Legal Issues

by Carlo Longino

Verizon's Idea Of FCC Reform: Let Us Decide

from the we-make-the-rules dept

The FCC is in flux, with a lot of ideas kicking around about how it needs to change to best handle the evolving telecommunications landscape. There are some general trends towards deregulation -- well, except in the case of "security" or porn -- but that isn't apparently enough for Verizon. The company is calling for pretty radical reforms at the commission, saying it shouldn't regulate broadband services, but rather only "respond to complaints". Of course a big broadband provider would like the regulator to go away so they could do whatever they wish -- like forget the notion of network neutrality and block whatever applications they don't like, such as, say, third-party VoIP services. But giving the FCC a purely reactive role would be disasterous for consumers. The head of an ISP trade group wonders "Why within the Congress and within the federal agencies is there so much distrust of our ability to handle a marketplace driven by consumers?" Well, it's mostly because a fair amount of broadband providers continue to screw consumers at every turn.

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  • identicon
    Tony, 22 Sep 2005 @ 5:14am

    Was Adam Smith wrong!?

    Why does it seem like the much vaunted free market is not working in this particular industry? I suspect it's because the competitors are all, of necessity, very large companies whose top brass lack creative vision and foresight.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim Harper, 22 Sep 2005 @ 6:51am

    The 'market'

    Carlo, Tony -
    You point out that 'broadband providers screw consumers' and the 'free market is not working' to argue for greater/continued regulation. If three anecdotes and your support for Municipal WiFi make the case for 'screwing,' do you notice, in making these points, that you're talking about an industry that is already heavily regulated at the federal, state, and local level? If they are, consumers are being screwed *in spite* of regulation not because of market forces. Your argument, collectively, is: We're unhappy with the status quo so we want more of the same.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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