FAA Rules On Electronics Show That Regulating The Internet May Not Be Such A Good Idea

December 31, 2012 15:30 pm

by Nathan · 3 comments

I’ve talked about net neutrality on here before, but you can search the site on net neutrality if you want.  I’m personally against it since it opens up the door to government regulation on what ISPs can and can’t have on their networks.  It may be well-intentioned by folks who want to combat the big ISPs (e.g., Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, etc.) from filtering content on their networks, but I believe a free market can solve that problem (if there really is one).

Anyway, I came across this article from the Anarcho-capitalism blog when browsing Slashdot about the new FAA guidelines on using electronic devices in-flight (there’s a link to a blog article by the New York Times).  The FAA still believes that electronic devices will make airplanes fall out of the sky…although they don’t have any supporting evidence.  I believe the quote sums up the issue:

Simply put, the FAA device rules illustrates how regulations are made based on what’s best for regulators, not what’s best for industries or consumers.

Be careful what you wish for in terms of regulations.  The “good intentions” of a regulation could come loaded with “unintended consequences”.

Eric The Younger January 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm

A free market probably would take care of this problem, but there is no free market in this economic sector. Current statutes in most states and on the federal side prohibit any attempt to dismantle the current duopoly between the phone companies and cable companies. Any attempt by individual states to allow a third party local ISP to be formed is generally squashed. So far the only real, functioning third party providers are in Kansas, California, and Louisiana. Kansas, because of Google’s willingness to foot the capital cost of laying gigabit fiber connections to the entire city of Kansas City. California, because it is the locus of the tech industry in the US and its state government’s general resistance to “Big Business”. And Louisiana, only because the parish system and the influence of Napoleonic Law allowed for the City of Lafayette to lay a fiber backbone allowing small independent ISPs to run the service after the city laid the fiber. Everywhere else, including Georgia, won’t budge on breaking the duopoly of Cable/Telephony. This system gives AT&T/Comcast (or whichever cable and phone company service a particular area, rarely are there more than two) little incentive to upgrade their infrastructure since there is no viable competitor.

DavidTC January 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm

This system gives AT&T/Comcast (or whichever cable and phone company service a particular area, rarely are there more than two) little incentive to upgrade their infrastructure since there is no viable competitor.

Some of us in Northeast Georgia would love to live in a region with _two_ monopoly companies competing over internet service.

Instead, we just get Windstream. Right now, my town is on the internet literally at the _whim_ of a single company, and no one else can provide any alternate service. (And, fun fact, Windstream does not actually care about any of its wired customers, either phone or cable. It all of those acquired almost accidentally. It’s actually a regional cell phone company that doesn’t even operate here!)

I’m sure happy all those people who think the ‘free market’ will solve ‘net neutrality’, but until I actually have _ANY CHOICE WHATSOEVER_ in internet service providers, those people can, frankly, just shut the hell up how the ‘market’ will take care of it. I HAVE NO MARKET. NONE.

And, incidentally, while the giant communication conglomeration are, indeed, the ones lobbying at a national level to screw local communities out of the way the system clearly should operate (Either the local government or a local non-profit should run and maintain the wires, and all ‘cable’ and ‘phone’ companies should just lease them.), the fact that, in Georgia, the same company can operate both phone and cable is _entirely_ our own state’s stupidity. That never should have been legal in the first place.

Eric The Younger January 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

+1

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