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Ajit Pai's FCC Can't Admit Broadband Competition Is a Problem ( 109

An anonymous reader quotes a report from DSLReports: While the FCC is fortunately backing away from a plan that would have weakened the standard definition of broadband, the agency under Ajit Pai still can't seem to acknowledge the lack of competition in the broadband sector. Or the impact this limited competition has in encouraging higher prices, net neutrality violations, privacy violations, or what's widely agreed to be some of the worst customer service of any industry in America. The Trump FCC had been widely criticized for a plan to weaken the standard definition of broadband from 25 Mbps down, 3 Mbps up, to include any wireless connection capable of 10 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up. Consumer advocates argued the move was a ham-fisted attempt to try and tilt the data to downplay the industry's obvious competitive and coverage shortcomings. They also argued that the plan made no coherent sense, given that wireless broadband is frequently capped, often not available (with carrier maps the FCC relies on falsely over-stating coverage), and significantly more expensive than traditional fixed-line service.

In a statement (pdf), FCC boss Ajit Pai stated the agency would fortunately be backing away from the measure, while acknowledging that frequently capped and expensive wireless isn't a comparable replacement for fixed-line broadband. "The draft report maintains the same benchmark speed for fixed broadband service previously adopted by the Commission: 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload," stated Pai. "The draft report also concludes that mobile broadband service is not a full substitute for fixed service. Instead, it notes there are differences between the two technologies, including clear variations in consumer preferences and demands." That's the good news. The bad news: the FCC under Pai's leadership continues to downplay and ignore the lack of competition in the sector, and the high prices and various bad behaviors most people are painfully familiar with.

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Ajit Pai's FCC Can't Admit Broadband Competition Is a Problem

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's all the collusion that is a problem.

    • by Xenx ( 2211586 )
      It may not be the only problem, but lack of competition is very much a problem.
  • by jwhyche ( 6192 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @09:59PM (#55965109) Homepage

    Ajit Pai couldn't admit his ass was on fire even he smelt smoke.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:01PM (#55965113)

    Ajit Pai is an industry shill. He will not admit to anything that is not in the interest of his industry masters.

    Why is this so hard to understand ?

  • by Burdell ( 228580 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:04PM (#55965137)

    And they're doing everything in their power (and beyond) to stamp out such competition.

  • NN would not give us more ISPs. It would not have a diversity of companies laying cable.

    And absent more choices in who are our ISPs are from the wire up level... it is pointless.

    To solve the problem we need Right of Way for poles and conduits. Absent that, this is just monopolists arguing for their monopoly.

    The corporate monopolists want to be the only people that are allowed to run cable in the last mile and the socialist monopolists merely want the government to monopolize it.

    The only non-monopolist optio

    • by Xenx ( 2211586 )
      Net neutrality via FCC didn't solve all of the problems. However, it was a stop-gap for a few big problems. All other factors being equal, we are better off with net neutrality than without. The right solution would be to fix the problems before getting rid of it.
      • Fix the right of way to conduits and poles and the problem goes away.

        Everything else is a sad argument for one monopoly over another. They're both toxic.

        • But that's a little like saying:

          "Feed the people and hunger will no longer be a problem."

          Sounds nice. Means very little.

          • No, its like saying "let people grow/sell food and we won't have a food shortage"...

            What we currently have is a heavily controlled market where it is almost impossible but a few multi billion dollar corporations to run any cable.

            Lots of people are able and willing to run cable and operate ISPs. Only a handful of big companies are actually permitted to lay cable and operate ISPs.

            Then people wonder why we have these same companies misbehaving.

            You restrict it so that only a few corporations are allowed to run

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @10:25PM (#55965217)
    it's because the Republicans can't afford to piss off rural voters. The US system of government gives them a disproportionate amount of voting power and their interests don't often align with the city voters, making them a prime candidate for politicking.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Also, can't get all that youtube & facebook propaganda out to those impressionable voters if they don't have sufficient bandwidth.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Every citizen gets a vote. Why should the party politics of a few elite coastal big cities get to disenfranchise all the people in states all over the USA?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Every citizen gets a vote.

        But not all votes are equal. And that is where the problem lies, because in aggregate, a vote for congress in a rural district has more influence than a vote in a city.

        In 2016, 45.2 million Americans cast a vote for a democratic Senate candidate, while 39.3 voted for a republican, but the senate still went 52/48 for republicans.

        Same thing with the house of representatives, republicans got less than 50% of the popular vote, but still won more than 55% of the seats.

        BTW, this same phenomenon happens even more

      • Nobody's arguing for that. What they're arguing for is that a small group of rural voters shouldn't get to disenfranchise the vast majority of voters, who are non-rural.

        The majority of Americans are no where near as right wing as Congress. We have a right wing congress solely because the system weighs the votes of those outside of cities as more important than those within them. That's not right, and needs to stop.

      • The only reason people like you make this argument is because you're happy with the result.

        I've never lived on the east (or west) coast. It's NOT just them. Most of us live in big cities. Why should we be "disenfranchised" (to use your term) by voters in Wyoming whose vote carries more weight than mine?

        I believe the reason we cannot rid ourselves of the electoral college is because too often it has benefited one party over the other. And while the east and west coasts certainly helped push Clinton o

    • Those poor powerless people! It's so horrible our system of government gives them a voice!
  • by kilodelta ( 843627 ) on Saturday January 20, 2018 @01:56AM (#55965853) Homepage
    Is rule saying the last mile is a public right.
  • This is an engineering problem at it's core. Right now, you have cable and DSL. Both are physical infrastructures and both need to secure rights of way. Until you remove that physical limitation, you're not going to get a bunch of ISPs willing to pony up the cash to not just buy and install all the equipment but to pay fees for the rights of way.
    The solution is long range mesh wireless. Note that wifi exploded onto the market because it operated in the unlicensed (translation: unregulated or free of cha

  • I option for wireline broadband where I live...Comcast and Verizon. I have to get Verizon because they are the only ones willing to run lines back to my house. Comcast says my house is "too far from the road" and outright refuses to connect me unless *I* foot the bill for it.
  • According to his video, you can still be a good little consumer.

  • “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"