Rebutting Ebay which says NN is not about price regulation...sure CNET debate thread #9

My friend Chris Libertelli goaded me into explaining why NN cold lead to price regulation which I do with six points below.

UNE-P and NN both overreached!

Posted by Scott Cleland (See profile) - July 14, 2006 1:22 PM PDT


Both UNE-P and NN were/are huge regulatory over-reaching attempts.

From the beginning, your side has irresponsibly argued for an all encompassing concept of NN and drafted legislation that is hugely over-reaching. What do I mean?

First, Snowe-Dorgan applies to every current and future competitor -- those with no market power and no history of any problem. With the burden of NN may never be able to innovate and differentiate to be able to fully compete with the Telcos and Cable.

Second, Snowe Dorgan regulates individual people as broadband service providers! Huh!? So a Home WiFi stick needs Federal regulation so the Internet can be open and free? Doesn't that seem even the least bit excessive Chris to Federally regulate over 40 million American households? If that isn't what you mean change Snowe-dorgan because that's what it still says.

Third, Snowe-Dorgan also regulates free services! Don't the regulators have enough potential for-fee businesses to regulate that you want them to have the Big Brother authority to regulate the tens of millions of American consumers to make sure that no free bit is treated unfairly!

Fourth, you all have the gall to call -- that hyper-regulatory elimination of millions of Americans current freedom from regulation --"the Internet Freedom Preservation Act"? Is that a bad joke or no sense of what freedom means?

Fifth, the only way you could hope to enforce the terribly drafted language of Snowe-Dorgan would be to regulate rates, terms and conditions. How could regulators be sure everyone was being treated equally under Snowe -Dorgan without using the benchmark of rates, terms and conditions to compare one treatment to another? You'd have to oversee pricing and review every contract. While it may not lead to direct tarrifing, it still would have the effect of forcing companies to offer UNE-P like generic offerings to everyone in order to avoid regualtory or legal risk. So it would be de facto price regulation by unbounded regulatory risk.

With your experience Chris you are well aware of the disaster that can happen when ambiguous and potentially far reaching language makes it into law and is implemented by hyper-regulators like Reed Hundt.

Saying this could not lead to de facto price regulation in order to comply is just not being practical or realistic.

Sixth, the language is permanent; there is no sunset provision or adjustment if even more competition emerges. It is obvious that your endgame is not competition but regulation.

So why does our side distrust your legislative language so much? Its clear what the endgame here is from the over-reaching language. It opens the door to Reed Hundt-like micro-management of competition just like he did by creating NN-like UNE-P and "pick and choose" rules. Its the same old thinking, regulatory-ily tie down communications incumbents so regulators can redistribute market share and revenues like Reed Hundt effectively admited to in his book infamous book on his version of a "revolution."

Most sincerely,