I wish to respond to the editorial in today’s paper, “FCC shouldn’t regulate Web” by Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity (Colorado Daily, June 7).
I’m afraid I must strongly disagree with Mr. Kerpen’s conclusion that the FCC should be prevented from “regulating” the Internet, as well as his erroneous assertion that “the Internet — in the absence of regulation — has flourished into a remarkable engine of economic growth, innovation, competition and free expression.”
The Internet is a wonderful invention, it is true, but Mr. Kerpen’s twisting of the issues needs some correcting.
The Internet, as well as the entire telecommunications industry, has always been regulated since shortly after it got started — as it must be, if society is to derive the full benefits of this wonderful technology.
This was painfully learned early in the 20th century, when unbridled competition between private telephone companies was creating a maddeningly inefficient and wasteful industry due to duplication of phone lines. The result was granting a licensed monopoly to the Bell Company, resulting in the best telecommunications network in the world for decades.
I speak from some experience: I earned an MS in telecommunications at CU-Boulder in 2002, where I studied the issue of competition in telecommunications in some detail, and, in fact, won a national prize in 1999 from the International Communication Association for my essay on industry competition in the aftermath of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
The case brought by the FCC against Comcast for the slowing of Bitorrent traffic was dismissed on the legal technicality that the FCC “lacked authority” to regulate the broadband industry. This flies in the face of common sense, and deserves to be overturned; it is certainly reason enough for the FCC to be explicitly granted that authority by Congress.
The FCC was striving to preserve net neutrality — which is the true cornerstone that makes the Internet work so well, and was an entirely serendipitous development (developed almost entirely within the U.S. academic research community in the latter 20th century, after it was originally invented as a result of DARPA research in the early 1960′.)
This is something the “free market” could never have delivered, and it is preposterous from Mr. Kerpen to even suggest it.
If this court decision is allowed to stand, it will be the first crack in the wall of net neutrality, leading to a slippery slope with the other big carriers beginning to discriminate in their handling of Internet traffic, who will start to nickel and dime everyone they can for how their Internet services are delivered.
This is a marketplace nightmare, which we should strenuously seek to avoid.
Furthermore, Mr. Kerpen’s mischaracterization of the issues on so many other points, e.g. “…Washington takeover… FCC extremism… free-market Internet… mobilizing the public” betray his underlying “Trojan horse” mission: to establish corporate power over a public resource, disguised as an effort to do good for the general public.
No, Mr. Kergen, as well as his other scheming colleagues from the misnamed “Americans For Prosperity” camp, need to be shown for what they are: deliberate twisters of the truth who willingly doublespeak in the name of naked corporate power, seeking to confuse the public rather than empower them with true history and facts.
CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE
Since many U.S. corporations are now worldwide with global agendas, the law that the Supreme Court passed making corporations the same as U.S. citizens could give foreigners (including terrorist and governments) the influence to effect our elections, legislation and court decisions in their favor.
It is my opinion that this law could be considered treason.
Please do what you can to fulfill your oath to protect the United States of America.
MAKE BP PAY FOR ITS OILY MESS
When is the free market going to get this very huge disaster cleaned up?
I strongly believe that our government needs much stronger environmental regulations in this and many other environmental matters.
Furthermore, BP is a corporate criminal and should be made to pay for this not just now but far into the future.