USTelecom Moves To Block Cities From Offering High-Speed Internet Services To Consumers

280px-Logo_ustelecom_lgWe have previously discussed how the United States lags behind many countries in the speed and availability of high-speed Internet. As noted earlier, this is due primarily to the powerful lobby in Washington and members who do their bidding in Congress to allow certain companies to control and profit off of such access. The U.S. cable industry and its lobbyists however have been careful to stay out of the public eye to protect their income and the members that they use in Congress. Now, however, the industry has made a rare play in the open. The industry is moving to block plans in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina to offer high-speed internet services to their citizens. Lawyers and lobbyists for USTelecom, which represents cable giants Comcast, Time Warner and others, have mobilized to stop this trend where municipalities have responded to the demand of their citizens for such access. In the world of Washington lobbying, the slowest in this field has continued to win the race. While slow in service, our telecom companies are fast in making friends in Congress.

USTelecom has actually argued that it is merely trying to protect consumers from bad internet connections by forcing them to buy access from it: “The success of public broadband is a mixed record, with numerous examples of failures. With state taxpayers on the financial hook when a municipal broadband network goes under, it is entirely reasonable for state legislatures to be cautious in limiting or even prohibiting that activity.” By the way, Chattanooga offers customers access to speeds of 1 gigabit per second – about 50 times faster than the US average. The service, provided by municipally owned EPB, is now petitioning the FCC to expand its territory. Comcast and others have previously tried to use lawsuits and lobbyists to block such efforts.

I fail to see why a major developed nation like the United States does not offer free high-speed Internet and wi-fi access in the same way that it supplies actual superhighways. This is the key to the modern economy and yet we are allowing companies to manipulate speeds to profiteer at the cost of economic growth.

In publications, USTelecom is calling for the Commission and possibly Congress to preempt such efforts and cut off such access to consumers. If history is any measure, the well-healed telecom lobbyists will have little problem in getting members to listen to their plight.

By the way, we rank 31st in the world thanks to our friends in the Telecom industry and their friends in Congress.

The question is whether the public will finally wise up and demand that this stranglehold by USTelecom be taken from their virtual throats.

115 thoughts on “USTelecom Moves To Block Cities From Offering High-Speed Internet Services To Consumers”

  1. No one is hiding, Paul, but it doesn’t surprise me that you would want to reach that conclusion.

    And what kind of day you have is of no interest to me whatsoever, in reality.

  2. bill mcwilliams – recent history is an oxymoron. Most historians do not like to teach anything within 50 years of the current date because so much of the ‘real’ history is still in the ‘classified’ archives. Current events is the term used in social studies classes.

  3. Paul: “It is the only thing you have been correct about so far today.”

    A very limited opinion.

    You have a good one, now, Paul S.

  4. neither PS nor NS knows enough about recent history to discuss it intelligently.
    One sounds like he’s a big fan of Mein Kampf. and the other one acts annoyed that he can’t watch the Three Stooges whenever he needs an intellectual (sic) fix.

  5. “Paid commenters use vicious attacks against anyone who posts an opposing opinion. Eventually the attacks have the effect of driving people with opposite views away from the targeted sites. This allows them to dominate the web with their fake profiles, while at the same time discouraging real people from participating in the discussion.

    The right-wing agenda being pushed by these paid commenters, hired by Fox and other sources, doesn’t just include tax breaks for the rich and the myth of corporate person-hood. It includes racism, sexism, homophobia, hatred of the poor and much more. To see some of the comments and views presented by Fox’s commenters, you can visit this web-site, which is entirely devoted to highlighting the worst of the worst comments which have been published on Fox’s site.”

    1. SWM – it is odd that you should post that link since most of the venom comes from people on here who hid behind a fake ID. The article sounds like the left is projecting what it thinks the right is doing rather than what the left is actually doing.

  6. Likes to have the last word, too.

    In Paul’s world: “BTW, the onus of definition is on the one using the term”

    Oh, my, and what a rigid little world it is.

    1. Hmmm – yes, I do like to have the last word. It is the only thing you have been correct about so far today.

  7. AY – you are backing-and-hoeing but it is not doing any good. This last one does not even get points for a good try.

  8. Paul asks, “And if search engines are so helpful, why don’t you step up and help out?”

    Because the onus is on the one who doesn’t know. It’s not my problem.

    You’ve made your own share of mistakes on this blog. There’s this civility rule that I like — it’s the “Don’t be a dick” rule.

    1. Hmmm – have you made so many mistakes you changed your handle again? Not sure who or what you are. I have been rightly jumped on for my mistakes, so I am right to jump on other’s mistakes. I have earned the privilege.

      BTW, the onus of definition is on the one using the term, since their definition may be quite different from that I would find in doing an internet search.

  9. Correct spelling and usage were part of the grade. -Paul C. S.

    Well, this is a blog, buddy, and believe it or not, it isn’t yours, Paul.

    And search engines can be very helpful.

  10. Is this the same congress that started taxing those with solar panels at the behest of the Kochs et al ? Nah, couldn’t be !!!

    1. AY – this is the best argument you have? I watch a fair amount of British TV and movies and the words “bug off” don’t seem to come up at all. In Britain it would be ‘bugger off.’ You have some source for your usage? BTW, I taught British and American literature, which both use English as their basic language.

  11. AY – nice ad hominem attack on me. Still does not answer your ignorance of the three subjects I pointed out. FYI, I was an English teacher, among teaching other subjects, but regardless of what I taught I had research papers to correct. Correct spelling and usage were part of the grade.

  12. Here’s a primer for every Constitutional Scholar wannabe.

    America is a restricted vote republic.

    The government is the subject of the citizens which are the sovereign.

    The government shall not engage in activities other than Justice, Tranquility, Defence and General Welfare while the “blessings of liberty” are secured to “ourselves and our posterity” and these blessings are our endeavors, businesses and industries conducted in the free markets of the private sector without governmental participation or otherwise interference. Citizens have a right to private property including personal or moveable property which precludes redistribution of wealth as taxes are collected for legitimate and limited governmental operations aforementioned.

    That is all and all is literally presented and limited by the Preamble, which is the context and sets the parameters within which governance shall be executed according to the Constitution.

    The Preamble absolutely, comprehensively, unequivocally, definitively and conclusively is binding and bears on the Constitution and every facet of American governance, now and in perpetuity.

    The Bill of Rights initiates and concludes the amending of the Constitution which shall not be further amended as further amending will be erroneous, destructive and begin the process of nullification of the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights, collectively, as these founding documents were written to stand for all time.

    George Washington
    Thomas Jefferson
    James Madison
    et al.

    These proceedings are closed.

  13. U.S. Voting Rights Timeline

    1776 Only people who own land can vote – Declaration of Independence signed. Right to vote during the Colonial and Revolutionary periods is restricted to property owners—most of whom are white male Protestants over the age of 21.

    1787 No federal voting standard—states decide who can vote U.S. Constitution adopted. Because there is no agreement on a national standard for voting rights, states are given the power to regulate their own voting laws. In most cases, voting remains in the hands of white male landowners.

    1789 George Washington elected president. Only 6% of the population can vote.

    1790 Citizen=White

    1790 Naturalization Law passed. It explicitly states that only “free white” immigrants can become naturalized citizens.

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