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Broadband monopolists: please don't enact VoIP port-block rules

Now, telco and cable broadband providers are telling anyone within shouting distance that the FCC need not impose rules prohibiting these companies from port-blocking access to competing VoIP services.The gist of this argument, near as I can tell, is that if we tried to do this, consumers would hate us so much they would switch to our competition.

Now, telco and cable broadband providers are telling anyone within shouting distance that the FCC need not impose rules prohibiting these companies from port-blocking access to competing VoIP services.

The gist of this argument, near as I can tell, is that if we tried to do this, consumers would hate us so much they would switch to our competition.

"I think if you try to sell a product that constrains what customers can get access to, you're not going to have a very marketable product," SBC Communications chief operating officer Randall Stephenson told the Reuters Telecommunications, Cable and Satellite Summit earlier this week.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, to whom stock price has always been secondary to providing great in-house customer service, added that "competition is a better regulator of the Internet than the government."

What balderdash. They probably would not block VoIP outright, but there are many things these companies can do to make access to VoIP services from competing providers that much more difficult, and less-quality.

When you own the pipe, you make the rules.

What's really going on here is that monopolies are hard-wired to hate being told what they can and cannot do. And just like the guy who chants "freedom" while arguing for confinement of people who don't think and act like him, when megacorporations  talk about "free markets," they don't mean "free." They mean being free enough to do whatever they want, as long as it pleases Wall Street.

With those imperatives, I don't trust the broadband monopolies to police themselves. "Fox in the henhouse?" You got it.