Today, renegade (Republican) FCC members warned about their fellow commissioners bowing to Obama’s demand and preparing to subject the internet to central government planning.
[T] he duo wrote Monday that heavy-handed FCC regulations like those imposed in Europe will significantly slow down Internet speech.
“These Internet regulations will deter broadband deployment, depress network investment and slow broadband speeds. How do we know? Compare Europe, which has long had utility-style regulations, with the United States, which has embraced a light-touch regulatory model. Broadband speeds in the United States, both wired and wireless, are significantly faster than those in Europe. Broadband investment in the United States is several multiples that of Europe. And broadband’s reach is much wider in the United States, despite its much lower population density,” the two wrote.
They also joined to warn about the Democrat-chaired Federal Election Commission eyeing regulation of political speech on the Internet.
A move to the “European model” in any capitalistic market is always the preferred result by the sophisticates running the Democratic Party, so to them, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Others of us are not so convinced.
I was at the cutting edge (as a lowly salesman) of the telephone industry’s breakthrough in technology and price cutting in 1976, when the monopoly of Ma Bell, which had been protected by an entrenched regulatory system, was finally broken and the floodgates opened. Nothing that’s occurred since then, including, say, cell phones, train freight and air routes and prices, has convinced me that we need a federal group of bureaucrats deciding what products and services are “needed” by consumers, and what products and pricing levels will threaten the established players they’re paid to protect.
If you want a taste of what’s to come, go back 30 years, and see what one of those sophisticates thought about laptop computers, and imagine him sitting on a regulatory board deciding on whether such a product should be approved:
NYT, 1985: The portable computer is, and will remain, a niche product that few people need.
The limitations come from what people actually do with computers, as opposed to what the marketers expect them to do. On the whole, people don’t want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension of their fingers. It just is not so.
Yes, there are a lot of people who would like to be able to work on a computer at home. But would they really want to carry one back from the office with them? It would be much simpler to take home a few floppy disks tucked into an attache case. For the majority of consumers, a second computer for the home office is usually an inexpensive clone of the one at work. Not only is such an alternative more convenient, but it is more cost effective as well. In fact, one ends up with better technology.
But the real future of the laptop computer will remain in the specialized niche markets. Because no matter how inexpensive the machines become, and no matter how sophisticated their software, I still can’t imagine the average user taking one along when going fishing.