Verizon Sues the FCC

If anybody was laboring under the illusion that the big internet service providers are benign giants who want us all to share in the democratic bounties of the net, a small article in yesterday’s NY Times should serve as a cautionary reminder that we ain’t living in Mayberry. The FCC recently drafted a grand compromise on network neutrality (remarkably similar to a proposal originally suggested by Google and Verizon) that would force landline internet providers to treat all websites equally, but would let wireless providers block or give priority to whichever sites they choose. Transparency was supposed to prevent abuses, but since, for better or worse, we’re all moving toward the wireless web, most public interest groups thought this wasn’t much of a compromise. And, even thought it was their idea, it just wasn’t good enough for Verizon, which promptly sued, saying that the FCC lacks jurisdiction to regulate them at all.

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4 Comments on “Verizon Sues the FCC”

  1. Loren Says:

    Half a century ago we prevented Hollywood Studios from owning distribution outlets which stifle competition.

    We’ve just allowed it to happen again. FCC needs to reverse the Comcast/NBC merger, IMHO. Dircetly or indirectly affects all content creators.

  2. Steve Says:

    I imagine Keith Olbermann might have an opinion about that today.

  3. Loren Says:

    On his new show– somewhere!

  4. Murray Says:

    The FCC *does* lack that jurisdiction. Congress has not passed legislation… and despite what Bush and Obama may have you believe, this country is supposed to be a Rule of Law, not Rule of Men. FCC cannot simply grant itself regulatory powers – even if the big corporations may like some regulation to protect themselves from competition.

    And about the so-called “net neutrality”: let’s contemplate other areas of non-neutrality in our dark, cruel world…

    What would we miss in a world in which not every restaurant was an all-you-can-eat buffet? Where pharmacies didn’t offer spare tires and not every park had a swingset? Where only water was piped into our homes instead of also pepsi, mountain dew, bacardi, lemonade, pinot noir, and horchata? Where HBO, Showtime, and ESPN didn’t float in freely with my local channels? Where toilet paper rolls weren’t endless and gas stations charged a flat “fill-up” fee whether you drived a Civic or a Hummer? Where gardeners wouldn’t charge the same amount no matter how big of a lawn you had? Where an 11×14 glossy wouldn’t cost the same as a 4×6? Where a toddler’s t-shirt was a different price than an adult XXXL? Where power and gas companies… gulp… charged you for the actual amount you used?

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