FCC 'Broadband Advisory Panel' Faces Accusations Of Cronyism

from the protect-the-status-quo! dept

Last year we noted how the FCC had been hyping the creation of a new "Broadband Deployment Advisory Panel" purportedly tasked with coming up with solutions to the nation's broadband problem. Unfortunately, reports just as quickly began to circulate that this panel was little more than a who's who of entrenched telecom operators with a vested interest in protecting the status quo. What's more, the panel featured few representatives from the countless towns and cities that have been forced to build their own broadband networks in the wake of telecom sector dysfunction.

One report showed how 28 of the 30 representatives on the panel had some direct financial ties to the telecom sector, though many attempted to obfuscate this connection via their work for industry-funded think tanks.

You'll recall that FCC boss Ajit Pai consistently insists he's breathlessly dedicated to closing the digital divide, despite the fact his policies (like killing net neutrality or protecting business broadband monopolies) will indisputably make the problem worse. Regardless, Pai has spent the last few weeks insisting in speeches like this one (pdf) that his advisory council is the centerpiece of his efforts to close the digital divide:

"...the BDAC’s work is critical to my top policy priority as FCC Chairman—closing the digital divide. I’ve long said that every American who wants to participate in the digital economy should be able to do so. That’s why at my first open meeting as FCC Chairman, I announced the establishment of the BDAC. And since last March, you’ve been hard at work developing recommendations to the FCC about strategies to promote better, faster, and cheaper broadband. Indeed, you’ve been working so hard that it’s going to take you two days, rather than the one typical for advisory committee meetings, to review and finalize many of these recommendations.

And while Pai insists that this council is doing yeoman's work in solving all of the industry's issues, that's not how non-incumbent-industry panel members see it. In fact, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo last week resigned from the panel claiming in his resignation letter (pdf) that the panel exists almost exclusively to help prop up the interests of incumbent ISPs (if you've watched the whole net neutrality thing, this surely comes as no surprise):

"It has become abundantly clear that despite the good intentions of several participants, the industry-heavy makeup of BDAC will simply relegate the body to being a vehicle for advancing the interests of the telecommunications industry over those of the public. The apparent goal is to create a set of rules that will provide industry with easy access to publicly-funded infrastructure at taxpayersubsidized rates, without any obligation to provide broadband access to underserved residents."

As we've noted repeatedly, numerous towns and cities are building their own networks after more than a decade of limited competition has resulted in over-priced, under-performing broadband in countless markets nationwide. Often the only option available to these folks if they want quality connectivity in the Comcast era is to either build their own networks, or strike public/private partnerships with the likes of Google Fiber. But we've also noted for years how ISPs have passed protectionist laws in more than 20 states banning towns and cities from doing so, with the full support of the Trump FCC.

Liccardo, one of the only municipal representatives on the panel (quite by intent) goes on to note how the agency has yet to put forth one meaningful solution to truly help bridge the digital divide:

"The chairs of the working groups on which I participated have been very cordial, and collaborative in tone, and I am grateful for that. However, after nine months of deliberation, negotiation, and discussion, we’ve made no progress toward a single proposal that will actually further the goal of equitable broadband deployment. Although we’ve adopted principles that pay lip service to that objective, not a single one of the draft recommendations attempts to meaningfully identify any new or significant resources to promote digital inclusion."

If you truly want to fix the nation's broken broadband (whether high prices, privacy abuses or net neutrality violations), you need to embrace creative new ways to drive more competition to the market. But since entrenched incumbent providers don't want the associated reduction in revenues, the best alternative is the illusion of productivity. And nothing helps foster that illusion more than paying empty lip service to closing the digital divide on one hand, while actively working to keep everything as broken and dysfunctional as possible with the other.


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 6:01am

    Not surprising

    When you're talking about someone who has already made up his mind and is just looking for support(and is willing to ignore if not outright mock anyone who disagrees with him), it's not unexpected that any 'advisory group' put together by him would be stacked from the start with like-minded people.

    It was never about solving the underlying problem(a problem that Pai refuses to even admit exists), it was always about coming up with new and innovative ways to benefit the companies that he serves under the guise of 'helping the public'.

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      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 6:48am

      Re: Not surprising

      "It was never about solving the underlying problem"

      It's government, it NEVER about solving the underlying problem. It's hilarious that people keep seeking refuge in the very institutions that are harming them.

      Reap what you sow... Ajit Pai is definitely an example of this.

      The cronyism is never going away, you are just going to find it acceptable when its your team and unacceptable when its the other team. The way things have always been. My team good no matter how wrong or bad it is and other team bad no matter how right or good they are. My team must win at any cost... "any cost"

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 7:19am

        Re: Re: Not surprising

        Keep drinking those paint chips at any cost... "any cost"

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          Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 7:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

          Thomas Jefferson said it best.

          "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."

          Thomas Jefferson is the principal author of the Constitution. The FCC as it stands is an example of "us attending too small a degree of liberty" and people like you helped make it that way and you have the nerve to call me crazy?

          You are not even intelligence enough to understand that the dagger in your back is the one you gave them. No matter they sure have managed to trick idiots like you into thinking someone else did the stabbing. How you feel right now is how someone feels after they have been hoisted upon their own petard. It is a shame you are too dumb/numb to realize it.

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          • identicon
            Iggy, 30 Jan 2018 @ 7:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

            You'ld be surprised how typical a polititan Thomas Jefferson was. Before he became president, he supported Shay's rebellion and further revolutions against the government (every 20 years), the massacres of the French revolution, states rights, and adherance to the original constitution. After he became president, he argued for forcing states to participate in the trade embargo with Britain, and used the 9th amendment to justify the Louisiana purchase. While national and international corporations weren't a thing in Thomas Jeffersons time, he also opposed the power of the banks when northern banks refused to finance the war of 1812. The American Revolution was also partly in response to the monopoly of the East Indies company. Americans founding fathers never thought of themselves as anything but typical polititians which they mostly were.

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              Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

              "You'ld be surprised how typical a polititan Thomas Jefferson was."

              No, I would not be surprised. I fully subscribe to the logic that you either die early or live long enough to see yourself become the enemy. Even the founding fathers are no exception to this. Sure they started with good ideals, but time has bashed even their ships against the rock until they sank even themselves.

              The natural flow of government is toward tyranny and many of the founding fathers understood this and talked about it. The problem today is that American citizens at large are wholesomely ignorant of these things.

              America with he help of the Allies defeated the Nazi in WWII, now America has become many of the things we sought to defeat. This is just one example of how things go down.

              People will give up liberty under the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. Politicians even like Jefferson will abdicate even their own positions to see their designs brought to fruition. No politician is immune not even the founders and goes to support my claims about politicians in general. You better keep the shackles on them and replaced like fresh diapers the moment one of them has shit the bed.

              Our problem is that we do not collectively remove politicians when they have proven to no longer prop up the ideals that provide for liberty before anything else. Liberty is just something to be removed like it is an obstacle.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

            "The FCC as it stands is an example of "us attending too small a degree of liberty""

            Yes. Unfortunately, you're deluded as to which party was taking away the liberty. You were so paranoid about allowing the government effective tools to protect the public's interest as they have done in many other countries, you handed everything to the corporations to remove your liberty instead. Yet, here you are still ranting about government as the corporations rob you blind.

            You are a sadly comic sight, from the vantage point of a properly regulated and effective marketplace.

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              Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

              "Unfortunately, you're deluded as to which party was taking away the liberty."

              Both party's are talking away liberty, the delusion is yours by thinking only one is to blame.

              "You were so paranoid about allowing the government effective tools to protect the public's interest as they have done in many other countries, you handed everything to the corporations to remove your liberty instead"

              No, I seek to have strong anti-trust and monopoly regulations. But nice to see you trot that lie out again. I keep telling you to stop lying but I guess you keep going for that "parrot a lie long enough in hopes it is considered to be the truth" bullshit as usual. Do you realize that over time people stop listening to you right? Hence the election of Trump by the way. I guess we can thank you habitual liars for that one too.

              "You are a sadly comic sight, from the vantage point of a properly regulated and effective marketplace."

              What is sad is that you think politicians give a shit about you. Go to every nation and see where the politicians live then go to that nations poor places and see how the idiots begging for government safety live. Quiet the different don't you say?

              You don't even have enough intelligence to grasp basic and simple truths. Must by why you cling to repeating lies so much. The truth is bitch slapping you in the face and you refuse it still. I cannot help someone as dumb to reality as you are.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:53am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                "Both party's are talking away liberty"

                No, they're really not. Both have to be held in check, but the fantasy you hold dear has not transpired in those places with effective regulation and balances.

                "No, I seek to have strong anti-trust and monopoly regulations."

                But, every word you've said is to attack government involvement. How do you get those things if not by the government effectively doing such things?

                Try explaining actual ideas rather than being an obnoxious asshole attacking people for opinions they don't hold. You'd be amazed at how much further you get.

                "Hence the election of Trump by the way. I guess we can thank you habitual liars for that one too."

                Yes, you're right, me relaying the full, verifiable and documented truth about effective ISP regulation in one country led to the election of someone on another continent.

                What an asshole. Not Trump, though the label also fits, I'm talking about the deluded twat who keeps derailing factual conversations with drooling nonsense about an ideology nobody he's addressing actually holds.

                "What is sad is that you think politicians give a shit about you."

                What's extra sad is that you have to make shit up about people to address even the positions clearly stated to you. Stop lying.

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                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 9:35am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                  "No, they're really not. Both have to be held in check, but the fantasy you hold dear has not transpired in those places with effective regulation and balances."

                  Look, I know you have drank the cool-aid but I live here deal with it. No matter which party is in power we have a deficit despite both being against it. Citizens are still getting raped by corporations despite both saying they support the citizens. No matter which party is in power liberty is lost and surveillance increases, secret laws and interpretations exist, and people can be punished for anything with only lip service in response. You might be dumb enough to believe the bullshit they spew, I am not.

                  "But, every word you've said is to attack government involvement. How do you get those things if not by the government effectively doing such things?"

                  Because it is the current government involvement that is causing the problem, of course I am going to attack it. It does not mean that once we citizens get done fucking up dirty politicians and regulations that we are not going to seek to repair them. We have to face the current enemy not the one that is not here yet.

                  "Try explaining actual ideas rather than being an obnoxious asshole attacking people for opinions they don't hold. You'd be amazed at how much further you get."

                  You first!

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                • identicon
                  Chip, 30 Jan 2018 @ 12:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                  You are Responsible for getting "Trump" ELECTED!

                  Also, no one "cares" what you Think.

                  Every Nation eats the Paint chips it Deserves!

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 9:42am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                To Quote you:

                It's government, it NEVER about solving the underlying problem. It's hilarious that people keep seeking refuge in the very institutions that are harming them.

                And

                No, I seek to have strong anti-trust and monopoly regulations.

                Kindly reconcile those two statements, as without government you cannot have regulation.

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                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 10:10am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                  I hope you can understand the concept of "necessary evil" I hate to put it this way but most people seem to understand it better when I put that way.

                  Government is evil, but the vast majority wants it. Since you cannot get people to actually have a real democracy and peacefully agree on how to live, someone in power must be established to control people in a way that their authority cannot be easily challenged or put down while simultaneously making it difficult for them to abuse that power and authority.

                  Therefore, regulations should be though of in this way. And since this issue is polarized, it is only discussed in the these two lenses.... Total regulation or Zero regulation. Even when I say I want to only have anti-trust anti-monopoly people still claim I am advocating anarchy. It is difficult to work through the party acolytes.

                  I am independent. I only want enough regulation to destroy bad business and not enough to allow the likes of Pai and the FCC to have this kind of power.

                  I want it so that anyone can easily build and ISP without being sued to nothing by Comcast or Time Warner. I want the privately own public infrastructure to be guess what... take from private business and to be socialized as public property where a 3rd party is liable for ensuring that people can connect without disrupting others connections.

                  You see, I know government will not hesitate to crush me the one second I am not looking, so I don't want to allow them that power at all. They should be forced to jump through all sorts of hoops to crush any citizen. Right now, through regulatory capture they can just ignore me and get a fresh fat stack of cash from the ISP's and the politicians themselves hold us down while the ISP's fuck us.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 10:34am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                    You would get on much better in any discussion if you made your point in a reasonable way, rather than the absolutist and aggressive way that you usually use.

                    As to

                    Government is evil, but the vast majority wants it.

                    In any complex society, some government is needed to provide the means of deciding issues when the parties involved cannot, and to provide a counterbalance to other centers of power.

                    Without organized government, the worst of the power seekers will seize power, and that is always worse for society, as seen in the middle east and parts of Africa in particular.

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                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 10:55am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                      You said...

                      "You would get on much better in any discussion if you made your point in a reasonable way, rather than the absolutist and aggressive way that you usually use."

                      I heard...

                      whaaaa.... let me bitch at you for how you say it while you better not bitch at me for how I say it.

                      Sorry, I think people that gravitate to these arguments are doing themselves and everyone else a disservice because it only fans the flames of partisan politics. In short it seeks to give those that have the capacity to understand or admit that they might be wrong a way to ignore that and instead devolved into petty argument over the "way" someone states a fact or truth rather than IF it is a fact or truth.

                      I admit that my language is abrasive, I don't care because your language is abrasive to me and you don't care.

                      I know that the pro-regulation crowd has their hearts in the right place, I am very certain they do want to make things "fair" as it where for everyone. The problem is that their intelligence is out to lunch and appear to be willfully ignoring the corruption that is likely going to occur when they see final solace in the security provided by the state in all things. Their shock when they wake up one day and find that they were only misleading themselves turns them into nasty people.

                      Look at all the people that regulation has failed and all the businesses that regulations has benefited. The scales are leaning only one direction as far as it can go as though it is about to just topple flat over as to be useless as a scale at all.

                      "Without organized government,"

                      Hence the term "necessary evil", someone somewhere is going to build one to organize their resources to give them advantage for survival. The problem is that people get complacent when times are good and stop fighting governments eventual path into tyranny until rebellion has struck and things are reset... this happens in an endless cycle.

                      You might say.... the election process where people "feel" like their voice matters has managed to trick people into a false peace. But with the rise of those like Trump, people are realizing that peace was nothing but a calm before the storm. Businesses and world leaders have been working steadily to unify the economies so that all nations can be indirectly controlled by power players that most of you ignore because were never elected to begin with.

                      China is smart, the know that when a business seeks to enter their market, they require direct involvement with every business that does business in China. If they can play their cards right, they will become more powerful than they are now. But China has become comfortable with a very obedient and serf like people. If China does gain control, they run a very high risk of upsetting the more liberty loving people in the world and it could destroy the country. The shadow players are smart like this... never take direct control like China wants, it is what sets and expiration date on your power. Like the Hollywood elite... they kept raping children, women, and men... the dam finally broke. Sadly the over zealousness of the #metoo movement is starting to unravel their own message. Just like the democrats with Hillary which paved the way for Trump.

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                      • icon
                        An Onymous Coward (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 3:00pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                        You said...

                        "You would get on much better in any discussion if you made your point in a reasonable way, rather than the absolutist and aggressive way that you usually use."

                        I heard...

                        whaaaa.... let me bitch at you for how you say it while you better not bitch at me for how I say it.

                        Sorry, I think people that gravitate to these arguments are doing themselves and everyone else a disservice because it only fans the flames of partisan politics.

                        Nobody gravitates to these arguments so much as they completely undermine the rest of your message. Take this to heart: If your audience cannot understand or hear your message it is you who must change, not your audience.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 3:14pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                          It would also help if his arguement boiled down to more than “ hurr regulations is bad durrr and I’m smrter then u dumies.”

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

            Actually I'm not even American. But thanks for telling us that all governments in the world, no matter what country you're from, it's somehow your fault. Except yours because you're a bloody special paint-drinking snowflake, yes you are.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

              "Actually I'm not even American."

              Huh, weird how you switched IP addresses between those previous comments and this one.

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:37am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                I know you are not American, which is why you are so ignorant of our ideals and system/form of government.

                But you are LIKE an American thinking they know more than they actually do so you have that in common with Americans... a healthy sense of hubris and in serious need of escape from the Dunning-Kruger effect.

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:55am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                  "I know you are not American, which is why you are so ignorant of our ideals "

                  But, you just said you weren't American. Huh.

                  Anyway, your ideals are meaningless, I'm just trying to relay the verifiable truth about the competition in effectively regulated. if you'd prefer to rant nonsense over fantasies while attacking those preventing your basic utilities being given wholesale to private corporations, so be it.

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                  • icon
                    The Wanderer (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 9:24am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                    I think you've mistakenly conflated two ACs. The one who called the other a "bloody special paint-drinking snowflake" was not replying to you, but to the Thomas Jefferson comment from the other AC.

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                      identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 9:36am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                      PaulT is an idiot, don't be so hard on him.

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                      • icon
                        An Onymous Coward (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 3:09pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                        Brave words for someone who refuses to identify himself even just well enough to know your posts are yours. At least we know how this will play out if the pattern holds: Next you'll get flagged into hidden status and then complain about how the world is out to silence you.

                        Can you think of a reason that nobody wants to read what you write? I can think of a few.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 3:17pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                          Then he will play the victim and whine about how no he really doesn’t insult anyone and it must be everyone’s fault but his own. Then after getting his ass handed to him again he will flee like the little bitch that he is. Only to pop up in the next thread about anything regulation related.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 12:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

            “You are not even intelligence enough to understand“

            You’re right about one thing Chip.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 7:57am

        Re: Re: Not surprising

        Yet again, you state that government is the sole problem, but ignore that effective government regulation in other countries has avoided the problems you currently face. If you were correct, it would be reflected all over the world, yet it's not. Almost as if there's more to the issue than your simplistic wishful thinking suggests.

        Your obsession is as laughable as it is strange in the face of factual information.

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          Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:01am

          Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

          Just because the regulations in other nations have been better than here does not mean they are immune from the corruption either.

          The corruption comes in many shapes and forms.

          here is the difference.
          In USA the citizens gets screwed 75% of the the time.
          In EU the citizens gets screwed 25% of the time.

          The problem in BOTH scenarios is that the citizens are getting screwed by regulations. Just because you got lubed up before you got fucked and even enjoyed it is not a good defense. It just means you are easily tricked.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

            OK, so remove all regulations and let yourselves live at the mercy of corporations unregulated. See how that works out for you.

            "In USA the citizens gets screwed 75% of the the time.
            In EU the citizens gets screwed 25% of the time."

            One of those is VASTLY preferable to the other. But, you'd prefer to remove all protections and submit to 100% screwing than accept that maybe the US could be doing something better to protect its citizens. You have just stated that effective regulation improves the lives of citizens by 50%, but because there's not 0% corruption you might as well burn all protections to the ground.

            Even within your own argument, you're actually pushing for destruction of freedom, not its protection.

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            • identicon
              Chip, 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:39am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

              I never "Said" I was againt All regulations! And I'll thank you to "stop" linking to All those Times that I Said that.

              Every Nation eats the Paint chips it Deserves!

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                Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:47am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                how about those links?

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              Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

              "OK, so remove all regulations"

              Well, at least you try to be consistent with the lies.

              I do not advocate the destruction of all regulations. Just want to get rid of the bad ones those like you have supported.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                "Just want to get rid of the bad ones those like you have supported."

                I support the ones that, by your own words, leave Europeans getting shafted 2/3 of the time less than Americans. I support Americans getting screwed 67% less than they currently are. You have stated that you oppose these.

                But, you'd rather lie about me than address what the difference might be, so be it.

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                  identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 9:53am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

                  I don't think you are smart enough to grasp what I mean, let me spell it out for you.

                  I said
                  "here is the difference.
                  In USA the citizens gets screwed 75% of the the time.
                  In EU the citizens gets screwed 25% of the time."

                  This did not mean that 75% of the population gets screwed while 25% don't, I said 75% of the time. The citizens, meaning ALL of them are getting screwed 75% of the time by the FCC meaning in both the 75% and 25% everyone is getting screwed just a different amount.

                  So, without realizing it... like I have been saying, you just stated that you are okay with everyone getting screwed, so long as that screwing is just less than others. I can't help it that you are okay with getting fucked if they only use lube.

                  I want to stop getting fucked entirely. Sure under good anti-monopoly and anti-trust regs some people are still going to get screwed, you can't save them all. The difference is that under my plan... there can at least be a 25% not getting screwed.

                  Under you plan everyone must get screwed, they just "democratize" the screwing. And all of this just because you want so bad to save a few idiots from getting screwed we have to let everyone get partially screwed to save the incompetent few.

                  The bill, always comes due! Usually paid for by the raping of your grandchildren in ways you never thought possible!

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          • identicon
            Iggy, 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not surprising

            I think part of the reason Europeans have better regulation is because they don't hold onto simplistic beliefs like "All regulation is bad" and they're not under the illusion that government is the only force which can oppress them. Thus there is an actual discussion and awareness of which regulations and policies have worked and which havent. The USA has competition law just like Europe does but our history with it is characterized by periods of "Deregulation" (such as the 1970's) and periods of anti-monopoly activism (such as the 1890's)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 7:46am

    Wow! Cronyism is still a crime?

    Watching these proceedings I'd completely forgotten cronyism is still a serious charge. Maybe there are orange jumpsuits waiting for some of these people after all?

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 7:58am

      Re: Wow! Cronyism is still a crime?

      only when it is the other party engaging in it! Otherwise it's fine!

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

      • identicon
        David, 30 Jan 2018 @ 10:53am

        Re: Re: Wow! Cronyism is still a crime?

        only when it is the other party engaging in it! Otherwise it's fine!

        For cronyism? Sorry, reigning parties change too often for that. This is straightforward "a crow a crow's eye doesn't peck" territory.

        This is only a crime for the hoi polloi.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 11:09am

          Re: Re: Re: Wow! Cronyism is still a crime?

          "Sorry, reigning parties change too often for that."

          I disagree, you are made to think they change because you see different politicians moving around, but the party, well their leadership is often not discussed and is not under and legal requirement to be fair to anything.

          Take the democratic party's absolute "legal" fuck off to Bernie Sanders in a nod to Hillary. I think that everyone that got screwed by that wholesomely deserved it... especially Bernie who still is a blood democrat thought he now claims independent only after getting bent right over by his own party.

          The party is your lord and savior for most... until you see how its fucking you like berine. Sure its the a crow does not peck a crows eye territory, but that is what makes them all hypocrites and why I cannot stand political parties. It turns otherwise well meaning people into worthless political hacks and drones. People have to understand that to be in a group means they cannot be and individual. Which is why I guffaw at all the "we are special" democrats running around where everyone is unique and interesting in their own ways. yea no... they are only as unique and interesting as long as they parrot the party ideals. Political parties are for all intents and purposes... a cult.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 8:22am

    .the BDAC’s work is critical to my top policy priority as FCC Chairman

    In other words, I do not have clue about things, and so do what the industry tells me to do.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jan 2018 @ 11:50am

    "But we've also noted for years how ISPs have passed protectionist laws in more than 20 states banning towns and cities from doing so, with the full support of the Trump FCC."

    Putting "Trump" in why? In your own article that you link to (written in 2014) you point out that this has been going on for 15 years. While I don't dispute that things are going to get much worse under Pai/Trump and the _continued_ support of the FCC the heavy implication in this sentence is that the previous 20 years (just a round figure) are all because of the "Trump's FCC" is wrong.

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

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 3:24pm

    This Ars Article goes into more detail about some of the sleazy corrupt shit that's in the proposed BDAC recommendation. Basically: Everything municipalities do for broadband deployment MUST benefit private broadband providers in some way, as I've summarized below.

    It sets up five ranked municipal deployment options:

    1: The muni must do what it can to help make a private company's deployment easier.

    2: The muni pays some or all of the private companies' network deployment costs and picks one of those companies to give an exclusive franchise agreement over the network for a time to.

    3: Open-acces muni-owned network that's required to lease to private companies

    4: The muni does the deplyment work but private company partner doing follow-up support.

    5: Network fully built, owned, and operated by the muni

    Options 4 and 5 are only allowed after the muni solicits and accepts proposals from private companies, analyzes them to the companies' satisfaction, (or else the companies are allowed to sue) and finds the first three options lacking. Also, munis doing 4 or 5 must allow private networking companies access to the muni-built metwork afterward. (i.e. the muni does all the hard expensive work while the companies enjoy the profitable part.)

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Jan 2018 @ 6:35pm

      Re:

      One of the 'top' comments over there nails it.

      'Should've been blunt: The corporations are looking to socialize the losses and initial investment risks while privatizing the gains.

      It's straight up corporate socialism without any gains for the people being robbed: low-middle class taxpayers.

      In any decent country (cough cough, EU) these "government officials" would have been on their way to jail for representing corporations instead of people.'

      -Legatum_of_Kain

      'Sure the local muni is allowed to fund and build the network(after they've jumped through multiple hoops designed to 'persuade' them to work with a private company first), but those private companies will be allowed to use it afterwards, because it just wouldn't be fair otherwise...'

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Jan 2018 @ 12:44pm

    FCC ... Cronyism

    Synonyms.

    I believe that the term "revolving door" was first applied to the FCC, as only bellheads and radioheads were allowed.

    ---

    Unfortunately, the FCC's purely technical role in adjudicating interconnection and frequency allocation standards quickly got overshadowed by its role as a quasi "network effect" monopoly regulator.

    Now that most technical standards have moved beyond the FCC, perhaps it needs to be disbanded in favor of a true "network effect" monopoly regulator like the FTC, where the economic distortions take center stage.

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


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