FCC Chairman And Free Internet Champion Tom Wheeler To Step Down

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jeremy2020

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TL; DR Get ready for more expensive internet access from entrenched monopolies and duopolies who have bought congressmen, senators, the FCC and now a President
 

takeshi7

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Tom Wheeler never supported Net neutrality. He only pretended to support it because there was so much backlash. Remember in the beginning he was against it. By stepping down, he finally gets to end net neutrality like he always wanted, and he can't be blamed for it because he's no longer at the FCC. Win-win for him.
 

falchard

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Personally I find this to be a positive. Many of the measures introduced result in 1 bottom-line: More expensive and lower quality service.
It will allow isps to have the freedom in maximizing their services. In some cases it can be negative, but in many cases it can be positive. Things like T-Mobile's Binge On give customers practically unlimited 4G lte service for $50 a month. It would completely violate net neutrality despite it's positive attributes.
As for duopolies, the net neutrality rules don't address this. Take it up with your local government preventing more competitors. This isn't something the fcc can fix.
 

shrapnel_indie

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Ummm... THIS smells very politically motivated. (I hope TH stays politically neutral and goes for the facts only in this.)

Looks like he is being a big baby. If there was any reason to stay, THIS would be it: to fight to keep the things he, and especially the politically motivated NY Times, claims will be in jeopardy that are good (like Net Neutrality). Instead, he wishes to run away from what might be the best position to fight it from. (Okay, he may be targeted for replacement anyway, but still... it makes his legacy going down acting like a child instead of fighting.)

(BTW: I don't trust the NY Times. Its been shown to play political favorites and bias to the point of disregarding facts.)
 

toadhammer

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This is normal stuff, and there's no way for Wheeler to "stay and fight." All appointees are required to resign at the end of the president's term. The incoming president can keep them on if he wishes.
 

LilDog1291

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@Falchard Thats just how it starts. They allow some services through with no data limit and then eventually it becomes a necessity to compete. Lets say they do just what you say and then Netflix, YouTube, or whomever jack up prices or wrong consumers in some way. How do you then as an entrepreneur start a competing company when your potential customers have to use their abysmal data limit to try to view your service over the one that is completely data free?

ISPs and mobile providers need to get over themselves and get America up to the same standard of network connectivity that any other major power enjoys. https://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/03/27/16998/what-separates-us-and-european-internet-less-competition-more-costs

The practice of regional monopolies and the logic that data should be treated like a finite resource needs to go.
 

wildkitten

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The president gets to appoint who he wants to head the FCC. The party in power gets 3 of the 5 seats while the party out of power gets 2. This is nothing new. There is no option for him to stay unless Trump nominated him again.

 

wildkitten

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Netflix, Youtube and other services are not the "internet", they can price their services how they want, when they want. These services only DELIVER their content over the internet.

And here is the thing that opponents of Binge On and other like services totally ignore. Even if you start up a new service and aren't part of the free streaming option, you still benefit from it because people have more data freed up to try your service. Let's say net neutrality advocates succeeded in getting T-Mobile's Binge On ended. That isn't going to help any new service in the least. In fact it's likely to harm it because even if Netflix or Youtube raised their rates, people will stay with them because they have what no new start up can do and that is provide the top content (unless the new start up is started by an existing high end studio or network in which case people will complain about it).

 

SaintAsuraka

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Its always seemed like Tom Wheeler could never live up to the praise people have given him. The fines placed on the companies by the FCC under Wheeler have been pretty laughable... not that that started with him. I just don't think he was a very good champion of a free internet. Either way I am sure he will end up on one of the board of the companies he was just in charge of regulating.
 

LilDog1291

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If this were any where else in the world this monopoly wouldn't exist and mobile customers wouldn't have a data problem to worry about in the first place. We are trying to fix a problem with another problem.

Paid fast lane access discriminates competition no matter which way you cut it. Telco companies already received enough in government tax breaks and subsidies without asking for more.
 

shrapnel_indie

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I realize the President does, and I also noted as I was reviewing what the article said, and thus... what I left of your quote of my quote. Wheeler is going out (quitting a little early, and emphasizing it by the specific date) like a little two-year old instead of trying to do some good in his time left,
 

why_wolf

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It's traditional for the heads of departments to tender their resignation at the end of a presidents term in office. It would be highly unusual for Wheeler to stick around unless Trump specifically asks him to stay, an event that rarely happens.
 

wildkitten

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What monopoly? There are what is considered 4 major cell providers in the US and no one is stopping anyone else from starting one up, except for the market itself.

There is NO paid fast lane. Binge On from T-Mobile allows unlimited data from services that sign up for it, without charge (which means they aren't paying to be a part of it) and that unlimited data is SLOWER because it's a lower resolution.

So, you're two points are totally invalid as there is no monopoly in mobile and no paid fast lane.

 

wildkitten

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Except he isn't quitting early. He is merely tendering his resignation to be effective on January 20th, the same day as the inauguration.

As for what he will do or won't do in the time left means nothing as very few departments actually try to do much of anything when you are transitioning from one party to another because there really is no point to it as if they did anything controversial or something that should be reviewed longer, it would be undone immediately.
 

wildkitten

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Except it wouldn't show anything as presidents of both parties clean house in all departments to bring in people who share their views. So exactly what do you think it will show?

 

wildkitten

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That very last part shows how little you actually pay attention. We actually have a president, or will have on January 20th, who is NOT bought by anyone. The tech industry and Wall Street all donated to the candidate who LOST, not the one who won. In fact Trump took very few large donations, if any, and spent mostly his own money. He was also outspent by Clinton 3 to 1. So we actually have what people have been clamoring for for a long time, someone who isn't bought and paid for, who money didn't "buy" the win, yet people are still saying the same old tired things and without even thinking about it first.

 

anoldnewb

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applying basic microeconomics leads to the following conclusions.
cellular service has some competition, it is an oligopoly, which often degrades into collusion to keep prices high. more companies cannot enter because of the limited spectrum available.
Internet service providers have only two providers in most markets which does not lead to effective competition. therefore prices remain high and customers are subject to abusive practices and poor customer service without remedy.

In both markets intervention is required to to protect consumers.
 

falchard

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Actually there is a limit on the amount of competitors in the cellphone market. The FCC manages the RF spectrum because if 2 people use the same frequency their data overlaps causing issues. Cell phone companies purchase the spectrum from the FCC or trade for it from people who own particular frequencies. ISPs are different. The main roadblock for competitors is municipal governments charging excessive fees and requiring additional infrastructure like providing free service to public buildings.
 

wildkitten

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Anyone can come along and bid on spectrum. Many people believed Google was going to start their own service (a real service, not just the MVNO such as Project Fi which piggybacks on other networks) when they put a bid on the C block of 700MHz spectrum that Verizon finally bought.

So while yes, spectrum being limited does in theory limit the number of providers, the fact that television has gone digital has opened quite a bit and more could come in the market if they so desired and put in actual bids, so no one knows what that number is. But that's true of any market. There is always going to be a limit on the number of grocery stores a town can support because too many spreads profits too thin so some will go out of business, and the same goes with any other type of business.

 

ravewulf

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Who's worse, the one being bought by special interests or the one doing the buying? Trump is already picking out rich buddies who don't give a damn about regular people to fill positions. Bernie was the only one who was truly for the people, but our corrupt system of government saw that he wouldn't get nominated.


 
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