In his relentless drive to leave no aspect of American life unmolested, Obama’s next stop is cyberspace. Having “reformed” U.S. medicine, Obama now aims to “repair” the World Wide Web. If you like Obamacare, you will love ObamaNet.
On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on a “net neutrality” proposal to regulate broadband networks as if they were telephone monopolies from the days when copper wire was high tech. ObamaNet would let Uncle Sam intervene in the price, product-innovation, and capacity decisions of Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Net neutrality? Let’s call it net brutality.
Like Obamacare, ObamaNet would impose complex rules via Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. FDR signed that legislation seven years after The Jazz Singer — the first feature-length talking picture — and seven years before Pearl Harbor. Astride this 81-year-old steed, Obama would lead the Internet’s charge into the 21st century.
Once ObamaNet ropes ISPs into Title II, they would need FCC approval for new products, business models, data-traffic operations, and more. Rather than focus on inventions and improvements, Silicon Valley executives would have to machete their way through Title II’s 682 pages and 987 rule sections. They could ask “forbearance” from these regulations. Good luck. According to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the FCC makes the average applicant wait 372 days — one year and one week — for an answer. Since 1996, about 69 percent of such requests have failed, at least partially.
This is heaven for attorneys and hell for software coders, entrepreneurs, and consumers.
Like Obamacare, ObamaNet also would pick pockets. “For the first time, billions of dollars in fees will be attached to the Internet service, just like they are to telephone service,” warns Senator Mike Lee (R., Utah). ISPs then would “pass them on to you, the consumer.”
Liberal-think-tank scholars Robert Litan of the Brookings Institution and Hal Singer of the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) calculate annual increases in state fees of $67 for landline-broadband accounts and $72 for wireless subscriptions. Federal taxes per household will rise $17. They predict that “the new fees could reach $15 billion per year.”
Why does Obama want to squeeze $156 annually out of each typical broadband customer? What agony would ObamaNet assuage?
Someone else already pointed out on another thread how much better service and technology became once the government deregulated the phone monopoly in the 1980s. This is nothing but a bpatant attempt by the left to try to regain control of communications and thus, squash opposition to, and criticism of, tyrannical and stupid leftist policies.
The internet is not broken. It is the ultimate in free market and free expression of ideas.