Regulating the Internet

Friday, December 24, 2010


This week, for the first time ever, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve regulation of internet traffic. These new 'net neutrality' rules have left both sides of the political spectrum upset — the left is saying the rules haven’t gone far enough to protect consumers, while the right is calling it unnecessary regulation. The Wall Street Journal's Amy Schatz explains why the only ones who seem satisfied with the new regulations are the internet service providers being regulated.

Comments [5]

Adam from United States

Forrest, I'm ignorant of the history of the development of electric provisions and internet research. Yet it seems that the market has contributed at least something to the provision of electricity and internet since most people seem to get both from private entities. Whatever the details and history behind this, these contributions of the marketplace to said industries may be what was referred to by the speaker.

And I don't see how the market has screwed up TV or the radio. They've certainly provided poor content but that seems to be what is in demand. That sounds more like a social problem than a political one.

Dec. 29 2010 10:07 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

Forrest, you should investigate your history a little further, beyond the orthodox New Deal accounts. What happened under FDR, and what always happens, from subways to power stations to the Internet, is that private entrepreneurs create industries that become so big and successful that the politicians and lawyers have to get a piece of that - so they classify the industry as a public trust and team up with its biggest players to regulate it. Innovation invariably suffers. Your comments unintentionally confirm the left-wing agenda here - to ultimately, by subtle degrees, control content.

There were online services like CompuServe and Prodigy and others apparently forgotten before there was any Internet browser (which was used mostly for e-mail.) Marc Andreeson, not a government functionary, wrote the first sophisticated graphical browser. The Internet was nothing until AOL and others started offering it.

Dec. 28 2010 12:40 PM
forrest from oregon

i think i was listening to this show earlier on opb. the speaker referred to the private sector doing great wonders in the internet, extending electric service, and extending communication service. this is a lie. the electric and communication services were extended to most of the country under president roosevelt because the investor owned companies did not. there are large areas still served by cooperatives and similar entities because they will not get service at a reasonable rate from 'market' based companies. this lie needs to be stopped. it is stupid.

the internet was developed by darpa and not by any market based entity. now that it has been developed the market based entities want to screw it up the way they have the radio and television waves thanks to reagan. these are a common property not owned by these market driven companies and they have proven just how incompetent they are at developing effective uses for them. look at saturday cartoons where the content is vomiting.

Dec. 28 2010 02:29 AM
KadeKo from suburban northeast

Looks like NPR got rid of Juan Williams just in time: "Juan Williams told Fox News' Megyn Kelly that extended unemployment benefits are harmful to peoples' work ethic and basic values."

Yup. Unemployment and underemployment at levels that (under every other President since WWII) the mainstream media, Congress, and all the Very Serious People considered a crisis. And what's the risk? Well, according to good old Juan Williams, moral hazard is the risk

Not getting evicted, going into debt, giving up their educations and retirements, or becoming the new-era Joads. Not being the human "cannon fodder" so the economy on "the average" can grow (see corporate profits for this year). Not fretting about a deficit which the GOP ran up when nobody gave a damn. Moral hazard: It's for little people.

Dec. 26 2010 10:50 AM
Adam Schramm from Albuquerque

Oh, come on! How can you do a segment on the biggest media screw-ups of the year without even a passing mention of NPR's handling of the firing of Juan Williams? While I don't question the reasons for or the right of NPR to fire Mr.Williams, their response to the media outburst over the issue was one of the premier examples of a PR disaster by a media outlet in years. We're talking about an incident with enough legs to likely engender congressional ramifications in the coming year under the new Congress!
I'm sure that OTM's network masters would just as soon keep this particular dust from being pushed out from under the carpet but it's the responsibility of a media watchdog such as your program to acknowledge and highlight even those flubs by your own network.
It wasn't that long ago, guys...we haven't forgotten it yet.

Dec. 25 2010 04:06 AM

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