It seems likely that the Bells’ attempt to write net neutrality out of law has failed for this Congress. Or course, net neutrality language did not pass, either, so technically both the Bells and cable operators are free to hose you. Stay on guard.
Does this end it? Not at all. These guys are pros. They’re paid to come up with stuff, and execute on what they come up with.
(To the left is someone you will meet soon enough, Randolph May. Yes, he does look like Orwell’s image of Big Brother, doesn’t he?)
So even with Congress still in session they’re off in two different directions:
- The States — Verizon is trying to get statewide cable franchise legislation passed in the largest states, figuring it can then ignore the issue. In Pennsylvania this goes by the name of SB 1247. It’s a veritable Verizon wish list. There is no obligation to serve poor people or rural people, which was not only a basic tenet of the Bell experience, but of the initial cable build-out as well. Hey, they’re writing it, why not make it as one-sided as possible? A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.
- The Courts — The Bell sockpuppets calling themselves the Progress & Freedom Foundation (even the name is Orwellian) are now claiming that net neutrality violates the First Amendment. Because the so-called BrandX decision removed the Bells from the "Common Carrier" status they once had, you see, they’re now media companies. Any limit on what they do is thus a violation of "their" free speech rights.
Guess who came out with this nonsense?
Sockpuppet Randolph May (told you he was coming) concluded that it’s like the "the defunct
Fairness Doctrine that required broadcasters to present a balanced view
of controversial issues." While that was approved by the Supreme Court,
it was based on the idea that spectrum was scarce. Since it’s abundant
(only the Bells have bought and now hoard most of it) and regulators
have since abandoned it, it’s silly to even think about.
Fairness doctrine, eh? You mean the TV can’t just spout your nonsense, they have to give out with my ideas too? Hey….that sounds sweet.
I’ve got a better idea. Break up the Bells. Forbid them from engaging
in advocacy of any kind on public policy issues. And put a sock in
Randolph May while you’re at it.