Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Wisconsin Congressmen keep Rural Voters in Broadband slow lane by denying access!!!

You'd think if something were consumer friendly, it would be a no brainer that business would flourish. Not so much.

What about that scary old Net Neutrality thing Republican hate so much? It's a consumer-friendly, pro-constituency idea that benefits all American voters, especially those in rural areas...but it doesn't benefit GOP campaign coffers desperate for funding from ISP lobbyists.

How can anyone argue with these benefits:
Rules require (1) the Internet to be made equally accessible to all users. (2) They prohibit service providers such as Verizon and Comcast from offering faster content delivery to customers in return for higher fees while leaving other customers in a slower lane ... (3) give the FCC permanent authority to prevent Internet gatekeepers from blocking or throttling customer access, (4) retains FCC programs that expand broadband access in rural areas and make the Internet more accessible to low-income persons.
Who would argue against consumer benefits promoting business and jobs?

Wisconsin Congressional Republicans, that's who. Next time you see them, ask them why? Keep in mind a few things; like how providers are now devising ways to game the system to increase profits; trying to fleece customers despite their income. And because the net is a vital lifeline, Democrats are determined to classify it as a "utility:"
Classifying ISPs as utility companies under Title II meant they had to treat the internet like every other utility — that is, just like gas, water, or phone service — and that they couldn’t cut off service at will or control how much of it any one person received based on how much that person paid for it. The idea was that the internet should be a public service that everyone has a right to use, not a privilege, and that regulating ISPs like utilities would prevent them from hijacking or monopolize that access.
The Republicans voting against their constituents best interests:
Voting no: Bryan Steil, R-1st; Jim Sensenbrenner, R-5th; Glenn Grothman, R-6th; Sean Duffy, R-7th; Mike Gallagher, R-8th
These Republicans stand to gain at the voter's expense, despite being elected to serve the public:
The communications industry is one of the largest lobbying groups in US history; internet providers and the telephone companies before them are notorious for spreading wealth across the aisle
And those who voted yes? Give them credit: Mark Pocan, D-2nd; Ron Kind, D-3rd; Gwen Moore, D-4th

Despite the popular talking point, net neutrality did not discourage ISP's from investing in their systems:
Some broadband providers, like Comcast and Charter, actually increased investment in 2015 and 2016. Others, like AT&T, decreased investment, but told shareholders years before the FCC adopted its rules that they planned to slash infrastructure spending after completing network upgrades.
Can we afford the mistakes that no regulation will create?
"Consumers don’t have anywhere to turn when they are wronged by these large corporations, because the FCC took itself off the beat entirely,” said Representative Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey). “Consumers are left watching the internet slowly change in front of their eyes."

One particular incident has become a flash point in the debate. During the Mendocino Complex Fire in 2018, Verizon throttled mobile internet speeds for firefighters, according to a brief filed by the county of Santa Clara, California, as part of the federal suit against the FCC. The county paid for "unlimited" plans for the firefighters, but the plan limited connection speeds to 1/200th of their usual speeds after exceeding 25 GB of data. "This throttling has had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services," the brief says. The county was able to restore full speeds only after contacting Verizon's billing department and switching to a new plan that cost twice as much.

Vox: Even though public support for restoring net neutrality rules is overwhelming (including among Republican voters), due to conditions in the Senate and Trump’s veto threat, net neutrality is still dead and doesn’t appear headed for resurrection.

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