Has Art Brodsky lost his grip? His posting over at Public Knowledge has to be one of the lamest lines of defense ever offered as a basis for over turning the Rule of Law. Kindness of Strangers be damned!
Mr Brodsky starts with using the Ides of March reversal technique –
Of course, the story isn’t all that simple, is it? Because the hidden story of Comcast’s glorious victory is that if Comcast were smart, it wouldn’t in the first place have brought the case, which challenged the FCC’s authority over the company’s high-speed Internet service. Some in the telecommunications industry, perhaps even huge companies with three letters in its name, urged (begged?) Comcast not to take the FCC’s ruling to court, because of the possibility that Comcast could actually win and, potentially, win big —which is what happened.
The reason that the Telcos like the arrangement Art is that it extended their LATA boundary relationships into the non regulated digital environment without so much as a legal skirmish. And what’s this dismissive alluding but not naming? Its AT&T, VZ, Sprint. Don’t be so damn coy.
But where is the standing on damages to the industry that Mr. Brodsky intones? He offers two — Depend on the Kindness of Strangers, and Waiting for Godot. In the former case he charges that depending on the big firms for telecommunications advancement has led us on a downward spiral in terms of global competitiveness. There is some truth to that but not the whole truth. For who is the hand maiden leading the spiraling down the drain but the FCC itself. Then in the latter case we have this –
We can’t depend on unelected bureaucrats to deal with topics as essential as broadband, because the result could be “excessive and burdensome regulation” on those humble, hard-working telephone and cable companies who unfairly change the rules without any reason at all.
And to you I say, NO we cannot trust bureaucrats with damn near anything including telecommunications. If for no other reason that the concept of the Lack of Sufficient Knowledge on a continuing basis.
But thru all of Mr. Brodsky’s missive is this gem –
… Practically speaking (even if there is a very slim legal opening), broadband is free from regulation – a nirvana that the telecoms industry might once upon a time have gratefully accepted as its due, but now looks upon it with some trepidation because now the door has swung wide open to a full-scale discussion of bringing Internet broadband access services back under reasonable regulation.
Two counts here. Brodsky’s ox has been gored by this ruling yet now the door has been swung open for reasonable regulation? By what variant of a pharmaceutical does he come to this conclusion? Its an election year fella. The chances of a Democratic Congress taking this up is slim to none. Plus if the tea leaves are right the Republican Congress next year won’t have the cycle time to touch it either. The second is under proper procedure, the FCC being a creature of Congress should make the necessary request for an expansion of its authority by the proper means, not some gerrymandered legal trick with a wink and a nod. But Mr. Brodsky the FCC DOES NOT possess the authority to overstate its intended alloted powers. Or do I assume you are willing to abrogate the rule of law to achieve your statist aims under the color of consumer protection. How Stalinist.
While it probably has a limited future after mobile WiMax starts operating, small prepaid carrier Cricket may really shake things up in the EVDO wireless broadband space. Touting their $40/month prepaid service as one for the lower income customer, it could also be very successful with the upscale as well. Priced competitively with out a bleeping contract is a message that will sell well across income groups. The only limiter to broad success, and it’s a big one, is Cricket’s lack of national coverage.
While Cricket’s $40/month rate is lower than other cell phone carriers’ wireless Internet charges, the key isn’t just price. It’s that Cricket is the only carrier offering wireless PC Internet on prepaid, without credit checks or a contract commitment, Toig said.
Cricket’s broadband service is available in several Texas cities, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City and St. Louis right now, and it’s coming to all of Cricket’s other cities by the end of the year. (PC World)