Net Neutrality – the GOP’s latest Wasted Opportunity (Guest Post)

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Now that the FCC decided vote itself the right to degrade the most vibrant sector of the economy into a public utility, let’s take a quick look at it’s impact. First off, it seems that a few of the bigger supporters are figuring out that making a deal with the devil might not be such a good idea

Three of the driving forces behind the 10-year effort to regulate the Internet — Netflix, Mozilla, and Google — have, in the last few days and in their own ways, all recanted their zealous support of Net Neutrality.

AT&T just joined a lawsuit against the FCC

The flurry of lawsuits comes the day after the new rules were published in the Federal Register. Parties who oppose the new rules will now have 60 days to file an appeal with the courts. The Court of Appeals may ask those parties filing suit to combine their cases. But for now each case has been filed separately.

Perhaps this might be why the most transparent administration insisted on keeping the contents of this power grab secret from the public until after it was forced onto us? Of course, President Obama has it all figured out.

Image appears via The People’s Cube

The president is promoting a plan to expand access to broadband communications services by increasing competition.

Obama said faster Internet service will create jobs and allow local businesses to grow. He was speaking Wednesday from Cedar Falls, Iowa, which provides high-speed Internet to residents.

“Create jobs”. One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that the less experience one has in creating jobs or understanding of how they are created the more likely one is to use that phrase. Here is what reality looks like:

The possibility of strong net neutrality rules in the U.S. has AT&T pulling back on its high-speed Internet promises. AT&T announced Wednesday that it would stop an infrastructure investment that would have brought faster broadband connections to a 100 U.S. cities, reports Reuters.

“We can’t go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed,” AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said Wednesday at an analyst conference.

Despite my best efforts to educate economically illiterate politicians, too many of them don’t understand that real investment is a long term decision. No stockbroker ever said, “I’ve got a great investment opportunity for you! It could make you a bundle, but the government is about to grant itself open-ended authority and we have no idea what impact it could have on your returns.” Just like no sane individual investing their own money would say “Sign me up!” Mark Cuban had his opinion to offer on this horrible solution to a non-existent problem (censorship mine):

Billionaire investor and ABC “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban unloaded on the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to fundamentally change how it oversees the open Internet.

“That will f*** everything up,” said the voluble Cuban in remarks Wednesday at the Code/Media conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Cuban said this bid to significantly expand the agency’s authority to regulate broadband providers is nothing more than an attack on giant media companies like Comcast*.

“Net neutrality is just a demonization of big companies,” Cuban said.

And as Ian Paul at Techive pointed out,

Google Fiber has had the effect of increasing competitor speeds and service in areas where it operates—competition that arguably would not have happened otherwise.

We’ve got an administration that thinks that innovation comes by imposing Great Depression-era legislation over the most vibrant part of our economy. If only there were a political party that could capitalize on something so simple as a way to make an inroads with voters who don’t want the government in every aspect of their lives. Keeping government tentacles off of the Internet? That might even appeal to young people, an area where the GOP never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

In closing, here was a good take by @matthewberryfcc regarding the days leading up the FCC revealing its new rules. Transparency!

Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog

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@Greg:

Is it possible for you to think about anything without applying your conservative/good, liberal/bad view of reality?

You mean: Is it possible for you to think about anything without applying your conservative/bad, liberal/good view of reality? Don’t you?