Boots & Sabers

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2108, 09 Feb 15

Obama Moves to Regulate Internet

Yes, that’s what “net neutrality” means. It’s not about neutrality. It’s about government control.

“President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” Pai said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.”

In his initial cursory overview of the plan, the commissioner said it would hinder broadband investment, slow network speed and expansion, limit outgrowth to rural areas of the country and reduce Internet service provider (ISP) competition.

“The plan saddles small, independent businesses and entrepreneurs with heavy-handed regulations that will push them out of the market,” Pai said. “As a result, Americans will have fewer broadband choices. This is no accident. Title II was designed to regulate a monopoly. If we impose that model on a vibrant broadband marketplace, a highly regulated monopoly is what we’ll get.”


2108, 09 February 2015


  1. scott

    I’m continually surprised at how wrong you are on this, Owen. It’s your government-is-always-wrong ideology trumping what is to almost everyone else a no-brainer.

  2. Kevin Scheunemann

    Anytime I hear, “Hi, I’m from the government. I’m here to help you.” It means we are going to pay more and/or have less choices.

  3. Dave

    It’s about government regulation which, yes, does involve some control in order to ensure equal access to this 21st century utility for everyone. Under your thinking the Rural Electrification Act would have been unconstitutional and farms and rural areas would still be lighting with kerosene because adequate profit potential would not exist to serve those areas. “Promote the general welfare” means more than laissez faire. Capitalism without regulation has no interest in the “general welfare.” Its interest lies in the greatest possible profit…period.

  4. Kevin Scheunemann


    Yes, I would have been against Rural electrification Act.

    …because, what…farmers would still be without access to electricity today?

    ….and access to internet is a problem today? for whom?

  5. scott

    Maybe the problem here is that you guys are too worried about what might happen with this new classification in place rather than worried about what actually is happening without it. Your ideology says more regulation will be bad. Our reality says less regulation isn’t working.

    I like the internet as it’s always been: open for anyone to publish their content, sell their services, right alongside the big guys. It’s a road. You can go anywhere you want and drive just as fast as the next guy. Without this new classification, those who pay $100 a month will be able to drive in the fast lane while everyone else gets to suck it. Advantage: big, rich dinosaurs. Disadvantage: startups, little guys, innovators and disruptors. Losers: us.

  6. Kevin Scheunemann


    I use internet quite a bit, and never had a problem with my meager $50/month access.

    I can’t imagine how much more of a multiple, in terms of use, one would have to do before getting to the problem you describe. If that is a problem, get more providers, on multiple pipelines!

    Simple solution.

    No government needed.

  7. scott

    Im not sure you even understand the problem I describe. I’m talking about a new service,, competing with youtube. The latter can probably afford to pay Charter Communications a few million dollars so that their video streams nicely. Newtube cannot. Even though it’s better in every other way, newtube is screwed. And so are we.

    That IS what the firms in question are doing. They are making fast and slow lands so that they can charge a premium to the service/content providers. Nice revenue stream for them. Bad for competition. Bad for consumers.

  8. JonnyV

    What SHOULD have happened was the govt should have forced all the local providers to open up their lines. Local Loop Unbundling. Give other ISPs a chance at providing services.

    I don’t love Title II, but something has to be done to stop ISPs from restricting services or slowing down competition. The ISPs should be nothing but dumb pipes. Charge me per byte that I use if they want. But just make sure that I have the speed you are promising me from any service.

    I do a LOT of work from my house. And I transfer large files, and the fact that I can only get 5 meg up is absurd. The ISPs have NO incentive to provide better service or speed. Look at what is happening in every market where Google Fiber is being offered. Suddenly the ISP is offering extremely high speeds to compete.

  9. Kevin Scheunemann


    Then choose an internet provider that does not do that….or a provider that favors your favorite sites.

    No need for government to get involved.

    Plenty of choices.

    I’ve surfed the little guy sites and never had an issue…but maybe thats because I have a good internet provider.

    You just want to have government tell Chater how to do business. I think Charter is a cesspool company, so I choose not to use them.

    Even with regulation, Charter will still be a cesspool. That will not change.

    Stop wading in the internet cesspool and this problem is solved.

  10. Dave

    Kevin, can you just choose your electric utility switching from one to another if displeased with service? No. Land line telephone? No. That is why these monopolies have been subject to government regulation, for the common good so that citizens are not subject to the whim of a monopoly. While you may have choices for internet service, many cities have only one provider, perhaps Charter. Internet service is the 21st century “landline” servicing much more than email. Stop wading in the internet cesspool?? You are suggesting time travel back to the 20th century apparently. No the internet should be regulated as other monopolistic utilities have been despite your ideological frothing.

  11. Kevin Scheunemann


    We are not talking electric utility.

    Land line telephone regulation is irrelevant today because of technlogy.

    No city is limited to one internet provider so long as Dish and DirectTV offer their wirless services. (I’m certain there are other wireless internet providers, just naming a couple.) Heck, who needs a direct internet provider? Get a cell phone and make your cell a permanent wireless hotspot.

    If the issue is the city only allows one hard pipeline internet provider, that is a problem of government being involved and limiting choices. Even in that scenario there is stll a dzzying array of cell phone providers, or wireless internet providers, to get an internet connection.

    Typical liberal argument, government screws up choice to a monopoly, which des not really exist anywhere, and then calls for more government to fix the monopolistic situation created by bad government to begin with.

    Giving FCC control of internet is bad news. FCC is trustworthy because…what…they have done such a great job managing radio and TV channels over the years? FCC regulation substantially delayed the TV innovation we see today. FCC served to reinforce the TV netork oligopoly for decades. Much to detriment of innovation and choice.

    FCC will end up doing same thing to internet.

    Nest thing you will tell me is: MPS is an outstanding school system.

  12. Dave

    We won’t know how MPS fares until we have the identical tests applied to MPS and to the private voucher schools now will we? Otherwise it is anecdotal and opinion.

  13. scott

    Dare I suggest that we ask what other countries are doing? No, probably not. Not here.

    Dave is right. I have maybe two choices for internet provider where I live. Some folks nearby have only one. That’s hardly the thriving marketplace affording me choice enough to shrug off provider shenanigans.

    I don’t want my provider deciding what I can do/see on the internet and what I can’t. I don’t want them “prioritizing” based on who’s giving them kickbacks. I don’t want them “throttling” their business partner’s competitors. I want to do what I want without their interference. They provide pipe. I just want the internet to work the way it always had before. The new world of providers making my decisions for me is bullshit and there’s not enough choice in the market for me to avoid it.

  14. Kevin Scheunemann


    “We won’t know how MPS fares until we have the identical tests applied to MPS and to the private voucher schools now will we? Otherwise it is anecdotal and opinion.”

    What are you talking about? As someone who is in a leadership position at a private Christian Day School, the kids take the same DPI test the public school kids take. The private Christian schools, including those in voucher schools, score far better than public school systems.

    May I suggest gathering the facts before unilaterally saying private school christian kids don’t get the same testing as public schools. Heck, in public schools, from time to time, you have teachers giving the kids the answers to inflate public school test scores.


    If you hate your provider deciding that…don’t use that provider.

    Or better yet…start your own internet provider company!

    If its such a problem internet companies will specialize in marketing to guys like yourself worried about this issue.

  15. scott

    Your faith in market competition is in this instance extremely naive. I expect even you don’t believe it. Rather, when those solutions didn’t present themselves you’d simply say it wasn’t a problem to begin with, ipso facto.

  16. Kevin Scheunemann


    I’m just putting the idea out there, that if this is such a problem, then some companies will eventually peddle their internet services, free of this issue, to the tin foil hat crowd who feel this is a big enough issue to yield complete control of internet to Obama.

  17. Dave

    Kevin, the school accountability bill proposed in the Assembly and the proposal the governor placed in the proposed budget allow schools to select from several testing options which will not give an apples to apples comparison for school accountability purposes. The Senate bill does provide that all schools, public and private, will take the same test. If you want accountability and want to hold private schools to the same standard as public, and provide support to those schools that need it, the senate version makes sense. If your goal is to undermine public schools in favor of private schools, gradually privatize public schools by applying punitive measures to public schools then the Governor/Assembly approach makes sense. I think I can guess which way you’d like to go.

    BTW, Nice solution if the internet provider monopoly is not working for you: “Or better yet…start your own internet provider company.”

  18. scott

    That’s where the blinders are coming from. The delusion that the new classification by the FCC amounts to an Obama takeover of the internet. Got it now.

  19. Kevin Scheunemann


    When you deal with private Christian Schools, academic accountability is hardly ever a problem. In fact, it’s a non issue because parents have the choice to get away from private school if the particular private school is failing their kid(s). Many times, the parents themselves are in charge of the private school.

    What you should focus on is the illiterate graduates MPS spins out each year. MPS High School graduation rate runsd under 50% many years…and you are worried about private schools that are doing well?

    Public school accountability is the problem. Many at MPS don’t have a choice to get away from the racist palntation liberals defend in Milwaukee.

    Keep your eye on the real problems, not the distraction the public school teacher unions create out of thin air.

  20. Dave

    i don’t care what private schools do as long as they are funded by private money. If they are to receive public funds (which I personally believe poses a constitutional problem…but then I am not the court) they should be equally accountable as public schools. Apples to apples comparison.

  21. Kevin Scheunemann


    “Equally accountable” as public schools?

    That would bring many private schools down to the lowest common denominator.

    As long as MPS exists, you cannot complain about accountability private schools. MPS personifies the problem with public school monopolies.

    Government can’t even clean up its own failing schools.

    Again, parents should be the accountability mechanism, not failing bureaucrats like Tony Evers, MPS administration, or Tom Barrett.

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