content creation.

      Make laws regarding collision between such companies.

      Suddenly, you would have your choice of ISP over whatever last mile connects you. And ISPs would have no perverse incentive to control what media you consume.

      BAM.

    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )

      For some reasons someone will find tons of money

      you forgot specifics like Tinkerbell. Other than that, there is no free enterprise or free markets. Everything is owned and controlled. It comes down to applying regulation to avoid abusive absolute control.

      Also consider crummy internet are like crummy roads. It really slows down commerce which why many third world countries remain third world countries. It gets too difficult to get around and do business.

    • by idji ( 984038 )
      Maybe it will be SpaceX launching 3000 mini satellites with a latency of 20ms.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 30, 2017 @08:19AM (#54718933)

    Wheeler has it right it is the Monopoly Stupid. All monopolistic industries need to be regulated to prevent monopoly abuses. That is an actual free market fact.

  • by mpercy ( 1085347 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @08:39AM (#54719035)

    75% of people only have one provider choice because of government grants of monopoly status.

    How about some other options?

    * ISPs cannot be content providers or affiliated with content providers--they can be a data pipe or a content provider but never both
    * In areas where local government has granted access rights to only one provider, use PSC model to mandate that that provider must provide access to other providers for the backbone to the pole (e.g., the gas line to my house was built by one company, but I can chose to get my gas from any provider in the market via the same pipe)
    * Local government could build the pipes and lease them to all providers at the same rates--we can't have 100 companies digging up roads to bury cable or pipes, whether it be for electricity, gas, water, sewer, cable/fiber for TV/internet, but a coordinated infrastructure contracted by local government that does all of the above and then leases non-exclusive access to providers makes a lot of sense

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 30, 2017 @09:19AM (#54719255)

      How about some other options?

      OK, but you don't really offer any. And here's why:

      * ISPs cannot be content providers or affiliated with content providers--they can be a data pipe or a content provider but never both

      This is a stronger version of net neutrality. Under current rules, they can provide content---but they cannot not deprioritize content of their competitors.

      This is actually a more open market than your proposal. They are still allowed to compete with content providers, as long as they do it on a level playing field.

      * In areas where local government has granted access rights to only one provider, use PSC model to mandate that that provider must provide access to other providers for the backbone to the pole

      The only way the FCC can mandate this is by classifying broadband as a Title II service, which is exactly what Pai is trying to roll back.

      This requirement is possible under the current classification, but Wheeler waived it in order to exercise a light touch. ISPs would have to revamp their business from top to bottom.

      * Local government could build the pipes and lease them to all providers at the same rates--we can't have 100 companies digging up roads to bury cable or pipes, whether it be for electricity, gas, water, sewer

      A city or county would have to decide to build an entire broadband network out of pocket and then force the ISPs to use it. This is insanely expensive---both the actual construction and the inevitable lawsuits.

      This is not a practical course of action without federal intervention that eliminates some of the costs and risks.

      (AC because of moderation elsewhere in the thread)

      • A city or county would have to decide to build an entire broadband network out of pocket and then force [emph mine] the ISPs to use it.

        Yeah...I'm sure they'd have a hard time doing that.

        "We'll take care of all the wires and the expensive part. You just have to provide your service on our wires."

      • A city or county would have to decide to build an entire broadband network out of pocket and then force the ISPs to use it. This is insanely expensive---both the actual construction and the inevitable lawsuits.

        Ammon, Utah disagrees with you. The cost of building out the broadband network was far less than letting the Internet monopolies do it, there weren't (and won't be) any lawsuits since the City doesn't compete with any service provider, and the local ISP's love it since they get to keep more of their profits. Everyone wins, except for the former Internet monopolies.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Are you sure that the companies didn't demand the monopoly before they put in the infrastructure?
    • 75% of people only have one provider choice because of government grants of monopoly status.

      We're talking about the FCC, so how about sticking to the USA? I have no idea what the laws are regarding ISPs in Kenya or Zambizia or wherever, but I do know about the USA. There are no ISPs with government granted monopolies.

      In areas where local government has granted access rights to only one provider, use PSC model to mandate that that provider must provide access to other providers for the backbone to the pole

      So if no second provider wants to compete on the same playing field as the existing one, they get special access to the existing one's facilities to make their costs lower.

      If there is no second provider, then who is it that will be accessing the "backbone to the pole"? And when the

      • by mpercy ( 1085347 )

        "We're talking about the FCC, so how about sticking to the USA? I have no idea what the laws are regarding ISPs in Kenya or Zambizia or wherever, but I do know about the USA. There are no ISPs with government granted monopolies."

        Local governments, e.g. county or city, provide monopolistic franchise agreements with cable and internet providers. Gas and electric are usually covered by state Public Services Commission and are provided effective natural monopolies.

        https://www.wired.com/2013/07/... [wired.com]

        "Before buildi

        • Local governments, e.g. county or city, provide monopolistic franchise agreements with cable and internet providers.

          Not in the US. Maybe some other country.

          Gas and electric are usually covered by state Public Services Commission and are provided effective natural monopolies.

          Where I live in the US, I am able to buy my electricity from three or four providers. The wires belong to Pacific Power, but the power comes from other places. Note that this is possible with a very simple infrastructure; trying to shoehorn this onto cable infrastructure would be much harder.

          "Before building out new networks, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must negotiate with local governments for access to publicly owned âoerights of wayâ so they can place their wires above and below both public and private property.

          Yes. This is not a "monopolistic franchise agreement", however. ISPs have NEVER been granted government monopolies in the US.

          "Throughout most of cable's history, it's been regulated at the local level.

          Until twenty years ago, perhaps.

          That's why I kept saying "local government".

          I didn't reply to you

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 30, 2017 @08:54AM (#54719113)

    The whole basis of democratic government is, the *people* choose the leadership, so the leaders act in the majority interests of the *people*.

    It all falls apart when the President isn't the one the people voted for. Why exactly would his people do anything for the majority of Americans?

    You've got Chairman Pai increasing profits for Verizon, his former company (and probably his future employer too). Ka-chink!

    You've got Scott Pruit refusing to ban Chlorpyrifos, (a proven brain poision for unborn children in rural areas). Helping Dow Chemicals, who in turn funded Trump both politically, and privately via golf tournaments and corporate events at Trump properties. I guess I can imagine where Scotts next paycheck will come from. Ka-chink!

    Healthcare? Tax cuts for health company profits funded by increased levies... 45k more people expected to die each year from the lack of coverage... like a 911 every month, every year. Ka-chink!

    Even the NRA now joining in. With a 'Get a gun to defend Trump' advertising message, $3 million donation to him, and in return his promise that "the assault on guns is over". They get a cut of gun sales. Ka-chink!

    Can't wait to see what treat he's got as reward for Putin. Let me guess, the "information co-sharing to fight 'ISIS" plan? The one where Putin gets access to US intelligence under excuse of fighting terrorism? He certainly floated the boat on that plan with his test leak.

    The reason for this mess is because the squatter in the Whitehouse was chosen by more Russians than Americans. None of them feel the need to do their job for the benefit of Americans.

    • by moeinvt ( 851793 )

      Even the NRA now joining in ... They get a cut of gun sales. Ka-chink!

      FALSE

      The NRA has a fundraising program in partnership with firearms retailers. Customers are asked to round their purchase up to the nearest dollar with the pocket change going to the NRA.
      The NRA does not "get a cut" of gun sales. Buyers are solicited for donations at the point of sale.

      • That may not meet the official definition of getting 'a cut' of a sale, but it still means they get more money when more guns are sold. At a high level there is very little difference.

        Does this lovely partnership apply to ammo sales and anything else a firearms retailer might be selling?

      • Furthermore the gun manufacturing industry has its own organization called the National Shooting Sports Foundation. [wikipedia.org] The NRA is a civil rights organization much like the ALCU, or any number of other non-profit organizations advancing the interests of liberty, yet I don't see paranoid claims that the ACLU is the puppet of big news corporations. For some reason it's politically correct to defend any part of the constitution except the second amendment.

        I also looked into Chlorpyrifos [epa.gov] and it appears that it is o

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday June 30, 2017 @08:56AM (#54719121)
    just because data shows two providers doesn't mean they both work. Buddy of mine fought with his DSL provider for years before breaking down and buying cable. It was twice as much.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      except where dsl != cable. Open up the cable lines so they can be shared by new companies offering connectivity and content. Like what should have happened with phone lines in the 90s.
      • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

        Like what should have happened with phone lines in the 90s

        Uh, that DID happen. Then the phone lines were "deregulated" around 2005 by removing the requirement that the phone companies share the lines with their competitors, and all the DSL providers got the boot.

    • So much this. I have a couple choices. One of them is 10/2, the other is 200/20. There's so much choice!
  • Fucking A (Score:1, Funny)

    by knope ( 4837449 )
    Ajit Pai is a parasite, a puppet at best.
  • Not the FCC's Job (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Shadowlore ( 10860 )

    "When you've only got one provider, who makes the rules? The provider makes the rules."

    When you've got a hundred providers, who makes the rules? The provider. I suspect Mr Wheeler is being disingenuous here. He wants to be the one to make the rules. Central rule making by government has never been shown to be a way to encourage "more providers" of a service. If anything it has the opposite effect. Mostly this comes through the increase regulations' cost to startups. More intense regulatory burdens, from ad

    • When you've got a hundred providers, who makes the rules? The provider. I suspect Mr Wheeler is being disingenuous here.

      Speaking of being disingenuous...

      When you've got a hundred providers, who makes the rules? The provider you choose. Which means that market forces will shape those rules, rather than one provider (who is interested in collecting the most money while doing as little work as possible) or "the gubmint."

    • Indeed.

      Since when hasn't the FCC supported and created monopolies?

      It sells sections of airwaves to singular companies, and then it works to prevent any interference from anybody or anything else.
      • It sells sections of airwaves to singular companies, and then it works to prevent any interference from anybody or anything else.

        So because it has granted an exclusive license to a 6MHz wide chunk of the airwaves in a specific service area to one company, you claim that creates a monopoly for the service that station provides? There is no competition from any other station using a different 6MHz chunk of spectrum in the same area?

        Did you buy a TV with no tuning dial, fixed to receive only one channel? I didn't. And does your cellphone not find your service provider from amongst the others, even if they each have different spaces in

    • by CAOgdin ( 984672 )

      Please learn something about the subject, the agency and the players. Your ignorance is showing.

      Thank you to our former FCC Chair for stepping up. Pai is but a tool of his former (and future) employer, Verizon, and it shows in his actions. The man is a threat to all that is good for citizens.

      It IS the FCCs job to avoiding favor one vendor over another, or one CLASS of vendor over another. Any other assertion is rooted in "fake news." Read the FCC's charter (and, yes, I have!).

  • Wheeler allowed the mergers of Comcast, TWC, AT&T, ... all the while allowing the destruction of local coops and municipal Internet and preventing others like Google Fiber to flourish and now he's complaining that we don't have a choice.

  • It's hilarious reading all this tripe about government vs the giant monopolies. If we put the government in charge to regulate something, the giant monopolies pay off the people you elected and we end up with legislation that has loopholes specifically designed to favor those monopolies. If we put the monopoly in charge, they do what they want. In both cases, the monopoly does whatever it wants. In the case of the government being in charge, the bribe collectors don't want to lose their cash collecting posi

The computer is to the information industry roughly what the central power station is to the electrical industry. -- Peter Drucker

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