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Verizon Challenges FCC's Net Neutrality Push

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Sorry, Verizon.

by ELawson87    Jan 21, 2011, 6:52 PM

Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution grants Congress the power to regulate commerce "among the several states" and to make all laws "necessary and proper" to executing its constitutional powers. The FCC is empowered by Congress to oversee and regulate communications, which includes the internet.

The issue of net neutrality is about ensuring free market competition among providers and among websites on the internet. Internet providers are, in the best cases, an oligopoly, and in worst cases, a monopoly, in whatever area they operate. For example, if I want broadband internet where I live, I either get Charter cable or AT&T DSL. An oligopoly is not a free market situation because the companies involved will frequently collude to maximize their own profits at the expense of the consumers and, in this case, at the expense of smaller companies. This is because opponents of net neutrality(large corporations) want to charge "access fees" to websites to ensure preferred access to that website. Say my ISP, CHarter, starts charging a high fee to the owners of websites in exchange for Charter allowing its customers to access their website at a faster speed. Large companies can afford the fees, so they get faster access, while smaller companies can't, and get slower access, if customers are able to access their site at all.

Abolishing net neutrality is abolishing the free market, because it gives Charter the ability to decide what websites I can or cannot visit, rather than letting me, the consmer, decide for myself. The argumet of, "if you don't like it, you don't have to have their service" is ridiculus because you have nowhere else to go outside of the one or two major providers in your area, and if all of them do it, you're screwed.

All of the teabaggers spreading the myth of the "government takeover of the internet" don't know what they're talking about, because they are arguing in favor of destroying what little resemblence of a market the internet still has. The FCC isn't taking over the internet. The FCC is using its Congressionally-mandated regulatory power to ensure that internet providers don't take over the internet.

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