Everybody is against FCC Chairman Wheeler’s soon-to-be-forthcoming proposal, it seems, except Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner Cable. And a few on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand academics like Kevin Werbach and Phil Weiser, both of whom have served in the federal government to augment their academic careers. It’s exactly as David Pogue outlined in his recent Scientific American column, The Net Neutrality Debate in 2 Minutes or Less, Network Neutrality is supported by . . .
. . . nearly every pro-consumer organization on earth, including the Consumers Union and Common Cause. Also, the creators of the Internet (including Vinton Cerf) and the Web (including Tim Berners-Lee). And every true believer in free speech, innovation and the American way . . .
and opposed by the telcos and cablecos.
In the last few weeks, we’ve seen screeds against Wheeler’s proposal by Dan Gillmor, Tim Wu, Cory Doctorow, The New York Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post, ZDNet, SPIN Magazine, GigaOm, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Al Franken, and, well, just about everybody. Even Public Knowledge, the watchdog group created by FCC Chairman Wheeler’s External Affairs Chief, has come out against it.
The New York Times’ The Strip says it like this:
So, why, might we ask, are the countries most despised companies — Comcast tops the list — getting what they want from the FCC while the vast majority of people are opposed? Maybe this story, unrelated to the FCC, might shed some light: Data driven research by economists at Princeton and Northwestern, looking at almost 2000 policy issues in a dispassionate, data-driven analysis, conclude that,
“… economic elites and organized groups representing business interests [influence]
U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups
have little or no influence.”
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this month’s surprise best-seller is another economic study, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Piketty, which concludes that the long term return to capital exceeds long term economic growth, in other words, capitalism is sucking the economy dry.
It certainly has nothing to do with the fact that both Brazil and the European Community passed strong network neutrality legislation this month.