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FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike 338

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-wouldn't-like-me-whn-I'm-angry dept.
tlhIngan writes Municipal broadband is in the news again — this time Chief of Staff Matthew Berry, speaking at the National Conference of State Legislatures, has endorsed states' right to ban municipal broadband networks and warned the (Democrat-led) FCC to not do anything that a future Republican led FCC would dislike. The argument is that municipal broadband discourages private investment in broadband communications, that taxpayer-funded projects are barriers to future infrastructure investment.
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FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike

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  • Re: yeah (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:13PM (#47724729)

    Free marketism.
    It's a fundamentalist religion.

  • In other words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jtgd (807477) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:16PM (#47724751)
    "Don't you dare serve the people, you shall only serve the corporations!"
  • Infurstuctsure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pellik (193063) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:16PM (#47724755)
    While they're at it state and federal funded roads compete unfairly with privately funded toll roads. Better do something about that.
  • by Mystiq (101361) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:17PM (#47724763)
    So according to this guy, we should never make laws or decisions that don't have complete bi-partisan support because the other side will try to repeal it. How would anything get done? At that, we wouldn't have any laws at all. Did he even listen to what he said?

    I swear, man. Congresscritters sound more like whiny children every day. This is the epitome of politicians' refusal to compromise on anything. The general intelligence of people in politics must steadily be dropping. They better stay where they are because they sure can't do anything else.
  • Re:Correction: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:22PM (#47724781)

    In other words, he's being a Republican.

  • Full of it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:24PM (#47724795)

    "The argument is that municipal broadband discourages private investment in broadband communications, that taxpayer-funded projects are barriers to future infrastructure investment."

    "Private investment", notably the quite-intentional lack of it, was the barrier to future infrastructure investment, hence the entire raison d'être of municipal broadband in the first place.

    Bitch and moan about the stifling of private business opportunities when you actually have a business plan concerning that locale beyond "avoid until February 31st".

    Cable companies: begging for cake, (not) choosing it, having it, and eating it all at once.

  • Re:Infurstuctsure (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:26PM (#47724817)

    removing funding and then say it doesn't work then turn it over to corporations.
    It's not a conspiracy when there are a myriad examples of pubs doing it.

    Choking the beast.

  • Re:Correction: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:31PM (#47724849)

    Hint: Republicans don't just do this with the telco industry.

    And yes, they are far worse than the Dems. Grow up.

  • Re: Correction: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:32PM (#47724853)

    Do you get to vote in or out the Comcast ceo like you get to do with the city mayor ?

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:36PM (#47724877) Homepage Journal

    Why do they play and say talk about a "Republican led FCC" instead of just saying they don't want the FCC to do anything that might mean the least inconvenience for Comcast and AT&T's complete takeover of the Internet?

    I mean, for chrissake, Barack Obama, the marxest marxist who ever marxed, appointed goddamn Tom Wheeler, a former cable executive to be chairman of the FCC. Are they disappointed that the chairman of the FCC isn't just Brian Roberts, the CEO of Comcast?

    Fucking corporatists. They're not even trying to hide their evil agenda any more. We need another president like Taft or Teddy Roosevelt to just scare the living shit out of big corporations. It's the only way to make them behave. The Clayton Act and other anti-trust legislation ushered in the most productive and prosperous era in US history, and now these sleazy fucks want to take us all the way back to the age of robber barons where young women got burned up in shirt factory fires. Now we've got pussy-ass Barack Obama and Eric Holder who shake with fear every time a CEO so much as looks cross at them. Now, a company breaks the law and the justice department fines them with one hand and passes them the money to pay the fine with the other hand (Citicorp, Goldman Sachs, et al). Two parties, one is completely terrified of the corporatists and the other's got their nose up the corporatists ass. No, they're not the same, but the outcome is the same.

    Seriously, there needs to be a goddamn revolution in this country. I'll get behind it 100% as long as it's finished by the start of football season because I'm totally gonna take my fantasy league this year. Or maybe we can just not have the revolution on Sundays or Monday nights. Didn't they used to do that in wars? Take Sunday morning off so everyone could go to church and pray that God help them butcher the other side? Something's got to be done, I tell you. Start the revolution right now while it's still pre-season.

    At least, thank god, we get another chance in 2016. Yeah, I know, anybody who gets the nomination from either party is going to be a corporatist, but if I don't hold out some faint hope that something will change, I'll just go shoot myself, and I can't do that because, like I said, I'm going to own fantasy football this year. But, (and thank God for small favors) I won't be enriching Comcast while I do it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:39PM (#47724909)

    By framing the narrative this way the public can be polarized around trivial issues; divide and conquer.

    Implying that a a left-wing or democrat controlled FCC would behave differently is misleading -- they are all beholden to the same powerful business interests who play both sides so that they are certain to have the winner in their pocket.

    Warning the FCC to not do anything 'anti-republican' is just re-enforcing the imaginary division between left and right in our minds. It doesn't exist. There are only global supra-national corporations and people. Everything else is an intentional distraction.

    Besides the corrupt global monetary system, the single most important issue that has allowed us to be reduced to abject serfdom is that corporations are considered persons under the law, which is a development of the last 125 years in the US. This allows management and ownership to escape personal liability for any actions of the organization under his or her control.

    Because corps are able to vote with their huge dollars your small dollars are irrelevant -- as are your wants and needs.

    Focus on that. Thinking Left/Right is just wasting your time.

  • Re:Correction: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chas (5144) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:41PM (#47724917) Homepage Journal

    In other words, he's being a Republican.

    No you jackass. He's being a politician.

    Republican, Democrat, WHATEVER, they're all saying the same thing to you (whatever they think will make you vote for them) now, and doing whatever the fuck they can to maximize benefit to their personal pocket book later.

    If you think this is somehow mitigated by party affiliation, you REALLY need to stop abusing your prescriptions and hike your way out of fantasy land.

  • Re:Correction: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Trailer Trash (60756) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:42PM (#47724929) Homepage

    this time Chief of Staff Matthew Berry, speaking at the National Conference of State Legislatures, has endorsed states' right to ban municipal broadband networks

    He's endorsed the right of the people in each state to get bent over by massively-corrupt telcos with their monopolistic behaviors - by reinforcing their monopolies - all in the name of a free market (despite the fact that it's anything but).

    FTFY.

    Those telcos are forced to provide service to everybody at the same price, which means they make a profit on tightly packed businesses in the city and that offsets their losses on the more widespread customers out of town. If the city comes in and serves only the tightly packed businesses, they can easily offer the service at a lower price and still make money or break even, and the telco ends up losing their profitable customers and therefore their ability to offset their losses elsewhere.

    I'm not against "municipal broadband", but they need to be held to the exact same standard as all other carriers in the same area. That might well mean offering service to out of town customers, also.

    I didn't understand the fuss until last time this came up and someone in the industry explained it quite clearly in a +5 post.

  • Re: Correction: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Calavar (1587721) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:44PM (#47724945)
    If you're one of the select few that are so wealthy that you own enough stock to be able to vote out an unpopular CEO (or block a grassroots shareholder movement to do the same), you're either the CEO or his yachting buddy.
  • Re:Correction: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NatasRevol (731260) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:46PM (#47724955) Journal

    Republicans are just a bit more blatant about it because it appeals to their idiot constituency.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:46PM (#47724959)

    I see Slashdot is going the way of Digg and being taken over as a liberal propaganda blog.

    This information is 100% fabricated. The FCC panel is headed by hardcore progressive liberals.

  • by Marble68 (746305) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @07:58PM (#47725033) Homepage

    Jesus - the hyperbolic circle jerking.. sigh.. Could we get any more f#cking stupid here?

    His point is that this should be viewed as beyond the authority of the FCC by both sides; that a bureaucratic panel doesn't have the power to tell individual states how to regulate themselves; and doing so will open a Pandora's box. He illustrates his point by citing SCOTUS precedence, and hypothesizes what sort of dramatic swings would be possible with that power.

    Everyone loves HHS - but they forget (let me make his point in a different way) the HHS could effectively slash Abortion coverage at will by simply saying Insurance can't cover it. That's what it's dangerous to give so much power to one position; especially a politically appointed one.

    Christ - His biggest mistake, apparently, is forgetting to dumb down his point and talk like everyone is 12.

    IMHO, the FCC should just declare ISPs common carriers as a start; then recommend to Congress a law that says the individual citizens have a right to assembly, even in the form of a municipality, and establish publicly held utility services.

    Then, it could go back to SCOTUS or whatever.

  • Re:Correction: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:01PM (#47725053) Journal

    Do you just not understand what you are saying or are you somehow brainwashed?

    You just said that republican politicians are open about lining their pockets while democrats hide it because it's what their voters want. This is the same as saying the republican voters know what they are voting for and democrat voters keep getting the misled in order to vote democrat and you think the republican voters are the idiots?

    It seems like you should have another word in there or direct your comment towards another group of people.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:12PM (#47725125) Journal

    That's exactly right. The federal government is not sovereign over everything in the US. The entire concept was that it was supposed to be spelled out in the constitution and the states which were separate countries only gave up or surrendered the amount of sovereignty to the federal government that was in the US constitution. This is fifth grade history BTW. Over the years, the federal government has been granted more powers by the expansion of several elements within the US constitution by the courts. This expansion is in ways not originally foreseen by the founders or the interpretations of the constitution until it happened. FDR's expansion which started the modern day everything goes came at a constitutional impasse in which his new deal legislation was deemed unconstitutional and he basically said "so what, I'm the executive and I can enforce it" while the democrat congress threatened to expand the supreme court seats until they could pack enough party supporters in that they had a majority. The end result, before everything blew apart, the Supreme Court ended up allowing the New Deal provisions as a means of the interstate commerce clause. This is why things like the federal minimum wage doesn't apply to companies with less than a certain amount of revenue or some other substantial impact on interstate commerce and will default to whatever the state minimum wage is.

      Bravo indeed. That was what made America the finest in the world at one time. We have lost that position and lost the constitutional separations.

  • Re:Correction: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:14PM (#47725137)

    Those telcos are forced to provide service to everybody at the same price, which means they make a profit on tightly packed businesses in the city and that offsets their losses on the more widespread customers out of town.

    That is simply not true. Just look at all the places where verizon has done piss-poor job of rolling out FIOS. All the ISP's have cherry-picked their neighborhoods. DSL even inherently varies in service quality based on the distance to the CO but they still charge customers the same price because they price the service in maximum bitrates not minimum guaranteed bitrates.

  • Re:Correction: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:24PM (#47725183) Journal

    Both parties have, as their first priority, protecting the financial interests of their largest (usually corporate) donors. Both parties lie about this to their voters, claiming to be the party of the common man. The only difference is that some donors don't give to both parties, and so different donors get favored depending on who's in power.

    I cant speak for 45 years, but it's been this way for at least 25. Do you disagree?

  • Re: yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:37PM (#47725269) Journal

    This has nothing to do with "free marketism", unless you're in the market for strawmen. This is the opposite.

    Do you think most towns can just stand up a muni broadband network on their own? No - they're going to hire some company to build and run their MAN, just the way that many utilities work.

    This is existing corporate giants, which have government granted monopolies in many areas (the polar opposite of free marketism), using their political muscle to block competition from new "utility" companies who would be stealing their business.

  • Re:Correction: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2014 @08:43PM (#47725285)

    Those telcos are forced to provide service to everybody at the same price

    There's something fishy about this, because every time a story comes up on /. about a telco trying to block a municipality from rolling its own fiber, you can always track the municipality's decision back to the telco refusing to roll out fiber themselves.

  • Re:Correction: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whistlingtony (691548) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:12PM (#47725407)

    How do you fight a corporation? I'm very curious... :D

    I'm very involved in local politics. I've met my state reps, several times. You CAN fight city hall, you just need enough people.

    I'm pretty sure that if you posted nasty things about your local government, the cops would not actually beat you and put you in jail. That's a big bit of hyperbole you have there. Corps don't have armies? Ever heard of the Pinkertons? They did a LOT of head busting back in the day. Well, union busting. :D

    I guess the point here is that you CAN change an organization if you get enough people, if you organize, and hurt them (either votes or money) until they do what you want. At the heart of it both my city government and a corporation are just large organizations.... But the corporation's bottom line is Profit, and the Government's bottom line is Services Delivered. Both have all the benefits of large organizations (economy of scale, etc) and the drawbacks (corruption, slowness, etc)

  • Re: yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:46PM (#47725577)

    This has nothing to do with "free marketism", unless you're in the market for strawmen. This is the opposite.

    The problem is that the term "free market" is used to mean two completely different things. It is used by economists to mean a market free of barriers to competition. But the same term is often used by others to mean a market free of regulation, which is often the opposite. In this case, the Republicans are opposed to regulations that would make the market more competitive, so they are using free market rhetoric to oppose free market competition. This is a shameful stance for them to take, and goes against the very principles they claim to stand for.

  • Re: yeah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @09:57PM (#47725613) Journal
    Government granted monopolies. How does this differ in practice to the current industry created cartels?
  • by PPH (736903) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @10:04PM (#47725647)

    ... and no investments were made. Business had its chance to shit or get off the pot. And we didn't get shit. So now it looks like municipal investment or nothing.

    If the GOP is intent on stopping that, then I guess we should say that the GOP is a barrier to future infrastructure investment. And the solution is to prevent a Republican led anything.

  • Re: yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday August 21, 2014 @11:42PM (#47726169)

    Your argument can be read as both in favor of the ban on municipal broadband as well as opposed to the ban on municipal broadband. It depends on who you think the "government granted monopolies" are, the ones dominating most of the state where no free market exists or the one at the municipal level brought in as a balance of power.

    Municipalities should absolutely have the right to do this. This is the local citizen standing up to the status quo of monopolies. The republicans should be the ones backing this since they often are the ones claiming to support individual freedoms and local control rather than a distant out of touch government.

    There are municipal run power and water utilities which very often are cheaper than the big boy competitors and much more reponsive to local needs. The same should be true of municipal cable and broadband. It's either that or a country with no choice but Comcast.

  • Re: yeah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Friday August 22, 2014 @01:05AM (#47726413) Homepage Journal

    I'm one of those stupid free market libertarians.
    FIFY
    Whole history of corporate abuse without regulation and you ignore it.

    "In my opinion, regulation is perhaps the biggest barrier to faster internet connectivity"
    Your opinion is based on what facts? Every high speed internet service in every other country has as much or more regulation then the US.

  • Re:Correction: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Friday August 22, 2014 @01:13AM (#47726429) Homepage Journal

    If you solution is get rid of them all, then you are looking for a silver bullet and are to lazy to think about actually fixing the problem. That tells everyone you need to grow up.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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