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New FCC Boss Again Promises Intense Focus on Competition
by Karl Bode 02:19PM Tuesday Dec 03 2013
"Competition is our fundamental national economic policy," new FCC boss Tom Wheeler stated in a speech given yesterday at Ohio State University. "I will not hesitate to invoke the full authority granted to us by Congress to protect competition, and I will not hesitate to use the full authority granted us by Congress where competition is not available to secure the public interest through the promotion of competitive markets," insisted Wheeler.

The FCC has historically paid a lot of empty lip service to broadband competition, and while Wheeler is saying all the right things, the proof of this dedication will of course be in action, not words.

Update: rit56 See Profile points to a Q&A Wheeler held after the speech in which he effectively gave the green light to usage-based broadband pricing, the new FCC boss insisting need to let the imposition of caps and per GB overages "evolve":
quote:
Wheeler said that “we are seeing the market evolve in such a way that there will be variations in pricing, there will be variations in service.”

He added: “I am a firm believer in the market. I think we’re also going to see a two-sided market where Netflix might say, ‘Well, I’ll pay to make sure that my subscriber receives the best possible transmission of this movie.’ I think we want to let those kinds of things evolve, and we want to observe what happens from that and we want to make decisions accordingly. I go back to the fact that the marketplace is where these decisions ought to be made, and the functionality of a competitive marketplace dictates the degree of regulation."
Granted Wheeler doesn't appear to acknowledge that the implementation of caps and overages on fixed-line networks (services that are increasingly less expensive to provide) is something that's predominately taking root in the uncompetitive markets Wheeler professes to dislike.

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Squire James

join:2013-08-21
Orlando, FL

Words vs. Deeds

A common problem with politicians of all wings and stripes is their propensity to say the right things and then not DO them. Not anticipating opposition forces is NOT a valid excuse anymore. We all know the opposition is there, no matter what, so their promises should be made with that in mind.

I mean, a ball player who promises a touchdown/basket/goal every time he gets the ball is kind of ridiculous, right? He of all people should know some opposition force is likely to keep him from doing it. So is his failure to fulfill his promise his own fault, or the fault of those evil guys who keep stopping him?
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: Words vs. Deeds

Well that's the catch, the FCC doesn't have any real authority to really regulate HSI, because it's not a utility, and utilities are typically controlled by states, so there you have it.

The only thing the FCC does well is collect USF and piss it down the drain, and finding the occasional pinball machine interfering with a cell tower.
Squire James

join:2013-08-21
Orlando, FL

Re: Words vs. Deeds

Well, then he shouldn't make promises that require such authority, right?
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
Depends on ultimately what Congress says.

Or they could just reclassify them putting them fully under control, which they should have done a couple years ago.

Probitas

@teksavvy.com

depends on what viewpoint he has

If you take his words as coming from incumbents, then sure he's going to protect their competitive interests, so expect no change at all. And he has no real ability to change state and local lawmakers who were foolish/bribed (pardon me, perked) to change the laws to protect incumbents, so really, he's making a sound bite.

I agree with Karl, show me, don't tell me.

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

1 recommendation

Protect...

How about encourage some not just protect.

Here are the options at my house...

1. Dial-up
2. Satellite
3. Time Warner

As far as I'm concerned that is not the picture of competition.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: Protect...

What are you some kind of communist? You have 4 choices!

1) None
2) Dial-Up
3) Satellite
4) Time Warner

ROBUST Competition and choices! You can vote with your wallet! Life is good. Move along.... nothing to see here.

/sarcasm off

Sigh.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

rit56

join:2000-12-01
New York, NY

Toll Roads are coming

The two key paragraphs in this piece are these:

In response to a question, Mr. Wheeler indicated that he would not oppose some type of usage-based pricing, with Internet service providers charging so-called data hogs different amounts for service depending on how much data they receive and transmit. Those types of pricing plans have been strongly opposed by some consumer-protection groups.

Mr. Wheeler said variable pricing and service plans represented the effects of competition. “We might see a two-sided market,” he added, in which a company like Netflix might pay an Internet service provider to guarantee that Netflix customers get the best available transmission speeds.
xthepeoplesx

join:2013-10-21

Re: Toll Roads are coming

Uhh net neutrality? Why the eff would it be legal for that type of shake down between netflix and an isp be allowed to happen? God I hate this country more and more.

Edit: I am so pissed and tired of these politicians getting in.
strange_69

join:2001-08-07
Ridgecrest, CA
We're screwed. There went net neutrality and and here comes caps. How about letting a dumb-pipe evolve?
--
Vonage user since Mar 2004.
YDC

join:2007-11-13
Hewlett, NY

1 recommendation

Re: Toll Roads are coming

It did. We call it government here

WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5
said by rit56:

In response to a question, Mr. Wheeler indicated that he would not oppose some type of usage-based pricing

That's like saying "I'm not opposed to giving you $10M (because I don't have that much in the first place)". In other words, the FCC doesn't have that authority to go that route.

WheelerBook

@comcast.net

Wheeler lays out his Internet ideas in 32 pg book

Wheeler's 32 page book is available tomorrow for free on Amazon Kindle:
»www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H1Z···os-doi_0

I also attached the PDF version of his book here.

download188692474-Ne···Our-Netw 5065168 bytes
Wheeler 32 pg book
(188692474-Net-Effects-The-Past-Present-Future-Impact-of-Our-Networks-–-History)

WheelerBook

@comcast.net

Re: Wheeler lays out his Internet ideas in 32 pg book

said by WheelerBook :

Wheeler's 32 page book is available tomorrow for free on Amazon Kindle:
»www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H1Z···os-doi_0

I also attached the PDF version of his book here.

It can also be read and/or downloaded from multiple sites and formats from the FCC web page:
»www.fcc.gov/page/net-effects-pas···networks

jfleni

@direcpc.com

Re: Wheeler lays out his Internet ideas in 32 pg book

Its the same old "perfumed garbage" and double talk as before. This guy would be out in the street wondering what happened to his bonus and pensions, if he really set out to fix the problems! Of course he won't do it!
YDC

join:2007-11-13
Hewlett, NY

The problem can be fixed easily..

Here's the fix. Make it illegal to have territories for cable and phone. Allow any player willing to invest in wiring a neighborhood the right to do it. Give them the same cost for pole usage as the incumbents. Give them the same connections to the public networks. Remove the bundling crap. Remove contracts. Presto.. solved.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: The problem can be fixed easily..

That is not best for you, I nor you community.

I dont think any of us want every ISP that wants to service us to dig up your yard, your neighbors yard, your streets or even hang wire on the pools just to reach someone. There should be 1 wire to every home that every ISP can use. If there is not, how many competitors do you think will enter a market? That is right, no more than what is already there because it would cost them millions upon millions to reach very few people.

When it comes to internet they are dumbpipes and the network side should be separated from the ISP side. With the network all you need is a valid IP address, SNM and gateway. They don't need to provide another single service as you can get it from the internet once you have a valid address.

Wheeler is exactly what all the others before him are... a industry puppet. He will talk about competition and speak of caps, per byte billing and paid "tubes" in the same sentence? That is double talk to begin with being that with competition there would be no caps and no per byte billing and a consumer could choose between Comcast or Time Warner if one choose to charge netflix thus raising their cost. What he has been doing is trying to desensitize us to it by using the word competition in the same sentence as anti-competive acts as though that makes it competitive.

He pretty much completely tossed out net neutrality with his stupid remark of companies paying more to enhance the service of consumers that want their product. That guy is a mouth piece and a piece of trash, but this was all obvious before he was confirmed.
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: The problem can be fixed easily..

I would like to see your idea but using dark fiber. A fiber is provided to each house and that is all the company provides. The customer gets content from any one that can offer it. That company connects at the side of the house and provides the inside equipment and they connect at a POP common site.
I think a lot of companies could start up a cable company or just internet if they did not have to put in the cable. You could have one internet company that offers a low price and slow but cheap equipment throughout their network and another internet company that charges more but their entire network is build for speed.
Now a cable company has to make compromises.
InvalidError

join:2008-02-03
kudos:5
That does not really solve anything. Networks, like roads and most other infrastructures, are natural monopolies: duplicating it is cost-prohibitive and each unnecessary duplicate increases all existing players' costs by that much due to having to recover investments off a smaller market share.

As Skip said, it makes a lot more sense to have a shared first mile to eliminate all that expensive and inefficient duplication.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

True Competition

True Competition is where you pay Comcast for data transport and the actual content (ISP side) is left to third party providers. That means Comcast's end of the bargain begins at the network interface device and ends at the CMTS. The modem, inside wiring, and everything else is between the customer and their ISP. And all Comcast gets is the actual cost of data transport.

It was nice back in the '90s when we had a choice of ISPs. Everyone had AOL or MSN. Then there were thousands of local ISPs. The economy was booming. The '90s were my heyday; I was a kid in school, the internet was the latest and greatest, we had real friends we physically hung out with after school, and bullying was limited to the schoolyard. Having been a victim of bullying, what I went through was nothing compared to what kids are doing to each other online. And for the grown ups back then, work ended when you punched out at the end of the shift, none of this being tied to clients 24/7 via a smartphone/E-mail.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.
XJakeX

join:2005-03-05
Coventry, RI

Re: True Competition

>>>True Competition is where you pay Comcast for data transport and the actual content (ISP side) is left to third party providers.

That's actually what we have now. The only difference is that the content providers (TV Networks and their corporate parents) have made deals with all the local cablecos and telcos, so they don't have to get involved in any of the nitty gritty dirty work, like sending out month bills, hiring collection agencies to chase the scufflaws, and provide technical support, etc. etc. The local rebroadcasters do all that for them. Quite the deal for the TV networks isn't it?

And what have they done since brokering those deals in the 80's? Taken full advantage of the situation by forcing the local companies to accept their bundle pricing schemes, raising prices every year or two, and increasing the number of commercial minutes per hour from the pre cable days of 8-10 minutes to 18-20 minutes and even more on some networks. It's an unprecedented cash cow for the TV networks who have been able to circumvent the anti trust laws, and either pay off the right people or insert them into the right agency to avoid any kind of serious regulation that might actually increase competition.
shmerl

join:2013-10-21

No, one should prevent the disease, instead of letting it evolve

Instead of waiting for stuff like data caps to "evolve" into a horrible anticompetitive sickness, something should be done to prevent it.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Says the long term former and future industry lobbyist

Uh huh. You know what he'll be doing 1 year after he leaves the FCC.

There's no way in hades he's going to push for reform or competition.

Zero. None.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

InvalidinTn

@comcast.net

More bs

Wheeler is doing nothing more than spreading more cow manure every time he opens his mouth. He is just another shill for the cable industry.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Competition

I'm still waiting for FCC to define 'COMPETITION. I think it is a great idea. I think is a goal. But there is a twist and a gotcha!

The original Communication Act assured America our telephones worked from coast to coast over a million miles of copper lines. And it did 99.9% of the time. There was little background noise, cross-over conversation, or dropped calls. It just worked and it was relatively inexpensive.

Then came cable and public internet, file sharing, content theft, streaming music, cell phones, streaming movies, and cell phones to watch full length movies and football games. And the phone companies continued to keep America connected.

By the 21st century most of the major phone companies sold off the mid and small markets; they weren't profitable. Rural markets wanted reliable phones and a reliable internet. We were given rural phones and PR spin in the form of dial up over copper via slow modems.
Most of rural America has internet in some form .. that is if you consider 1.5/.256 fast, reliable internet for business and schools. And home.

The only competition is in the vigorish. The top tier companies do not serve rural America. It is left to second tier telco and mom and pop. Phone duopoly is common. One sells landline the other cable. They are both phone companies but only the landline provider is charged with maintaining connectivity to the rest of the world. The other telephone gets a free pass because the VoIP phone which works poorly on low uplink rides on cable.

The old battle of US v Them where AT&T was allowed to call the shots in the 80s hasn't changed. These companies still hang onto their protected territories and do not allow anyone except their partner (Verizon and ? cable company) to share the territory). So even if you want the AT&T landline you can't have it if you don't live in a protected AT&T area. Even then, your neighbor across the street might have it, but you won't. You live on the wrong side of the street.

FCC is blowing smoke. There will be competition but you will continue to pay more for less. This is why your $10 landline costs $60. It won't get any better until all of America is treated fairly, and telco who delivers cable phone is treated like the real phone company it really is.

Every internet provider should be required to give a 2Mbps minimum uplink to every customer even with the lowest package, and even with naked net, to assure every cable phone and every DSL telco phone works 95% of the time from coast to coast.

Telco killed POTS while congress and FCC pockets were filled to overflowing.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside