Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dumb Ron Johnson out to lunch on Rural High Speed internet access, thinks free market is solution.

When the free market didn't step in to provide electrical service to rural communities, the government stepped in. The same is true about high speed internet today. But some like Dumb Ron Johnson don't either have a historical reference point or an awareness of the current rural problem connecting to the internet. Johnson lost his argument over and over, but you'd never know it by his confident and clueless talking point offensive.

If the "free market" hasn't stepped in yet to help spread high speed internet access nationwide, what makes Johnson think that that's about to change?
Tim Marema, editor of the Daily Yonder: If competition alone will ensure that rural Americans get great communications services, why were some phone companies mistreating consumers ... until the FCC stepped in?  For competition to work, you need a good referee. 

Jodie Griffin of Public Knowledge and Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) during a Senate subcommittee hearing on the role of government in ensuring quality communications services. 

Senator Johnson says competition alone will ensure companies deliver "excellent" service ... “If you have a company that doesn't have very good [phone] service, don’t you think customers are going to switch to another company? Don’t you think that competition would do a better job of guaranteeing that [service] than heavy-handed government trying to guarantee that?”
How many choices do we have in cities? Can you imagine the lack of choices in rural America? In fact, the media has been reporting on this problem of some time, especially in southeastern Wisconsin, Johnson's home state. The smirk on Johnson's face proves he's wasn't there to learn, just preach his free market theories in the face of the overwhelming real world evidence rural America needs help. Remember, Wall Street banks didn't seem to care too much about there customer based when they cheated them and created the Great Recession. Here's a clip of that debate:

Without an even-handed set of rules real competition frequently doesn't make it to rural America. Ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, John Thune (R-South Dakota), thinks the FCC needs to do even more to correct this problem. They seem to disagree with Senator Johnson’s notion that competition without enforcement of the rules will make sure that rural Americans get a fair shake. 

There ought to be a lesson here as we continue the transition from our old phone system to the new, Internet-based system of the future. To make a system like that work, it takes a lot of competition – and a public referee to ensure we all act fairly and follow the same rules.

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