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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Water and the Inner City | Main | Tom Reynolds Has Legs - The Saga Continues »

June 09, 2006

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Not a Google Shill

Wasn't it both MoveOn.org and the Christian Coalition that was lobbying against this legislation? And what of the Republicans that voted against this legislation? Were they bought off by Amazon.com and Microsoft?

And Heaven forbid local cable providers would no longer have state sanctioned monopolies. So what if these companies have tried delivering video programming before? Should the government be in the business of declaring who provides "good" service and limiting choice or should that be up to the consumer. Soglin, your condescension to the consumer is offensive.

You're way off base on this. This bill finally opens up Time Warner to some competition and prevents local municiplalities from extorting money from cable providers (who pass that cost along to consumers): it's nothing more than just another tax. Please: do tell us what the franchise fees to communities pay for. Expecially considering that the cable companies do all maintenance work on THEIR pipes...

Additionally, the FCC already has oversight over the Internet, or did you miss that part? And when they have brought action (antitrust or otherwise), it was adjudicated rather quickly and actually levied fines.

I don't know about you, but if I've got a customer complaint, I take no solice that Time Warner is more efficient than the FCC.

Moreover, do we really want the same government that brings us the tax code and postal service to regulate the Internet?

Barry Orton

Not a Google Shill:

Some facts for you:

1. Only 8 Republicans voted No, one of which was F. James Sensenbrenner, who is mad he didn't get jurisdiction over "net neutrality." If Amazon and Google tried to buy Republicans, they did a lousy job. AT&T outspent them by 20 - 1.

2. Cable is not a "state sanctioned monopoly." It's a locally-licensed user of public property for private gain. Many places have more than one equally-licensed cable provider.

3. The bill does not eliminate franchise fees; it specifically preserves them. In some places they will actually go up. Sorry.

4. The FCC has very limited oversight over the Internet; this bill will give it much more, which you rightly don't want.

5. Actually if you have a cable consumer complaint now, it's the City of West Allis or the Village of Brown Deer that's far more efficient than the FCC. When this bill becomes law, your FCC complaint will find a home in the FCC's archives behind the millions generated by the folks riled up about gays on TV by Rev. Dobson's followers.

Barry Orton
Waxingamerica editor

Jon

Not a Google Shill:

Unfortunately, you're buying into the propaganda from the telephone companies. You write "This bill finally opens up Time Warner to some competition..." That's wrong. Time Warner is open to competition today. Any telephone company can freely compete with Time Warner. However, they would have to negotiate a franchise agreement with any city in which they offer video services, just like Time Warner and every other cable company has done.

Franchise agreements are expensive to negotiate, and make the video provider beholden to the local municipality. Big corporations don't like that, so the telephone companies have spent money lobbying (a polite word for "bribing") congress to give them an advantage over cable companies. All I want is a level playing field for telephone companies and cable companies to compete on.

I agree with you that franchise fees that municipalities impose on video providers are a tax that is passed on to the consumer. But, as with anyone who argues for the elimination of a tax, I have to ask you "what spending would you cut?" Would you lay off police officers if the franchise fee is eliminated? Fire fighters? Social workers? Would you raise property taxes to replace the franchise fee?

Full disclosure: I work for a cable company, so some might consider my opinion biased. But I think that a level playing field, as opposed to one where the highest bidder writes the rules, is better for America.

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