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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Some kind of dystopic stuff is afoot from Tom Wheeler and the FCC. I mean hilariously awful. A lot of people are writing Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov and openinternet@fcc.gov to let their feelings be known. I figured I’d tap something together and hopefully make a new buddy while I’m at it! Neat huh?

Mr. Wheeler:

You must be an intelligent, thoughtful man. You were certainly smart enough to leverage your relationship with companies like Comcast and Verizon into getting the Chairman’s seat at the Federal Communications Commission. Bravo sir. I too aspired to civil service. Good gigs, usually.

Now the agency for which you work is chartered to “regulate…interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.” says so onĀ fcc.gov. That’s your mandate.

Your proposition for “net neutrality” does not follow that mandate. Not even a little.

It will allow a cadre of massive companies–like Comcast and Verizon–to do the regulating for you by essentially selling their services–high-speed internet access–to the highest bidder. Only those that will be able to pay their outrageous levies will be able to get their content to end-users.

And this will be the most beige dreck there is. The most inoffensive, mediocre pap that companies like Disney and Fox can shovel out there in the name of capitalism.

But wait! There’s more!

Because we at the other end of the wire are also paying outrageous levies to use these services, you are allowing these massive companies to essentially “double-dip” for the same lousy service.

So we’re paying, they’re paying too. My, but they must all *love* you now, your former clients. You’re going to make them obscenely rich–richer than they already are, which is perhaps the greatest obscenity of all.

That might actually be your goal here. It sure looks like it.

And by the way, *none* of these companies are investing in infrastructure improvements, or in increasing broadband speed and reliability. Not at all. There are actual third-world countries with faster throughput than we have in the United States, and are getting it for less money.

Tom, that’s just embarrassing. I can call you Tom, right? You’ve read this far after all, we’re almost buddies now!

Anyway, these companies are essentially a cartel, cornering a market and using their money and influence–influence you helped them get–to stifle innovation. If a town wants to set up a public broadband utility, for example, these companies buy the votes and the lawyers necessary to squelch that so they can continue to offer their crappy overpriced service.

You’d know that of course, That was your old gig. Helping your pals at Comcast and Verizon (and AT&T,etc.) keep making their money while offering nothing in return but their monopoly.

If your intention was to con your way into this public office for the purpose of making companies like Verizon and Comcast disgustingly rich at the expense of the American people, then you’re doing a fabulous job by the way. Kudos.

I’m not saying it *was* your intention, but it sure *looks* that way from here Tom.

Real Net Neutrality means that these companies get regulated like electric and gas and water utilities–actual public utilities working in the actual public interest. Because only in that way can “an appropriate competitive framework for the unfolding of the communications revolution” (from your site again!) actually exist.

That is your mandate Tom. Says so on the website.

Here’s the thing Tom. You know you’ve stepped in some poo, right? This is just uncool. But you can do the right thing here. You can actually defend Net Neutrality and let real innovation and real competition happen.

Because if you let your old pals have their way Tom, then you are *not* actually working in the public interest. You will be working *against* the wishes and needs of your real bosses, the American people, in favor of money-grubbing corporations who are anti-freedom, anti-creativity, anti-competition and, thus, anti-American.

You will have violated your agency’s charter. You will be removed from your job sir. We will petition, and protest, and do all that is necessary to have you removed from that comfy chair.

But you, me, we’re all cool people right? It doesn’t have to get ugly does it?

You’ve got the opportunity to be kind of a hero here. You have the opportunity to let the future actually happen. Support real, actual Net Neutrality. Be brave.

 

Thanks Tom.

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