This recent article is showing how the US government is capitulating to Big Money, especially from AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, when it comes to Net Neutrality and, to some extent, competing service. Here, it also highlighted how FCC are pandering to big-business interests because the jobs with telcos and cable companies are becoming a popular destination for outgoing FCC Commissioners.
Why do I think of Internet-service competition in relationship to Net Neutrality? This is because when you have fewer Internet-service providers or telecommunications companies serving a particular market or providing a backbone service, you also have a greater risk of these companies selling privileged access to Internet service at very steep costs.
Previously, I had raised the issue of government departments that regulate telecommunications being independent of established telecommunications providers which brought around the idea of competitive Internet service in the UK and France. Here, I mentioned about these countries having cheaper or better-value Internet service because these government departments don’t curry favour with incumbent telecoms operators and there is oversight of the telecoms market by competition regulators and drew this comparison when I touched on Deutsche Telekom being “Drossel-kom” (“Throttle-kom”) in Germany because their telecoms regulator curried favour with this incumbent operator.
What I suspect that is happening now is that the US is effectively heading to a business climate for telecommunications, Internet service and pay-TV similar to the business climate for like services that existed in the 1970s before the Carterfone decision and the anti-trust rulings levelled against AT&T came about. This is where AT&T (Ma Bell) was able to get away with poor customer service and phone services that were of poor value for money because they were the only option for telephony. This is also shown up with repeated customer-satisfaction surveys in the US placing these companies at the worst for customer satisfaction.
Some public-interest foundations like Represent.Us and the Sunlight Foundation are targeting the issue of Big Money controlling American politics and an American could support these efforts if they want to restore real competition with their telecommunications services.