What does the FCC's decision on Net Neutrality mean for broadband competition?

Episode 1165 (53:08)

Mark from Santa Ana, CA

Mark says if the government wants to make broadband internet a utility, the FCC should regulate it like a utility. He makes the point that the reason it's a utility is because there's only one place to get it, like the gas or electric companies. Leo says we can blame the FCC for giving the cable companies a monopoly years ago. But he says they had been more or less blackmailed into that decision because the cable companies told the FCC they wouldn't build out the infrastructure otherwise. Furthermore, the FCC's second vote on Thursday was as important because it said it would invoke rules that would prevent state legislatures from banning municipal internet. That decision would introduce competition for broadband providers, and that's the only solution in the long run.

Leo understands people's fear of government regulation of the internet -- the internet has succeeded essentially because no one had been paying attention. But we don't want the broadband providers planning the future of the internet, because they have a strong interest in charging content providers (like TWiT) for access to customers in addition to charging customers for access to the internet. They don't have an obligation to protect society's best interest, they only have a financial obligation. The only way to prevent this now, in Leo's opinion, is to have government regulations preventing it. At least until there's viable competition in this space.