Is FCC destroying the open Internet?

Bell apologists like Scott Cleland will doubtless call Kushnick a mere "Bell critic" but their own attacks should be met by stern questions about whether Kushnick's facts are wrong and, if so, specifically where they are wrong.

Bruce Kushnick
The current net neutrality debate was caused by deliberate FCC policies which killed off three-quarters of the nation's ISPs during this decade, according to Bruce Kushnick of New Networks Institute.

Kushnick says the pace of monopolization has accelerated since 2004, with 56% fewer wireline competitors, as FCC deregulation picked favorites and harmed competition.

Kushnick says this violated Section 257 of the Telecom Act and ignored the agency's own 1999 rulings mandating line-sharing.

Bell apologists like Scott Cleland will doubtless call Kushnick a mere "Bell critic" but their own attacks should be met by stern questions about whether Kushnick's facts are wrong and, if so, specifically where they are wrong.

Neither the debate over net neutrality nor efforts by cable operators to ban Internet protocols like BitTorrent  and phone companies to re-direct search requests would exist if competition allowed users to "vote with their feet."

The fact of a shared monopoly is, in many places, just that -- a fact. When carriers are given an exclusive right to provide service on lines they "own," the public network-of-networks becomes merely a private network.

Such monopolies, whether public or private, provide enormous temptation for mischief. No matter how good the motives of those who create such temptation, it follows as night does day that others with less pure motives will follow them.

That process of mischief has now begun. It is a threat to open source and to liberty in general.

The question remains. What will we do about it?

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