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FCC Regulating Internet to Prevent Companies from Regulating Internet?

The FCC's latest apparent attempt to justify mandating Internet regulation is:

 

  • "Net neutrality is about preventing anyone from regulating the Internet."
  • "There are some phone and cable companies out there that want to decide which apps you should get on your phone, which Internet sites you should look at, and what online videos you can download." "That's regulating the Internet -- and that's what the FCC is trying to stop." -- per a senior commission official in the 11-22 Communications Daily and Politico.com's Morning Tech.

To begin, if the FCC actually wanted to prevent "anyone from regulating the Internet," would that not logically include preventing the FCC itself from regulating the Internet?

     

    It is supremely ironic that the entity that describes itself as the lead U.S. "regulator" per law, is accusing companies of being the real "regulators" when the law, FCC "regulation," common knowledge and common sense all consider companies to be "competitors" and not "regulators."

    Competitive broadband companies compete by offering differentiated products, services, features, prices, bandwidth, quality of service, security protections, etc., because consumers' needs, wants and means are very different.

     

    • That's competing.
    • That's the essence of competition that is the basis of U.S. communications law, regulation and market practice.
    • That is not regulating by any reasonable interpretation of the term in this context.

     

     

    If competitive broadband providers do not satisfy their customers, they lose them, because U.S. consumers have more facilities-based broadband competitive choices than any other citizenry in the world -- by far.

    • That's the wisdom and beauty of the American free market system; if consumers don't like what they are getting or how they are being treated, they have the freedom and choice to take their business elsewhere.
    • Unlike the Federal Government, competitive broadband providers, have no governmental coercive power to "regulate," mandate, or force compliance -- they can only enter into voluntary contracts with consumers for competitive products and services.
    • It is the FCC, which has the full coercive weight of the Federal Government to enforce regulation of communications -- within the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution, law, precedent, official procedures, due process, and the electoral process.

     

    This latest strange justification episode is eerily reminiscent of another time the FCC tried to redefine reality contrary to U.S law, FCC regulatory precedents, and the Supreme Court.

     

    • In that strange episode with the Wall Street Journal, the FCC Chairman appeared to try and redefine the Internet as excluding the broadband networks that actually comprise and make up the Internet, but as including only what rides on the Internet networks, despite the fact that that view is in direct contradiction with the law, the FCC and the Supreme Court.

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    In sum, how serious does the FCC expect to be taken when they officially and publicly try and justify their actions by denying the law, regulation, legal precedent, common knowledge and common sense by nonsensically arguing that:

     

    • FCC regulation of the networks that the law, FCC regulation and the Supreme Court all define as the Internet is somehow not regulating the Internet;
    • Broadband Internet competitors are the real regulators, not the FCC; and
    • The FCC regulations would only prevent regulation?

     

    If this is the best justification the FCC can muster, it suggests that potential FCC net neutrality regulation of the Internet could be an unmitigated disaster, because there is slim chance that the courts, the Congress, and the public will accept and support such fatally-flawed, circular logic and justification that defies any common sense or reasonableness.

    Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths