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|reply to pnh102 |
Re: FCC Sanity?
I agree. Internet access and television service are not rights. For that matter, phone, electricity, sewer and water should not be a rights but a privileges. However twisted their logic, I suspect some states probably have laws that make it a right. I'm not sure how the constitution enforces this but maybe they amended the constitution. Regardless, that's a whole different discussion.
I believe every business should have the privilege to pick its customers and provide whatever service it can based on profits. In my opinion, this is congruent with basic capitalism. However, whenever utilities are involved, both companies and the government are predisposed to involve legislative action to define, assist and govern fees. Generally this is caused by lack of true competition (oligopoly).
My bottom line belief: If some level of government is to provide an advantage to a particular company, then I believe that government has an obligation to ensure the advantage eventually provides the product or service to a majority of its constituents. And....eventually should be reasonable and not 10+ years.
La Grange, IL
said by rradina:That was the premise behind granting monopolies with regulated but guaranteed rates of return. In exchange, the utility (electric, telco, whatever) was required to serve 100% of the customers in the franchise area who wanted service, regardless of the cost to the company.
My bottom line belief: If some level of government is to provide an advantage to a particular company, then I believe that government has an obligation to ensure the advantage eventually
provides the product or service to a majority of its constituents. And....eventually should be reasonable and not 10+ years
What you believe, and what most of the so-called regulators forgot in the 1980s is that despite all the rhetoric there are natural monopolies which do not lend themselves to facilities-based competitive markets. But besides the economic disincentive to overbuilding there are public interest considerations as well. You generally would not want to have, say, 10 electric companies all setting poles and stringing their own wires. Cities would be strangled in power lines.
The Reaganomics era threw that out the window and championed "the market" as the regulator of choice for just about anything. While the regulatory landscape in the early 80's was anything but desirable it had elements of sanity which are missing from today's scenarios. This is one of them. At some point the local regulatory agencies (usually some franchise authority of some sort) got stupid and demanded the sky from the huge cash cow which cable TV grew into. Service became unimportant as long as the local alderman had his access channel to use as a campaign tool.
National franchising is another knee-jerk reaction to bad regulation, but there is no real comparative benefit to the current situation, either. If there were, 100% of all cable TV customers would have state of the art HSI because the local regulators would have mandated it. They are mostly impotent and Comcast, et. al. know it. Despite their whining to the contrary, they'd love to be out from under these local contracts.
Toolmaster of La Grange.
said by RadioDoc:If that's really true, how did the telcos manage to get USF? Is that a result of the deregulation?
That was the premise behind granting monopolies with regulated but guaranteed rates of return. In exchange, the utility (electric, telco, whatever) was required to serve 100% of the customers in the franchise area who wanted service, regardless of the cost to the company.
I also agree that we cannot have 10 electricity providers stringing poles in neighborhoods. The same holds true for other service utilities including cable and telephone -- unless the latter two can go wireless.
Incidentally, that's where my hope is. If wireless can continue to improve for the last mile, most consumers may be able to live the Holy Grail of true competition. There will always be rural challenges but a majority of rural customers don't enjoy public water and sewer. At their expense, they drill wells and install septic systems.
La Grange, IL
The USF is a figment of Congressional imagination. A enormously large, bacon-flavored figment.
Wireless is not the future, unless your future is one of continuously degrading service quality and laughably inept spectrum management. But as long as the marks keep shoveling their money into the cellular coffers you won't see any improvement in price, service or availability.
We have "wireless" video. It's called OTA television and satellite TV. Considering the number of digital signals one ATSC transmission can carry, and the number of ATSC channels which may be available in any given market, broadcast TV is the way to go for the ad-supported content and satellite is the way to go for paid content. The current wet dream of video on demand via the Internet is not viable unless significant changes are made in the way it works. It is insanity to think a separate bandwidth-consuming connection for each viewer is sustainable when the broadcast model is so much more efficient and has zero marginal distribution cost for each additional viewer.
Cable will never be able to go "wireless". Their entire business model is built on total control of the path. Once their 'last mile' hits the air it's effectively free.
Toolmaster of La Grange.