Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Internet waters, the regulatory sharks are back to try to expand their power base.
If you recall last year, there was action from Senator Thune and broadband providers to stop the FCC from expanding their regulatory authority over broadband access.
The case was recently heard in court…
The broadband industry has lost its lawsuit attempting to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules and the related reclassification of Internet service providers as common carriers.
.. And unfortunately, the bureaucrats were able to expand their power base.
What many people don’t realize is that while that case was winding its way through the halls of justice, The FCC opened up another front in the battle, as they pursue taking over the Internet.
From back in April…
The Federal Communications Commission today proposed new price regulations for so-called “business data services,” potentially bringing Comcast and other cable companies under a type of regulatory regime that already applied to phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon.
The price rules won’t extend to home Internet or the typical broadband service that companies buy to get their employees online. Instead, this form of data connectivity—also called “special access”—is sometimes thought of as the Internet equivalent of a barrel of oil.
“[T]he FCC’s proposal to impose rate caps and other regulatory mandates extends beyond the incumbent telco providers to new entrants in that marketplace, such as Comcast and other cable companies that are investing billions of dollars of capital and bringing real competition and innovation to the sector,” Comcast Senior Executive VP David Cohen wrote. “In this upside-down new regime, a competitive cable provider that currently holds a 10 percent share in a market would be treated the same as a dominant incumbent provider serving 90 percent of that market.”
Basically, the FCC wants to set prices on wholesale data between providers which will stymie growth and drive up costs for consumers, because they will set the pricing for “barrels of data,” for lack of a better term.
The problem with much of this, is that it has been private business that has driven the growth and expansion of the Internet. While it originated as a data communication system commissioned by the US government in the 60s, it’s commercialization is what has turned it into the Internet that we know today.
In the 20 years since 1995, the Internet’s use has grown 100-times. Yet, we are now being told by government that they need to step in, take over, and run things.
Somehow, that provides little comfort.