The government wants to make a regulated utility out of Broadband Access via Net Neutrality.***
At least one Net Neutrality Socialist is out in the open about it being socialism and he’s doing so on the pages of the Washington Post. This “authoritative voice” in technology, Joshua Topolsky, wants socialism for the Internet because it works so well in Britain. The article by Joshua Topolsky is entitled, Want better wireless service in America? Socialize it. Read here: Better wireless means government control.
Topolsky wants the government to regulate wireless when in actuality, the free market has done an amazing job of morphing in response to problems as they come up or appear in the horizon. Read here: Thanks to the free market, wireless is coming along quite nicely, thank you very much.
Topolsky begins his article with a cautionary tale (unsupported by facts) to demonstrate that the government needs to regulate the super highway so that all the competitive private companies don’t monopolize or limit people as they travel from one Internet road to the other. He states that we need more bandwidth and nationwide standards.
If I follow his logic, the government needs a new bureaucracy to remove competitiveness and replace it with the orderliness of the government – that would be the same government that has put the post office $10 billion in the red this year alone, thanks to its efficiency methods.
Topolsky further claims the lack of nationwide standards have left huge “swaths” of the country without wireless. “But instead of building a national network of superhighways in a coordinated way, they are are essentially building more lanes on the same private roads,”
I suppose we could borrow money from China and tax the rich to pay for this new government apparatus that will NOT respond to market needs, but will respond to its bureaucracy. We’re still waiting for Congress to act on saving the post office and Congress seems to be waiting for direction from the White House.
From Topolsky: “Washington should be aggressively regulating where and how private companies build wireless networks. The government should be taking an active role in the corralling and cajoling that is clearly required to make these companies compete in ways that benefit America as well as their own bottom lines…In Britain, government regulators forced British Telecom to open its phone network to other carriers, and the resulting flood of competition drove prices way down for consumers. You can get broadband service in England for about $6 a month (yes, six dollars) that’s comparable to what most people get in the United States for triple or quadruple that number.”
Britain is a great example of why we shouldn’t follow Topolsky’s advice.
First of all, Britain has the same problem of not covering huge swaths of land – they need more rural broadband.
Secondly, Broadband is indeed very cheap in Britain, because it is subsidized. Some counties in the U.K. are even subsidizing iPads. In Britain, tax is collected for the laying for fibre and for the ‘lighting’ of dark fibre, they tax access to ducts and poles, and access to the mobile spectrum is limited to four major companies. The government taxes each household to watch TV, some of these fees (taxes) go to pay for wireless. The rest of the money used for wireless comes from the government purse and since the government doesn’t have a purse, that would also be the taxpayer money. Read details here: U.K. Taxes of Broadband and here: Britain’s TV license fees.
While Topolsky wants us to move towards big government control of broadband, Britain is talking about some privatization because Topolsky’s approach doesn’t work.
Rory Stewart MP will argue that the government target for rural broadband deployment needs to expand to include an additional 2 million people. The motion that will be introduced says, “rural businesses and rural communities across the UK are isolated and undermined by slow broadband … (we) urge Ofcom to increase the coverage obligation attached to the 800MHz spectrum license to 98%”.
Rural broadband rollout – both fixed and wireless – is a priority of the Coalition Government. They are committed to supporting and funding the rollout out by investing £530 million. £300 million of this will come from TV license fees while the rest will be made up from the government’s own purse (Editor’s note: the government doesn’t have a purse unless they won the galactic lottery, the only purse is the taxpayer purse).
Access to broadband is an absolute necessity to ensure growth, innovation, and economic success in this country. The Government, however does not need to pay for rural broadband. By creating a competitive market environment in which broadband operators can compete, broadband rollout would come through private sector investment. Read here: taxpayer’s alliance:
Net Neutrality is Socialism. I am glad Topolsky used the term in its verb form so we’re clear.
***Net Neutrality is the idea that it will be illegal for anyone to purchase preferred access on broadband networks — wired as well as wireless. All bits must be treated equally. No special privileges for anyone. It’s Socialism for an up-to-no flourishing market. Read here: NeNeutrality is Socialism.
Here is a good article on why wireless government regulation is the smother of invention here.