[opendtv] Re: No, the FCC is not killing the Internet
- From: Craig Birkmaier <brewmastercraig@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2017 13:14:36 -0500
On Nov 30, 2017, at 11:11 PM, Manfredi, Albert E
I'm afraid it is Commissioner Carr who has missed all of the salient points.
The best he seems capable of is to parrot the Chairman's words.
Actually he hit the salient points Bert.
But the folllowing is exactly what we have come to expect from you, and EXACTLY
the kind of “fanning the flames” and fear mongering that Commissioner Carr was
You continue to promote your own set of facts, which have been discredited here
on too many occasions to mention. But this post is a classic, which makes
Carr’s analysis that much more credible.
You start with the role that Title II played in the early years of the
Internet, but all your facts are WRONG.
First off, anyone who blithely states that "in the 20 years prior to 2015"
"the Internet" was not regulated under Title II, so completely misses what's
at stake here that one might as well not read the rest. This is too
The Internet ONLY flourished thanks to Title II telephone lines.
This is completely false; the Internet suffered because of the limitations of
dial-up modems. It is a tribute to the validity of the Internet concept that it
was able to overcome the pain of connecting, and the non-neutral behavior of
the major dial-up services in the early years.
Attributing this success to regulation completely misses the point.
The only Title II regulation that mattered Bert, was the unbundling requirement
placed on the Telcos in 1993 as part of the budget reconciliation bill. This
had a significant impact on investment by the telcos in broadband until it was
reversed in 2003, after which they started to deploy DSL in earnest, as well as
starting to overbuild cable systems with FTTH.
Phone lines were used for data long before the Internet, as we have discussed
many times. Compuserve started offering dial-up connections in 1969, as well as
fractional time on PDP11 computers. The service grew and added many information
services that predate the commercial Internet.
AOL started its dial-up business for PCs in 1991, operated a walled garden
information services, and did not provide unfettered access to the Internet
until it acquired Netscape in 1999.
This is from Wiki:
In February 1991, AOL for DOS was launched using a GeoWorks interface
followed a year later by AOL for Windows. This coincided with growth in
pay-based online services, like Prodigy, CompuServe, and GEnie. 1991 also saw
the introduction of an original Dungeons & Dragons title called Neverwinter
Nights from Stormfront Studios; which was one of the first Multiplayer Online
Role Playing Games to depict the adventure with graphics instead of text.
So much for your theory that dial-up enabled the Internet. There was a thirty
year history of dial-up access enabled in large part by the Computer 1 and
Computer II decisions at the FCC.
When the Internet started to take off it was obvious that dial-up was the
biggest barrier to its growth. The telcos started applying pressure to be able
to compete without the unbundling requirement, and to build FTTH systems.
The 2005 Supreme Court decision, upholding the FCC classification of broadband
as an Information Service, was the final nail in the coffin of unbundling to
“promote competition.” The court refused to force cable systems to offer their
lines to competitors.
With the broadband era began the shenanigans, because cable broadband was not
regulated as a common carrier. Turns out, as we saw recently, that even
Michael Powell was faced with some of these shenanigans. You don't address
that, you are missing everything.
EVERY such shenanigan that Bert points to has been debunked. Yes there were a
number of incidents that were used to promote the net neutrality meme, but the
light handed regulatory regime handled all of them effortlessly. At best we are
talking about 5 incidents over 15 years.
Over the same timeframe the FTC prosecuted almost 500 cases of illegal behavior
among mostly edge providers.
Tim we to let go of the shenanigans argument too Bert.
What helped "the Internet" to flourish, in those "20 years" like-minded
people keep repeating, i.e. those ubiquitous telephone lines, have been
replaced by cable (and more recently telco) broadband links. So, the
essential Internet access umbilical to homes went from being a Title II
strictly neutral and yes, monopolistic connection, to an equally monopolistic
but not neutral connection. The wild west. Now these are links owned by a
companies whose legacy is cable TV service. Far from neutral.
One “minor” problem with this argument Bert. You mischaracterize the behavior
of the ISPs as being non-neutral. There have been NO significant Net Neutrality
violations over the years in question - all ISPs are neutral and will remain so.
And of course, these new broadband lines feed to a dedicated ISP nowadays,
offering virtually no competition for fixed Internet access to homes. No (or
woefully inadequate) competition for the wire, no competition for the ISP
aspect of the service. 5G fixed wireless may not change that. Too soon to
Again, Bert years for the government to return to the failed policies of the
last century. The unbundling regime proved to be a huge mistake that did
nothing to promote competition; it did cause the telcos to delay investment in
broadband for almost a decade.
There is plenty of competition, today , and it is growing. More than 35% of
U.S. homes have access to two 25/3 or better fixed broadband services and four
major cellular competitors - with a large number of competitors who lease
access from the big four.
This is all possible BECAUSE we moved away from heavy handed regulation.
Furthermore, the FCC plans to do nothing at all, to ensure consumer
protections, aside from dumping the responsibility on the FTC. Sure,
responsibility for consumer protections wrt web sites probably does belong to
the FTC. NOT FOR THE TELECOM SERVICE. That is squarely with the FCC.
They have placed the core transparency requirements into the order. This give
the FTC another tool to use should any ISP violate the transparency rules or
engage in anti-competitive behavior.
And for the last fu*kn time, BROADBAND IS NOT A TELECOM SERVICE.
That was made clear in the 1996 Telecom Act and by the Supreme Court 2005.
Brand X decision.
Antitrust laws apply? Maybe to the web sites. We see every day how MVPDs
collude with content owners.
And please stop with the collusion bullsh*t. These are licensing deals that the
content owners are REQUIRED BY FCC RULES to enter into with the MVPDs.
It WOULD be interesting to see the FCC start to go after the congloms for the
bundling tactics they have engaged in since the retransmission consent rules
were created in 1992.
We don't need an FCC Commissioner to attempt to rationalize why the FCC can
completely shirk its responsibilities. We don't need an FCC that calls the
potential deals made between broadband providers and content owners
"innovative services." They aren't "innovative." They are MVPD-like.
Unnecessary for the Internet.
These deals are no different than any other content deal. If two companies want
to work together to provide content to subscribers, that’s FINE.
Back in 2007 AT&T took a chance with an entirely new product and business model
- they let Apple have total control of the device experience in exchange for an
exclusive sales window.
This was not just a new phone, it was a telco giving up its right to control
what you could do with that phone, creating a neutral platform for all kinds of
innovations. This in turn has made the Internet, and Apps that live on devices
in the cloud, pervasive across the world with billions of users.
If the FCC had still been in the business of regulating the cellular telephone
Better read what's behind the anger being directed to the FCC, Commissioner,
instead of ignoring everything and repeating what the Chairman has already
said. I've seen plenty of comments from the public that DO GET the main
points. Seems impossible that the FCC remains so tone deaf.
The resistance is tone deaf. But willing to challenge every attempt to
deconstruct the regulatory state.
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