Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
The Internet Government

To Save the Internet We Need To Own the Means of Distribution 338

indros13 (531405) writes "Net neutrality took a hit when the FCC gave its blessing to "Internet fast lanes' last week and one commentator believes that the solution is simple: public ownership of the hardware. 'Owning the means of distribution is a traditional function of local government. We call our roads and bridges and water and sewer pipe networks public infrastructure for a reason. In the 19th century local and state governments concluded that the transportation of people and goods was so essential to a modern economy that the key distribution system must be publicly owned. In the 21st century the transportation of information is equally essential.'

Is the Internet essential infrastructure? Should local governments step in to preserve equality of access?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

To Save the Internet We Need To Own the Means of Distribution

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @08:18AM (#46866715)

    Here in the US, local governments are a large part of the reason we have such poor competition for internet service. Many municipalities grant franchise agreements to ISP, allowing them to operate as the only service provider in a given area. To be fair, these do include *some* incentives for the service provider to provide a good service (often in the form of a "Good Service Bond," money the service provider only gets back if they do a good job in the eyes of the local gov't). However, despite these incentives, I feel consumers would get better service if there were actual competition for their business. To address OP's question: local government has already stepped in, and has been a part of the problem thus far.

  • Common carriers (Score:5, Informative)

    by barlevg ( 2111272 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @08:19AM (#46866721)
    Would classifying broadband providers as common carriers not be an effective solution to this as well? There's a WhiteHouse.gov petition [whitehouse.gov] circulating that so far has surprisingly little support.
  • Re:Yes. (Score:4, Informative)

    by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @08:31AM (#46866817)

    My local government doesn't have that option. My state actually outlawed municipal ownership of ISP's. So did a lot of other states.

    Good old lobbyists, always thinking several steps ahead.

  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @08:55AM (#46866975) Homepage

    These petitions have been mostly worthless in the past.

    The purpose of the petition is double edged. They communicate the will of the people, and if they are ignored, they document the failure of government.

    The FCC is nominally an independent agency

    The chairman serves at the discretion of The President, and The White House's official statement includes the following:

    Absent net neutrality, the Internet could turn into a high-priced private toll road that would be inaccessible to the next generation of visionaries. The resulting decline in the development of advanced online apps and services would dampen demand for broadband and ultimately discourage investment in broadband infrastructure. An open Internet removes barriers to investment worldwide.

    The President would be entirely within his authority to direct the FCC to reclassify data carriers as common carriers, and to terminate Tom Wheeler when he refuses.

    the best way to make yourself heard is to file a comment on Proceeding 14-28 at:

    That's good, too, though my tendency is to think Tom Wheeler is doing exactly as he intended. Obama is blowing in the wind. There is no chance with the former, the latter might work. More likely both merely document the failure of our government, which is the first step to reforming it.

"Ninety percent of baseball is half mental." -- Yogi Berra