Tag Archives: Net neutrality

Like Obamacare? You’ll Love what New FCC Rules will do to the Internet

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai holding new Net Neutrality rules.

Like a cancerous growth spreading throughout an otherwise healthy body, government overreach, regulation, and control of every aspect of our free-market system continues to expand, infesting and damaging economic activity one organ, or industry, at a time. The Internet, that bastion of freedom and entrepreneurship, is about to become the government’s newest victim.

fcc-chief-on-net-neutrality-trust-meFederal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman, Tom Wheeler, an Obama appointee, is presenting the president’s “net neutrality” plan for the commission’s vote in two weeks. As promoted publicly by the administration, even on the White House website, the concept sounds meritoriously egalitarian, preventing internet providers from doling out more bandwidth to some paying customers, like Netflix, than others. But it’s clearly designed to facilitate much more.

The administration’s plan calls for reclassification of the Internet, in toto, as a Title II telecommunications service. Such a designation would allow the government to regulate the Internet based on the Communications Act of 1934, just like the telephone industry.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai holding new Net Neutrality rules.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai holding new Net Neutrality rules.

The 332 page proposal has not yet been made public, though the recommendations are widely known. The “net neutrality” proposal wording was enough for one FCC commissioner to conduct a news conference this week to warn the public of the “secret plan to regulate the Internet.” FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said the plan was even “worse than I imagined,” and will invariably lead to “rate regulation and taxes.”

The full report and recommendation will not be released to the public until after the FCC approves it at their Feb. 26th meeting. FCC Chairman Wheeler must subscribe to the Nancy Pelosi regulatory and legislative mantra, that it has to be passed so we can know what’s in it. Yet another administration slap in the face of “transparency.”

As reported in National Journal, commissioner Pai acknowledged that the actual regulations take up just eight pages of the document. Another 79 pages are citations of the Communications Act, which will also dictate the practices of broadband providers. The rest of the document is a summary of public feedback and reasoning for the FCC’s decision, which Pai said is “sprinkled” with unofficial rules.

87293_600According to Pai, about the worst part of the proposal is exercising FCC dominion based on Title II. By implementing “net neutrality” under Title II, regardless of the prima facie reason for the new order, the FCC is “giving itself the authority to determine whether a variety of practices—including prices—are ‘just and reasonable.’” In other words, it’s the camel nose in the tent door metaphor. Pretty soon the camel (government regulators) occupies the tent and the providers are out on their ears.

The evidence seems to be on Pai’s side. He explains specifically, “The plan repeatedly states that the FCC will apply sections 201 and 202 of the Communications Act, including their rate regulation provisions, to determine whether prices charged by broadband providers are ‘unjust or unreasonable.'”

Commissioner Pai cautioned that not only does the proposal “open the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband,” but that with the Title II reclassification, technically the government could exercise control over content, as well.

net-neutrality-comic-3Current broadband consumption illustrates how ludicrous the proposal is. According to Sandvine data, “in home data consumption is approximately 150 to 200 times greater than mobile consumption. Google (including YouTube) and Netflix account for 45% of fixed broadband traffic. iTunes, Facebook, Amazon and Hulu account for 6% in aggregate. Google and Facebook account for 42% of mobile data. Netflix, Pandora and iTunes take an additional 14%.”

According to the new rules, broadband usage must be shared equally, without allowing providers the ability to adjust for consumption and demand, and other factors. So if you think you’re sick of seeing the spinning “buffering” wheel when watching video online, you “ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” Welcome to the world of net neutrality, a euphemism for broadband socialism – everyone gets their “fair share.”

These are the reasons John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, said, “To go back to a 1950s voice mentality with Title II and net neutrality would be a tremendous mistake for our country… this is a very bad decision. I think the whole country has to rally [against it]. This will cost the country jobs and economic leadership.”

The first step of governmental encroachment into an area of the private sector is always the most crucial. For once the proverbial foot is in the door, they just keep pushing and shoving until the door is clear off the hinges, and they control the industry. We’ve seen it time and time again, from banking, telephony, energy, manufacturing, and most recently, health care insurance. The promises are always minimalist, yet the eventuality always exceeds even extreme expectations. Consequently control increases, costs of production and services increase, and those costs are passed from companies in the private sector down to consumers. And the process always seems most costly and punitive to the middle and lower classes.

156139_600Ronald Reagan explained this governmental cycle years ago. “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Except in the case of “net neutrality,” they’re regulating it first, and then will come the taxation, the fees, and perhaps even control over accessibility and content.

We’ve seen just recently how governmental control over private sector services changes an industry dramatically, a la Obamacare. It appears we’re about to see “Obamacare” for the Internet, if the FCC rules go into effect. But don’t worry, they promise us that everything will be just fine. If you like your broadband, you can keep it. That sounds eerily familiar.

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].

More Obstructionism from Obama's Senate Democrats

Senate Democrats, led by  Majority Leader Sir Harry Reid once again blocked a simple vote on an FCC rule-blocking resolution in the U.S. Senate today by a total of 52 – 46. You see, Harry Reid is desperately trying to protect big government Liberal Democrats from having to vote on important legislation simply to try to hide them from their Liberal agenda of the past five years. This kind of irresponsibility in refusing to carry on the people’s business is inexcusable, especially when we have a President on the campaign trail 24/7, bellyaching and misleading the American people in saying that Republicans are not doing anything to try to improve our economy, or move the nation forward.  Again, speak to the Harry Reid-led Senate Democrat party of no, Mr. President, as this episode is another example of how empty your Republican- rhetoric is today.

  I have included a picture of Harry Reid and his political posse of irresponsible obstructionist here, just in case you  are having trouble identifying who is responsible for our Congress failing to do it’s duly-elected duties today. Take a good look Mr. President. These are your culprits, so climb down off your taxpayer-funded- ozone-destroying corporate campaign jet and head on over to the Senate office building and  tell them what a fool they are making you look like in blaming Republicans for the inaction of Congress over the past 11 months.

This Senate vote to block the FCC net neutrality rules that are slated to go into effect on Nov. 20th was done on a strictly party-line vote, with one glaring exception: Past leaders in the drive to impose the network neutrality laws,  Sen. John McCain  (R-AZ) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) chose to not do their duly elected jobs and were recorded as ” not voting.”  These irresponsible Congressional critters who hide from votes, or refuse to put up a recorded vote in our Congress so the people can hold them accountable in future elections need to be fined and or recalled from congress.  Enough is enough! If people can recall Senators from State legislatures across America simply because Unions spend millions of Union workers dues to spread misinformation and demand a recall election, then it’s high time we the people be allowed to take the same action against the tyrants of the U.S.  Senate who refuse to move this country forward by playing political games with America’s future.

2012 just can’t get here fast enough!