Willfully Blind to the Unanimous Charter Vote

by Mike Wendy on April 4, 2017

In Berkman Center’s report on the role the media and the web played in helping the FCC pass Net Neutrality / Title II rules, it concluded that Ars Technica and The Verge were some of the most helpful publications in that pitched battle.

Apparently, their pro-Net Neutrality spin was much appreciated by the “cause.”

So, it comes as no surprise that both Ars and The Verge would carry that forward into other related areas to keep up the good work – you know, for the “cause.”

Take for example yesterday’s news that a UNANIMOUS Commission – that’s right, the majority with the minority – voted to eliminate the onerous “overbuild requirements” (i.e., mandates to build infrastructure in already served areas) of last year’s Charter merger.

Oddly, both Ars and The Verge make no mention of the unanimity of the vote. They just couldn’t utter the word.

Why so quiet?

“Unanimous” interferes with the “you didn’t build this” narrative of the prior Administration and Commission, flying in the face of its specious “competition, competition, competition” mantra. Yesterday’s change follows a sensible policy of building where facilities aren’t, and then using other tools, like the marketplace, to promote real, not centrally-planned, competition.  It lends credibility to a lighter regulatory touch (previously denied by the prior FCC) to help Americans get on the Internet. Further, it shows that the “settled science” of Net Neutrality, well, maybe it ain’t so settled.

It’s not a little slip.  It’s a purposeful under-reporting.  Because the “cause” and some of its water-carriers cannot abide the facts.

Policy built on this willful blindness hurts Americans.  Good thing the new FCC is correcting that.  “Helpful” members of the press would do well to do that, too.

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