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Epictetus

Net Neutrality

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http://mises.org/library/net-neutrality-scam  The Net Neutrality Scam -- Feb. 26, 2015 -- Mises Institute

 

 

Yet again, the government wants to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. According to the Obama administration and the FCC, it is necessary to regulate internet service providers so that they don’t interfere with people’s access to the web. The claim immediately prompts one to ask: Who is being denied access to the web?

 

In the past twenty years, access to the internet has only become more widespread and service today is far faster for many people — including “ordinary†people — than it was twenty years ago, or even ten years ago. Today, broadband in Europe, where the internet is more tightly regulated, has less reach than it has in the United States.

 

The administration’s plan is rather innocuously called “net neutrality,†but in fact it has nothing at all to do with neutrality and is just a scheme to vastly increase the federal government’s control over the internet.

 

 

Nor are such regulatory regimes even “efficient†in the mainstream use of the term. As economist Douglass North noted, regulatory regimes do not improve efficiency, but serve the interests of those with political power:

So, if populists think net neutrality will somehow give “the people†greater voice in how bandwidth is allocated and ISPs function, they should think again.

 

Institutions are not necessarily or even usually created to be socially efficient; rather they, or at least the formal rules, are created to serve the interests of those with the bargaining power to create new rules.

 

 

In Northwest Austin, after moving back to ATX from Northern California, I had AT&T twisted pair connection that was erratic and just plain awful. My network connection window always showed nearby (neighbors) Road Runners with stronger signals. Finally I switched to TWC Road Runner cable connection. I began at around 5Mb download speed and the usual 500Kb upload.

 

A few years hence, and with no additional charge, here is what I just now show on my iPad that is using the wireless connect in the house using a Netgear Router from BestBuy, and the ARRIS modem from TWC.  Download 40.64 Mbps, Upload 5.45 Mbps. That's wireless.

 

On my iMac with direct cable to the Netgear-ARRIS hookeup: 53.76 Mbps and 5.57 Mbps. (Both tests by OOKLA app and website)

 

With Road Runner I have the combo land line that services one voice line and one fax line.

Surf N Talk basic service, $87.99

Voice mail, $3.95

Home Phone Unlimited, $39.99

Total Pre-tax service: $139.93

Total bill with taxes and fees: $161.58

 

We have a 2-story residence, and with the performance of the separate Netgear router are able to do well throughout the house on other Macs, on my iPad at the kitchen table, and running Netflix on a Visio in my daughter's bedroom...that TV screen is not cabled, it is only running on Wi-Fi.

 

I'm not sure how going to Title II and falling under an executive branch department more in the new direction will improve my service or offer it at a better price. I think I could be anywhere in the Austin municipal area and get the same service. My concern is that things will be worse than better, because often with the government, more regulation equates to 'costs outweighing benefits.' There is the idea that something needs government oversight and regulation in order to be more fair, more correctly done, more 'something' -- all with the belief that an open and free market society can never handle innovation and availability better than can be managed by centralized planning and regulatory oversight.

 

Yet I would have thought if there ever was one thing the whole society more or less "owns" and has responsibility for, and can show it can take innovation and deliver to unbelievable heights... it is the Internet. I know the origin of the concept and technology for it began with the government, but this may be one case where society will have taken an idea and done more with it than any government could ever have done. Showing that liberty does work: a free group of people can interact and innovate remarkably well. Thank you very much!!

 

Now government feels it needs to take the reins of it. You know, to insure things are done correctly. (I'm holding off a stream of consciousness on many trails of thoughts that go with that... think NSA on steroids. Plenty of movie scripts awaiting that).

 

Back on point... in the growing and expanding Interractive portion of South by Southwest, it appears an open society has taken Internet development (products, services) and access far beyond what I ever would have imagined. Will be interesting to see if Net Neutrality is a key topic next month at SXSW.

 

I saw on local Austin news past couple of weeks that the federal government will have a setup at this year's event. Meaning they've rented a large space at some downtown office location (the way that's done these days). My first thought is that it's recruitment for finding talented developers to help with government department innovation, much like there are needs in city organizations to upgrade and innovate data systems. Most government (city, county, state, federal) systems lag behind private industry in that respect. And that was highlighted at recent SXSW events.

 

The federal govenrment may also be here to promote or answer questions on what this FCC ruling will be about, and it comes out today (Feb. 26).

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