Skip to content

Innovation, Telco Style


Internet network neutrality was dealt a severe blow last week by a federal court. This means that internet providers are now free to charge whatever they want to provide you with individual content, just like cable companies do. Verizon, who brought the suit, claims that killing network neutrality is required in order to allow “innovation”. Yeah, right. We’ve already seen what that kind of innovation looks like — purposely slowing down or even blocking services (like Netflix) that compete with their own higher priced offerings.

There is a solution, but will the FCC have the guts to implement it and piss off the powerful companies that stand to gain from the loss?

Otherwise, companies like Verizon, Time-Warner, AT&T, Comcast and others will be allowed to control what you can see and say over the internet. I think that is intolerable.



  1. PATRIOTSGT wrote:

    I agree IK. Suppose a telephone provider says I’m not going to let your prepaid international calling card work on our network. There would be a an incredible uproar. Or suppose ATT which owns around 97% of all the telephone network backbone all of a sudden says, I’m not going to let Sprint have any bandwidth? I’m certain the FCC would jump all over that.
    The other point to this is it brings to light some incompetency’s of our government employees. I read through your links and it seems like the legal team for the FCC got outgunned in the courtroom.

    Good post.

    Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink
  2. Max wrote:

    This is why cable/telco mergers are very bad, even if the merging firms don’t compete with each other. Because the big internet users can tell a small cable/telco to go to hell, but if companies like Comcast and Verizon are allowed to keep growing, then they can grab control over the internet (or at least try, which is bad enough).

    Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 8:40 pm | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    There are a lot of people blaming the FCC, but I think it is more complicated than that. While the internet was getting started, it *did* look like an information service, rather than a common carrier. And there are lots of regulatory downsides to being a common carrier. And because it became a common carrier pretty slowly, there was no obvious time when the FCC should have switched it. But now would be a good time.

    Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 12:42 am | Permalink
  4. Hassan wrote:

    Can someone refresh me about anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft? I was relatively young at the moment to understand it. This is what I remember, Microsoft was giving Internet Explorer free built-in on Windows, and Netscape people said that by doing so microsoft is monopolizing browser market, as no one will try to get netscape.

    Can we draw any parallels here? Or is this situation more parallel to AT&T divestiture of 1982? I am basically feeling that it is close to Microsoft IE issue (or worse), as carriers are going to give preference to their content.

    Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  5. westomoon wrote:

    Seems like a good time to vote with one’s metaphorical feet. It’s a lot like banking — there are still plenty of small & local ISPs who just provide good, reliable access and don’t seem to feel the need to mess with their customers.

    Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink
  6. Dan wrote:

    Given how cable companies are already gouging prices for internet access, they should be paying Netflix (and others) for all the demand they generate.

    Can this be seen as an incredibly short-sighted move?

    Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink
  7. TJ wrote:

    I’d love to vote with my wallet, but I literally have no other option than the company I’m currently with. I’ve looked numerous times.

    Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 11:39 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    TJ, and that is the whole point. The internet has become a common carrier, just like phone service. It is time the FCC made it so.

    Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 11:45 pm | Permalink
  9. Dan wrote:

    I have more choice of mobile carrier–which has common carrier status–than internet provider.

    Monday, January 20, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink