ifnormation

in yr internets, cloggin yr tubes

Posts Tagged ‘National Broadband Plan

So Maybe Ed Whitacre Won’t Be Controlling Your Tubes

leave a comment »

According to the National Broadband Plan, the government foresees a future where we only have one high-speed ISP.

In the report, released last year, the FCC noted that cable companies are able to provide ever-faster internet and phone companies aren’t able to keep up due to outdated technology. This trend means that, eventually, there will only be one legitimate high-speed ISP in each municipality.

The fear is that eventually, everyone will have to use their cable providers for high speed internet, who, even by their own standards, are pretty much universally hated*. The phone companies will be out of the picture (well, except for Verizon and FIOS, I assume) because they just can’t keep up.

It’s an interesting insight into the rationale of the FCC: We need Net Neutrality to protect the ISPs from foisting their “managed services” on us (basically, no more Netflix, no more Hulu if we’re talking cable-based ISPs), which they will do once they achieve a “natural monopoly” and ISP competition goes the way of cable TV. Basically, we need Net Neutrality because the FCC screwed up in the first place.

The flip side to this is that people don’t hate their ISP they way they hate their cable provider – a statistic Net Neutrality For The Win noted in a study – and even the New York Times who usually walks in step with attempts at government regulation thinks competition is a better way to solve the problem**.

So maybe the old quote trotted out by every Net Neutrality supporter will finally go out of vogue since, evidently, it’s going to be the cable companies fucking us instead of the phone companies. Hey, it’s only been 5+ years.

*A little side note: Cable providers have been so historically awful at customer service that the FCC actually enacted guidelines in the early 90’s to try and improve customer service. Nice to see that worked out.

**Unfortunately I can’t find the link to the Op/Ed. I’ll keep looking, though. Keep in mind, it might be stuck behind a paywall.

Written by Matt

January 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm