As a follow-up to my previous thoughts contemplating the FCC’s hijacking of the Free and Open Internet under the guise of “Net Neutrality,” here are some additional musings:
- Those who are so desperate for Net Neutrality to be protected by the FCC’s heavy hand need to realize that this is a cure worse than the disease. This is like undergoing chemotherapy for a minor cold. It is the wrong cure for the wrong disease and will likely end in disaster.
- Not that there really was a disease. According to what little we know about the proposal, which HAS STILL NOT BEEN MADE PUBLIC, there were 3 very weak examples of the ISP industry not acting in Net Neutral ways. Each time that happened, customers complained very loudly and the providers changed course. Sounds like Net Neutrality was just fine to me. We definitely didn’t need the FCC to classify Internet service as a public utility so it can take total control.
- In essence, what has happened is that instead of having a variety of gatekeepers who were being kept in check through a semblance of competition, now we have ONE gatekeeper who answers virtually to no one. If the FCC decides to go off the rails (and remember it only takes the votes of 3 people to do virtually anything they want) we can’t fire them. Is this REALLY what Net Neutrality proponents want? It seems that we’ve made the situation exponentially worse.
- How soon everyone seems to forget (or for most of the public who got caught up in the Net Neutrality hysteria, never knew) Tom Wheeler was a lobbyist for the cable industry. When he was appointed by Obama, it was feared that he would tilt the Net Neutrality debate towards the favor of the ISP industry. The flames of those fears were fanned when the rules he originally proposed seemed to do exactly that, which started the Net Neutrality Hysteria of 2014. Again, I reiterate, NOTHING happened last year to threaten Net Neutrality EXCEPT for the FCC’s OWN ACTIONS.
- We should probably pay more attention to our childhood fables at times like these. This is basically the story of Chicken Little, with a twist. Like Chicken Little, the FCC claimed the sky was falling. The public, like the Goosey Loosey and all the other animals, went right along with the hysteria. In the traditional fable, the animals end up getting eaten by a fox who claims he can lead them to the king. In this version, the fox is also the FCC. How convenient it would seem to cry the sky is falling so that you can eat all the animals.
- Looking back at the now infamous segment where John Oliver called for protecting “Net Neutrality,” he doesn’t so much rail against the cable companies as much as he does against the proposed FCC rules of 2014. He didn’t ask for the FCC to take over the Internet, he just wanted them to back off and not implement the new rules they were proposing. His main concern was the FCC screwing up Net Neutrality. He even likened Tom Wheeler to a ravenous dingo threatening to eat the Internet “baby”. Again, it wasn’t the cable companies doing anything to threaten Net Neutrality, it was Tom Wheeler.
- Given Tom Wheeler was a lobbyist for the cable companies, his actions call into question his loyalties. His first proposed rules seem to confirm fears that he was a shill for the big corporations and started the Net Neutrality Hysteria of 2014. But then he reversed course at the apparent bidding of President Obama. Let’s not forget that Obama plays golf with the CEO of Comcast, one of the largest lobbyists in Washington and huge donor to Obama’s campaigns. So is Mr. Wheeler still a wolf (or a dingo) in sheep’s clothing or is he merely a mercenary who will do the dirty work of whomever is paying him? Either way, he’s not to be trusted.
- Like the Godfather, the FCC just made us all “an offer we can’t refuse”. Literally we can’t because we can’t fire the FCC like we can an ISP. Besides, we all know that offers from the Godfather aren’t really in our best interest. Worse off, given the proposal is still not public, we don’t even know exactly what that offer is!