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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Default FCC takes one more freedom with net neutrality

from here: http://mises.org/library/net-neutrality-scam
Can't say it as well as the author of this does.
Yet again, the government wants to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. According to the Obama administration and the FCC, it is necessary to regulate internet service providers so that they don’t interfere with people’s access to the web. The claim immediately prompts one to ask: Who is being denied access to the web?

In the past twenty years, access to the internet has only become more widespread and service today is far faster for many people — including “ordinary” people — than it was twenty years ago, or even ten years ago. Today, broadband in Europe, where the internet is more tightly regulated, has less reach than it has in the United States.

The administration’s plan is rather innocuously called “net neutrality,” but in fact it has nothing at all to do with neutrality and is just a scheme to vastly increase the federal government’s control over the internet.

What is Net Neutrality?

We don’t know the details of the plan because the FCC refuses to let the taxpayers see the 300-page proposal before the FCC votes on it today. But, we do know a few things.

Currently, ISPs are regulated by the FCC, but as an “information service” under the less restrictive rules of so-called Title I. But now, the FCC wants to regulate ISPs as utilities under the far more restrictive Title II restrictions. For a clue as to how cutting edge this idea is, remember this switch to Title II regulation would put ISPs into the same regulatory regime as Ma Bell under the Communications Act of 1934.

So what does this mean for the FCC in practice? According to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, “It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works.” More specifically, Gordon Crovitz at the Wall Street Journal writes:

[With Net Netruality,] bureaucrats can review the fairness of Google’s search results, Facebook’s news feeds and news sites’ links to one another and to advertisers. BlackBerry is already lobbying the FCC to force Apple and Netflix to offer apps for BlackBerry’s unpopular phones. Bureaucrats will oversee peering, content-delivery networks and other parts of the interconnected network that enables everything from Netflix and YouTube to security drones and online surgery.
The administration insists these measures are necessary because — even though there is no evidence that this has actually happened — it is possible that at some point in the future, internet service providers could restrict some content and apps on the internet. Thus, we are told, control of content should be handed over to the federal government to ensure that internet service providers are “neutral” when it comes to deciding what is on the internet and what is not.

Can Goods Be Allocated in a “Neutral” Way?

The problem is that there is no such thing as “neutral” allocation of resources, whether done by government or the marketplace.

In the marketplace, goods and services tend to be allocated according to those who demand the goods the most. Where demand is highest, prices are highest, so goods and services tend to go to where they are most demanded. This makes perfect sense, of course, and also reflects the inherent democracy of the markets. Where larger numbers of people put more resources is where more goods and services will head.

It is this mechanism that drives the marketplaces for food, clothing, and a host of other products. Consequently, both food and clothing have become so plentiful that obesity is a major health problem and second-hand clothing stores, selling barely-worn discarded clothing, are a boom industry, even in affluent neighborhoods. Similarly, cell phones have only become more affordable and more widespread in recent decades.

For industries where new firms may freely enter, and customers are not compelled to buy, companies or individuals that wish to make money must use their resources in ways that are freely demanded by others. Unless they have been granted monopoly power by government, no firm can simply ignore its customers. If they do, competing firms will enter the marketplace with other goods and services.

Although goods allocated in this fashion are — according to the administration — not being allocated “neutrally,” the fact is that more people now have more service at higher speeds than was the case in the past. Furthermore, even if firms (or the government) attempted to allocate goods in a neutral manner, it would be impossible to do so, because neither society nor the physical world are neutral.

In his recent interview on new neutrality, Peter Klein used the analogy of a grocery store. In modern-day grocery stores, suppliers of food and drink will negotiate with stores (using so-called “slotting allowances”) to have their goods advertised near the front of the store or have goods placed on store shelves at eye level.

If government were to tell grocery stores to start being more “neutral” about where it places goods, we can see immediately that such a thing is impossible. After all, somebody’s goods have to be at eye level or near the front of the store. Who is to decide? A handful of government bureaucrats, or thousands of consumers who with their purchases control the success and failure of firms?

In a similar way, bandwidth varies for various ISP clients depending on the infrastructure available, and the resources available to each client. And yet, in spite of the administration’s fear-mongering that ISPs will lock out clients of humble means, and the need to hand all bandwidth over to plutocrats, internet access continues to expand. And who can be surprised? Have grocery stores stopped carrying low-priced nutritious food such as bananas and oatmeal just because Nabisco Corp. pays for better product placement for its costly processed foods? Obviously not.

Who will Control the FCC?

All goods need not be allocated in response to the human-choice-driven price mechanism of the marketplace. Goods and services can also be allocated by political means. That is, states, employing coercive means can seize goods and services and allocate them according to certain political goals and the goals of people in positions of political power. There is nothing “neutral” about this method of allocating resources.

In the net neutrality debate, it’s almost risible that some are suggesting that the FCC will somehow necessarily work in the “public” interest. First of all, we can already see how the FCC regards the public with its refusal to make its own proposals public. Second, who will define who the “public” is? And finally, after identifying who the “public” is, how will the governing bodies of the FCC determine what the “public” wants?

It’s a safe bet there will be no plebiscitary process, so what mechanism will be used? In practice, bureaucratic agencies respond to lobbying and political pressure like any other political institution. Those who can most afford to lobby and provide information to the FCC, however, will not be ordinary people who have the constraints of household budgets and lives to live in places other than Washington, DC office buildings. No, the general public will be essentially powerless because regulatory regimes diminish the market power of customers.

Most of the interaction that FCC policymakers will have with the “public” will be through lobbyists working for the internet service providers, so what net neutrality does is turn the attention of the ISPs away from the consumers themselves and toward the regulatory agency. In the marketplace, a firm’s customers are the most important decision makers. But the more regulated an industry becomes, the more important the regulating agency becomes to the firm’s owners and managers.

The natural outcome will be more “regulatory capture,” in which the institutions with the most at stake in a regulatory agency’s decisions end up controlling the agencies themselves. We see this all the time in the revolving door between legislators, regulators, and lobbyists. And you can also be sure that once this happens, the industry will close itself off to new innovative firms seeking to enter the marketplace. The regulatory agencies will ensure the health of the status quo providers at the cost of new entrepreneurs and new competitors.

Nor are such regulatory regimes even “efficient” in the mainstream use of the term. As economist Douglass North noted, regulatory regimes do not improve efficiency, but serve the interests of those with political power:

Institutions are not necessarily or even usually created to be socially efficient; rather they, or at least the formal rules, are created to serve the interests of those with the bargaining power to create new rules.
So, if populists think net neutrality will somehow give “the people” greater voice in how bandwidth is allocated and ISPs function, they should think again.


Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 08:10 PM
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Yeep. Talked about it yesterday on "the official political" thread. Nothing good will come from it just like everything else Soros and odungo touches.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 04:37 AM
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I just wonder what's next ....And it scares the pants off me . Once again its not surprising that all the liberals are for this and all the conservatives are against it . Liberals win again . This Country is going right down the Shit-Pipe , next thing you know they will elect a Muslin President .... Ooops.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 08:16 AM
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Net neutrality is needed, at this time, in our country,and there is proof of it. Giving the FCC that level of control is not the answer.

The analogy to a grocery store's placement of goods is false because it assumes that the internet has a "front" where certain things are placed to gather more attention and sales. A more accurate analogy would be a grocery store with a single wall of products that are randomly placed and nothing but doors on the opposite wall. Anyone can come in from any door and will see whatever products happen to be directly in front of them as a result. What they saw would not necessarily have any relationship to what they needed. From this situation two things would grow. 1)consumer awareness of where the products they want are located which causes them to enter that door specifically (typing in a specific web address) 2)some sort of index that lists products based on predefined criteria (internet search)

Given those 2 results what follows without neutrality is that vendors who want their products to sell more will want those products high up on the index list AND will want to limit access to competing products. Locking doors in front of those competing products and/or listing them lower on the list accomplishes that in an artificial manner much like paying google for sponsored listings or throttling bandwidth for competing websites.

Both of these are already happening. It's plain to see sponsored listings on google and other search engines (they're labeled as such). As for throttling bandwidth to competing sites, the most prominent example of this was early last year when netflix caved to comcast and started paying them to ensure that comcast customers who subscribed to netflix would not have their service interrupted or slowed. (source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...aming/5757631/ and many others)Comcast has it's own streaming service and wanted to bottleneck netflix in an effort to force customers to use their service instead unless netflix paid up.

The argument could very easily be made that since it's comcast's network they can do whatever they want and if their customers don't like the service they're getting they can simply sign up with someone else, thus sending comcast a message with their wallets. Unfortunately, according to the FCC's study published last year (https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/at...C-329161A1.pdf) as internet speeds increase, the percentage of the population that has access to more than one ISP drops quickly. By the time one reaches 50mps download speeds, over 80% of the population is dealing with a single provider with no competition of any kind. No competition means no chance for consumers to user their dollars to affect change.

Net neutrality as a government applied policy is therefore a bandaid to fix a problem caused by the monopolies of the isp's. I say that it is needed because their is no other alternative for near term correction of this monopoly problem other than the government seizing the various broadband infrastructures and renting/leasing/selling bandwidth back to the isp's allowing for all providers to get into all markets. Obviously this is no better than government mandated neutrality AND it doesn't actually guarantee that each provider will buy into every market. If one dons their tin foil hat for a moment it can and has been claimed that the various providers are in collusion with each other to stay out of competing markets in order to maintain their monopolies. There is no reason to think that practice wouldn't continue if they were forced to purchase bandwidth from a gov't controlled infrastructure.

The only REAL solution that I see is for isp's to start building out their networks into competing markets. This will take time and I don't see the existing players ever doing this because it will eliminate their monopolies. That means a new player will enough money and clout will have to enter the scene and build out a network. Google has started to do this (with HUGE resistance from the existing isps) but only in select areas and I haven't heard about any additional markets being added for quite some time now.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 08:49 AM
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The government needs to keep their fucking noses out of this , its been fine so far , now they are going to wreck it . This is just another stepping stone to take away more liberties and gain more tax revenue off the backs of the common man . I'm sick of it .

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soofle616 View Post
Net neutrality is needed, at this time, in our country,and there is proof of it.
Yes, there is..

I'm not against regulation in general, regulation is like any law.. Some people need to be told that it's illegal and just-plain-wrong to commit murder.. If you do it, then there are legal consequences..

I don't think many of us are against that particular regulation of personal behavior.

Law, it's just regulation.. So, when it comes to business, occasionally, these larger monopolies Need to be told that something is unethical, and if they engage in this lack of ethics, then there will be consequences..

So, Regulation.. I'm not blindly against it - especially if it's warranted..

Pumping toxins into a town's water supply for example. I'm not against regulations banning that either..

When it comes to the net, as has been mentioned, The ISP's are beginning to take the piss..

They are throttling bandwidth, they have barred access to parts of the internet etc., and my ISP has just started to charge for bandwidth..

I don't have cable TV because all I watched when I had it was the news and that was driving me insane.. But I am bound to use their internet service.. Primarily for business, but also to access in-demand content such as Netflix..

...When I originally signed up for the web, it was advertised by my ISP that I would have unlimited internet access.

Now it's limited, now I have to pay for extra bandwidth..

Oh, I ripped them a new one for it via email.. Even got a call back from the ISP and they apologized and actually even agreed that - because I used Netflix, that this would likely - in the near future - require that I pay much larger amounts for internet access, and that they "would look into it"..

.. Sure they will..

Because services such as Netflix is kinda the point for them charging for bandwidth..

They knew, that eventually, people will lean away from 3 minutes of mind-numbing commercials to every 5 minutes of mind-numbing crap they call "Quality Entertainment" for a hundred bucks a month.. When they could get internet with much higher quality lower cost on-demand entertainment services for half of that..

So I can understand a moderate charge for accessing too much bandwidth. That's only fair.. But, even though My ISP does charge for excess bandwidth, If I don't use all that extra bandwidth at the end of the month, I lose the remainder of it - even though I paid extra for all of that extra bandwidth..

As a utility they should be bound to roll-over that additional unused bandwidth.. Like electricity - you pay for what you use and no-more..

So, to recap, I'm not wild about the idea of ISP's who monopolize a service denying access to parts of the internet etc., or severely throttling parts of the internet, or overcharging for bandwidth ..Out of pure greed and just because they can get away with it.

Which is what they have been doing to degrees already..

And getting away with it, as there is no regulation in place to prevent them from pulling this crap.

So, Like I say.. I'm not against regulation.. As we have a few laws now on the books, to regulate personal behavior.. Murder, rape, pillaging - that-kinda-thing..

All "regulation" is, are laws put into place to tell a business what is right or wrong and the consequences for engaging in the wrong..

I AM Against OVER Regulation though'.. Don't get me wrong..Much like any application of law, there is such-a-thing as "too much of a good thing"..

For lack detail into this particular regulation is the reason I can't really say if it's good or bad.. But a certain amount of regulation (law) in how an ISP delivers information via the Internet IS needed, because they can't self-regulate..

And they have proven that.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 10:31 AM
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I agree Mags...

As I've said many times...everything is political these days...everything.

One thing is a "given" for sure...if obama is behind anything...and he's surely behind THIS, as he's been after control of both "talk radio", with the so called "fairness doctrine", and the internet, with "net neutrality", since he stole into office....AND...obama's admitted Nazi collaborator, billionaire buddy, George Soros...along with the liberal Ford Foundation (no connection with the FoMoCo), wanted this...it is simply for MORE government control, and blackmail, of American's choices.

Notice how these regulations were drawn up and passed just like obama-care?

Nothing good will come of this...except for more "free" stuff to illegals and ghetto rats, as our costs go up...gotta buy those votes somehow.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 11:45 AM
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The only positive thing going for "Net Neutrality" is the fact that now ISP's are not allowed to throttle your bandwidth. I've had this happen again, and again - even to the point where they completely shut my connection off, waiting for me to call in to find out why. When I did call in, they said I was depriving other customers of bandwidth to which I asked, "If I'm paying $XXX.00 for unlimited bandwidth at 50mb down and 5mb up, why can't I use what I'm paying for?" That stumped the rep and all they could come up with was that it wasn't allowed! I've since switched ISP's.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toejam View Post
That stumped the rep and all they could come up with was that it wasn't allowed! I've since switched ISP's.
An example of effective regulation without the FCC involved.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soofle616 View Post
Net neutrality as a government applied policy is therefore a bandaid to fix a problem caused by the monopolies of the isp's.
Well, you could say the same about any monopoly. If not the gov't, what other means has the consumer to negotiate fair prices with a business with monopoly power over what has become an essential "good" in our modern economy?

How bad do we want this to get. My old land line phone used to cost about $16/mo. And when AOL was king of the net, access was free, you just had to sign up with a CD every now and again. Cable TV ran about $50/mo. Now I'm paying ~$300 for a couple phones (my wife's admittedly smart), internet and cable. Rifriggindiculous. I have no idea how these kids working part time minimum wage jobs can even afford these stupid er um smart phones.




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