Funny, The Telcos Weren't So Against Regulations When It Helped Them

from the hands-off-now? dept

It's getting somewhat annoying to see just how partisan the network neutrality debate has become, with both the telcos and the internet folks spinning the rhetoric in the debate well beyond the actual issues. Both sides are making statements that have little basis in reality, but it still seems like the claims from the telcos and their supporters that this is about "keeping regulatory hands off the internet" are the most silly. Remember, these are the telcos. They've benefited from billions of dollars in subsidies and regulations in their favor over the years -- regulations that granted them monopoly rights of way and helped them get rid of most of the competition. That, again, is the real issue. If there were true competition that would allow others to enter the market, then there wouldn't even be a debate about network neutrality, because no firm would realistically be able to break network neutrality without a serious backlash. So, the next time someone says this is all about keeping regulators away from the telcos, remind them that regulations built these telcos into the position they're in today -- and ask them if they're willing to trade in all the benefits they got from those other regulations?
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  1. identicon
    Tim, 24 May 2006 @ 5:52am


    Mike, allowing a company to raise its rates is not a subsidy. And enacting a bad regulatory scheme tomorrow is not a good way to atone for having enacted a bad regulatory scheme last year.

    Network neutrality rules would not only apply to telcos. It would also apply to cable companies, and to any new entrants down the road. In fact, it's quite likely that if a competitive alternative to the telcos and cable companies emerges, it's quite likely that they'll do everything they can to throw up regulatory roadblocks in the way of that new competition. That will be much easier if we've already conceded that the FCC has the power to regulate the Internet.

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