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Net Neutrality

net neutralityI think this is important.

From DailyKos:

With the Federal Communications Commission set to vote on strong net neutrality rules this Thursday, the opposition is getting increasingly shrill, and their favorite talking point—a false one—is that it’s going to raise your taxes.

“Stop the federal internet takeover!” That’s the warning that Sen. Mike Lee blasted out to readers of conservative email lists last month. “This is essentially a massive tax increase on the middle class, being passed in the dead of night without the American public really being made aware of what is going on,” wrote the Utah Republican. “New taxes and fees” could total “$15 billion annually,” Grover Norquist, the head of Americans for Tax Reform, claimed in an op-ed. It’s “Obamacare for the internet,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) hollered.

That false talking point comes from a discredited analysis of the issue by a group called the Progressive Policy Institute that claims that the option the FCC plans to take on net neutrality, reclassifying it under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, could cost American consumers up to $15 billion annually. The claim has been debunked by internet advocates andtraditional media fact-checkers alike, as relying on “fuzzy math” and “significant factual error[s].”

But it still gets traction, including at The New York Times, as Media Matters points out. TheTimes “Bits” blog, which really should know better, repeated the debunked claim in a post last week, even while it included a statement from FCC spokesperson Kim Hart that Wheeler’s plan “‘does not raise taxes or fees. Period.'”

The reality is that the FCC can and probably will “declare that broadband is a purely interstate telecom service,” as Free Press explains. “Because broadband access is interstate and not intrastate, none of the intrastate taxes or special telecom fees would apply.” States could impose a sales tax on interstate telecom services, but that’s just about the only tax that could apply here, and it would be a maximum of about $4 billion, nationally, as opposed to $15 billion. But the FCC and Congress could both take action to eliminate any extra taxes. (more…)

By | 2015-02-24T02:07:31+00:00 February 23rd, 2015|Blogging issues, Civil Rights|Comments Off on Net Neutrality

Truth Competition Is Good

A new report has just come out from the FCC on AT&T’s proposed merger with T-Mobile. The FCC basically stated that AT&T and T-Mobile are active in almost every major market in the United States. Therefore, a merger would limit competition and increase consumer prices. There should be no surprise to anyone. Considering all the mergers that have occurred over the last decade or so, I haven’t seen one that has been helpful to us, the consumers. Finally, we have a government agency which is standing up for us. Let’s take our time, sit back and bask in the glow because it’s not happen again for another decade or so.

By | 2011-11-29T22:34:37+00:00 November 29th, 2011|Business|Comments Off on Truth Competition Is Good

NBC – Comcast merger leaves us out in the cold, again

It seems to me that every merger should be looked at through the lens of the middle class. Is this merger good for the middle class? I just don’t think that the answer is yes. I think that this limits choices and will lead to increased consolidation and increased prices.

From HuffPo:

Today, the Federal Communications Commissionblessed the merger of Comcast, the nation’s largest cable and residential Internet provider, with NBC-Universal. The Justice Department immediately followed suit, removing the last obstacle to the unprecedented consolidation of media and Internet power in the hands of one company. (FCC press release here)

You should be afraid and mad as hell.

The new Comcast will control an obscene number of media outlets, including the NBC broadcast network, numerous cable channels, two dozen local NBC and Telemundo stations, movie studios, online video portals, and the physical network that distributes that media content to millions of Americans through Internet and cable connections.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts called it “a proud and exciting day for Comcast,” and showered Obama’s FCC and DoJ with praise. (more…)

By | 2011-01-19T13:08:19+00:00 January 19th, 2011|Business, Legal|Comments Off on NBC – Comcast merger leaves us out in the cold, again