Net Neutrality Pinky Promise

by Mike Wendy on December 19, 2018

A year has passed since the FCC repealed Title II Net Neutrality and let Internet freedom ring…again. The result – broadband networks are even faster, better and growing; and people are getting more for their broadband dollar. You wouldn’t know that from the Net Neut crowd – a group so dark with despair at this wonderful world that when presented with a glass that’s 90% (or more) full, they can only see it as empty. Or less.

Oh, well. Too bad for them. I’m thirsty. Let’s drink.

When Obama’s Title II Net Neutrality law was passed along “progressive” party lines in 2015, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told us that his FCC would play nice and “forbear from sections of Title II that pose a meaningful threat to network investment…[and that] means no rate regulation…”

Until it doesn’t, that is.

FCC Net Neutrality architect, Gigi Sohn: Heck, the rule was always about rate regulation, etc.

Last week, a key FCC architect in the Net Neutrality power grab – Gigi Sohn – let slip the obvious, writing:

“So when your broadband provider decides one day to triple the price for your broadband service, who are you going to call?”

Really, that’s going to happen?  OK, sure.  Anyway, as Sohn implies, when it does (for it is an empty-glass certainty), if the Obama / Hillary / Bernie (or the like) FCC were in charge, you’d call the Commission to, er, regulate rates, stopping the greedy ISPs in their tracks.

But, didn’t Tom Wheeler pinky promise that the agency would never do that, among other awful confiscatory actions?

Hmm.

And this is the heart of the evilness of Net Neutrality, or any similar authoritarian regime: It always starts “benign,” and then we see that all the Grubers were just lying in wait, ready for some “crisis” to unleash the rest of their control scheme.  We’re stuck, of course, our heads spinning, rolled by the prevarication that “everything will be better” if we allow do-gooder administrators to do some “good” and impose just “a little” regulation to “protect” us from something that ain’t actually broken.

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Hooray for Internet Freedom!  We are better served by letting the marketplace decide our fate than pinky-promising, “all-knowing” regulators. Let’s drink to that!

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The following statement may be attributed to Mike Wendy, President of MediaFreedom.org:

Alexandria, VA, December 12, 2018 – Today’s FCC action, which declares that text messaging services are information services to be regulated under “light touch” rules, is a welcome gift to American consumers. By removing these popular services from the specter of FDR-era common carriage regulation, providers will have greater flexibility to develop innovative messaging solutions that better serve those who regularly text via their smartphones (which is just about everyone). Of course, if you like text SPAM, you’re out of luck. The FCC has some coal for you.

Thanks, FCC, for the much appreciated holiday present! “Light touch” actions such as these boost marketplace innovation, competition and broadband deployment, all of which help Americans of all stripes thrive via their connected communications devices.

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Councilwoman Mary M. Cheh
Chairperson, District of Columbia Committee on Transportation and the Environment
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Via e-mail

Dear Chairperson Cheh:

MediaFreedom commends the District of Columbia for its patient and thoughtful examination of the issues surrounding the deployment of new wireless infrastructure, such as for 5G broadband services, within the city. MediaFreedom recognizes the important needs of the community to maintain its roads, facilities and other public spaces safely, efficiently and with proper visual aesthetics in mind. That said, as the District manages the shift to 5G, we urge it to adhere to an infrastructure siting process which keeps obstacles to entry low, expeditiously and transparently approves permits, and minimizes non-related fees or other requirements for those building-out the new and necessary infrastructure required by 5G.

(See full filing here)

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Fundraising for a lost cause.

No, the fundraising action alert pictured at left is not an example of hopeful optimism. Asking for money from unwitting Net Neutrality supporters to pass a pending Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution reinstating Net Neutrality is an outright scam, pure and simple.

It stands ZERO chance of passing.

The organizers, and the reporters pushing this charade, know this – but they won’t let their supporters / readers know it (which is ironic, since they’re all about keeping the Internet “free and open” to combat censorship, “misinformation,” etc.).

Why let facts get in the way of a good pledge drive, eh?

Here’s Fight for the Future’s plan to pass the CRA into law:

“The FCC killed net neutrality, giving companies like Comcast and Verizon the power to control what we see and do online with throttling, censorship, and expensive new fees. But Congress can still reverse that decision using the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The Senate already passed a resolution, but now the House is running out of time to do the same. We’re focusing all of our energy on key lawmakers who are facing tight races, making them the most likely to listen to constituents…” (Emphasis added)

Really, that’s all it takes to bring Net Neutrality back – that is, the House passing its CRA?

Umm, no.

Sadly, purposely, you won’t find the following “disclaimer” / finer points / facts in any of their “we can pass it!” marketing / propaganda:

At last count, there are only 177 supporters of the House CRA – all Democrats, and one Republican. To put the CRA on the floor for a vote, it needs 218 votes to discharge it from Committee. That means Net Neutrality activists need to pick-up 41 “votes” for discharge, including House D’s that haven’t signed on, and at least 22 House R’s. Even after November’s mid-term election, CRA movement has remained stock-still. But, for argument’s sake, let’s assume supporters discharge the CRA from Committee. From there, it would proceed to debate and a floor vote, and, if successful, it would then be presented to President Trump before the end of the 115th Congress for his signature. That last step is the most daunting of all, given that President Trump / his administration is against Net Neutrality.  Consequently, the CRA would be vetoed, and, because of time constraints and lack of support, the veto would not be overridden.

This means the CRA is a dead letter, and the FCC’s repeal of Net Neutrality remains the law of the land.

Of course, the CRA tactic was always ever a losing game – a PR stunt. What a waste of time and effort, though.  Democrats could have worked with Republicans to resolve the Net Neutrality debate once and for all, but they chose politics and skenky fundraising instead.

The bogus pledge drive must end.

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Last week, when several states filed their joint brief urging overturn of the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIF), a fire storm broke out. In it was the declaration from Santa Clara County fire chief, Tony Bowden, that his department’s efforts to stop the Mendocino Complex fire were hampered by Verizon’s throttling of a wireless […]

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