AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (16 comments)

  1. Full disclosure? Were you paid to declare on the behalf the broadcasters?

  2. Jeff Eisenach

    Evan —

    Of course I was paid.

    Do you have a substantive point to make?

    Jeff

  3. The fact that you’re a charlatan who makes money extorting the public assets for private gains was pretty apparent in Jeremy’s comment.

    It’s a new frontier for Libertarianism, when even the air is socialist because everyone breathes.

    Besides, AT&T is barely scraping by and just because it “colludes” with other wired and wireless companies to fix WiFi prices way above the cost is just the price of doing business.

    Your brave stand in defense of the uber-powerful and wealthy against the rest of us is something to admire Jeff.

  4. So selling a lower quality of service, at a higher price, and providing crap customer service is working? Most other industrialized countries have higher speeds and lower prices. It does not matter how many people who know no better are satisfied with their service.

    1. But, in most other countries, Jeff is not awarded cash benefits from rich people from helping them game the system.

      Can’t you understand, Chris, this is about his “freedom” to make a killing

  5. Jeff Chapman

    Damn… Once the Internet is free to everyone, think how many more people will visit this site!!

    AEI will become the new Fark.com

    And if it doesn’t you will have this article to blame, surely….

    And I did not call you Shirley.

  6. I almost don’t want to comment here for fear of bringing more attention to it.

    We all know you’re being paid for this opinion, but you might want to reconsider your strategy of labeling everything that you don’t like as “socialists.”

    There are legitimate potential issues, arguments and discussions around this topic. Why line yourself up with the riffraff who can only go “WHHAAAAARRRGARBL SOCIALISM!” when confronted with an issue?

    My challenge to you is to edit this article and make your points about why this is a bad idea without invoking political talking points and buzzwords. Show us some critical thinking. Give us a reason to think that this is more than a business-sponsored advertisement.

  7. “cyber-socialists, who just can’t come to terms with the fact that America’s largely market-based communications policies are working.” The hyperlink references industry research ‘9 out of 10 households have a connectivity choice’

    Substantive point:
    Aside from the naive, provocative language, market failure exists for 10% of US households. There are currently 114,761,359 US households. Which means 11,476,136 households do not have choice. At 2.6 people/household that’s about 30 million people in this country who lack any competitive choice.

    That’s too many people with lost business opportunity and lost business for companies that stream media.

  8. info_addict

    Look, you may not really see the larger picture here, so…

    there’s an asteroid right next to our planet, that is estimated to contain upwards of $90 trillion, in mineral wealth. That is one asteroid among hundreds of thousands, I might add.

    So what do you suppose will happen to your precious terrestrial market, when numbers enter the system that make our little $14 trillion debt seem like chicken feed? You damn well know that, humans being humans, will do everything in their limited power to access those rocks, because:

    A) we desperately need them, and we know it.

    B) the grass is greener, and this time it really IS greener.

    C) you built a capitalist system, and that capitalist system demands we harvest those rocks.

    So let’s assume that it’s going to happen, we’re just taking that for granted, for the sake of the argument: if you really believe in the free market, there is literally no way that influx of wealth won’t influence the entire system.

    Something like global wi-fi might become nothing more than a novelty, in a world like that. With resources like those at our disposal, given enough time, we could build just about anything we felt like, really.

    I imagine you wrote this for a paycheck. Some part of me hopes that’s true, because if it isn’t, you are in for awakenings so rude, that I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy.

    Stay strong, your world is about to get turned upside-down, and you’re on the wrong side of history.

    This is not the future, but this is the road to it.

  9. Bubba Gump

    If it wasn’t for my horse, I would never have spent that year in college.

  10. Stephen Roberts

    >who just can’t come to terms with the fact that America’s largely market-based communications policies are working

    Working?? Most of us have one choice in broadband. They offer sub-par speeds with low bandwidth caps.

    The US is far from the top when it comes to broadband speed, penetration, neutrality or cost: http://gigaom.com/2012/11/23/the-state-of-broadband-in-the-u-s-infographic/

    To see real competition, look around Kansas City where “coincidentally” the other carriers are boosting speeds and lowering prices to compete with Google Fiber.

    I even tried to pay more for “improved access” but my carrier would not let me have “business class” (still slow) in my residential area.

    So most of us have to impatiently wait for the “broadband future” we were promised so long ago.

  11. Jeff Eisenach

    First, my main point — that the Post story was not fact based — doesn’t seem to be in dispute. See e.g.,
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/02/no-free-wi-fi-isnt-coming-to-every-us-city/
    and
    https://stifel2.bluematrix.com/sellside/EmailDocViewer?encrypt=82e03629-470f-4e02-98bf-5d4e4ea2ae66&mime=pdf&co=Stifel&id=[email protected]&source=mail

    Second, those who argue the U.S. is way behind in the broadband race haven’t been successful in persuading the current FCC. It was Julius Genachowski, after all, who said last year that the U.S. “has regained global leadership, particularly in mobile” and has a “broadband infrastructure capable of delivering 100+ megabits per second to approximately 80 percent, putting us at or near the top of the world.” http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0710/DOC-315097A1.pdf

    As for “cybersocialists,” IMHO it’s a little much for those engaged in pure ad hominem attacks to be be complaining about the use of labels — especially when the labels are accurate. The first line of the Wikipedia definition says “Socialism refers to an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production….” It follows that someone who favors public ownership of the Internet infrastructure is fairly and accurately termed a “cyber-socialist.”

    Finally, let me respectfully suggest you will get further in this debate if you quit it with the character assassination and try showing a little sense of humor.

    After all, remember, corporations are people too.

    (That was a joke.)

    That’s all I’ve got for now…..

  12. Please explain to me how auctioning monopoly rights over publicly owned spectrums is in the interest of the free market?

    If you were actually interested in removing government from the equation you would advocate for something that need not lead to near permanent control by government endorsed monopolies.

    You are defending crony capitalism because thats where you leech your income from. Calling the opposition socialists and anti-freemarket is just rabble rousing hypocrisy, icing on the cake.

    1. Although the joke about corporations was funny.

      If Jeff could find a way to license the air and sell it to a corporation as a public utility, he would be very interested….I mean, for the sake of freedom

    2. Jeff Eisenach

      PhillR:

      Perhaps this is a teachable moment.

      One group of firms (call them “wireless carriers”) shows up at the government and says “we’d like to use some spectrum so we can sell stuff and make money, and we’re prepared to participate in an open, competitive auction and pay billions of dollars to the Treasury to do so.” Another group (call them “wi-fi providers and device makers”) shows up and says “we’d like to use that same spectrum so we can sell stuff and make money, but the only competition we want to participate in is political, and, by the way, we want the spectrum for free.”

      The second process is crony capitalism. The first is not.

      (PS: Have you heard the phrase “Baptists and bootleggers”? If not, Google it.)

      1. Stephen Roberts

        Actually, the second group is the one with actual competition.

        The first group is asking for monopoly rights over a limited spectrum. Once granted they can do whatever they want, including not using it fully, or even using it poorly.

        The second group is asking that everyone be allowed to compete equally in a common space and true market forces can act and the best product and company will likely win.

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