"Does the FCC have the authority to, I don't know, eliminate the binding arbitration agreement clause in all ISP-customer contracts?"
That clause is consistent with the Federal Arbitration Act, which favors binding arbitration. Binding arbitration has been a feature of cellular contracts for probably a decade, so if the FCC had a problem with such clauses, it has had plenty of time to eliminate them in the wireless context.
For once, I think I agree with just about everything you wrote.
One side or the other (or maybe both) will be pissed when the FCC releases its final NN decision, but like you said, it won't be because the pro-NN comments were ignored. By law (the APA) all relevant comments must be considered.
It's too bad that so many of the pro-NN comments were devoid of facts, and heavy on vitriol. Simply relating the problems that users have with their ISPs is just one example of how citizens could submit facts instead of opinions.
But it is so much easier to fire off a tirade without even reading the very document they are commenting on.
the largest period of investment in broadband infrastructure happened before the big Brand X Supreme Court decision, when broadband was still considered to be under Title II.
It is true that DSL was considered a Title II service before it was reclassified in 2005. But the largest providers of broadband Internet access in the U.S. are by far the cable TV companies. And their infrastructure was never classified as Title II.
In the 2002 decision that classified cable modem service as a Title I Information Service, rather than a Title II Telecommunications Service, I think the FCC made a mistake, but what they didn't do was reclassify cable modem from telecom to information service; it was never a telecom service to begin with.
So to say all broadband was Title II before Brand X is nowhere near correct.
According to the government, Microsoft was a monopoly and even filed an antitrust lawsuit against them. So my question stands: would the government have made a better monopoly than Microsoft when it came to OS software?
In 1998, Democratic Senators Ron Wyden and John Kerry (among others) wrote a letter to then FCC Chairman William Kennard asking that the FCC not classify ISPs as telecommunications carriers (i.e., subject them to Title II, common carrier regulation). Here are some quotes:
We wish to make it clear that nothing in the 1996 Act or its legislative history suggests that Congress intended to alter the current classification of Internet and other information services or to expand traditional telephone regulation to new and advanced services.
Were the FCC to reverse its prior conclusions and suddenly subject some or all information service providers to telephone regulation, it seriously would chill the growth and development of advanced services to the detriment of our economic and educational well-being.
Some have argued that Congress intended that the FCC's implementing regulations be expanded to reclassify certain information service providers, specifically Internet Service Providers (ISPs), as telecommunications carriers. Rather than expand regulation to new service providers, a critical goal of the 1996 Act was to diminish regulatory burdens as competition grew. Significantly, this goal has been the springboard for sound telecommunications policy throughout the globe and underscores U.S. leadership in this area. The FCC should not act to alter this approach.
That's why businesses pay more for a local telephone line than residential customers, even though both get exactly the same service. City customers pay more than rural customers, in order to provide a subsidy.
Intrastate LD rates are higher than interstate LD rates. Yet all these services are regulated under Title II. Anyone who says you won't be able to discriminate under Title II does not know what they're talking about.