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. I thought the government was bad, at least that is what I keep hearing from many conservatives. Or is it good when it works in your favor and bad when it doesn’t? I am easily confused, please help me.

    1. @ishobo

      Despite common knowledge conservatives love authoritarian and statist government as much as liberals do and are just as hypocritical. They use liberty (or more accurately libertarian) rhetoric to get elected. Their track record is quite the opposite. Austrian economist Murray Rothbard exposed their demi-god Ronald Reagan for the fraud that he is in his piece; Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy

      1. chill1184 – your common knowledge about conservatives is not very common, hence it is really not common knowledge. Not sure it is even knowledge at all.

  2. “Top Secret: How To Kill–The CIA’s Secret Weapons Systems”, by Andrew Stark

    unless we know MUCH MORE about the atrocities committed “in the interests and name of `national security,’” how can we possibly become sufficiently motivated and driven to dedicate our energies towards changing this form of “government” by lies, dissembling, expediency, profit-as-god, and murder? we have no idea what is “done in our name.” if we did, we would no longer be able to participate in its commoditized seductiveness because we would not be able to look ourselves in the mirror or sleep at night.

  3. Blogs that turn into bickering are very boring. Time to delete this one. You all have forgoten what this blog was about by now!

    1. TL – changing the topic on these threads happens all the time. Some go further afield than others.

  4. Well as a suggestion by the professor, I am going to try and follow the civility rules. My statement was merely a suggestion. The proof is gonna be in the puddin.

  5. I started perusing comments from the bottom to the top. Half way to the top and I still haven’t read anything that is on topic. I guess I could start at the top and work my way down but what a waste of time. 🙁

    1. AY –

      Just a suggestion Paul. If you don’t intend to be civil that’s between you and the professor.

      This response is uncivil since it perverts my words into something I never said. You couldn’t last two minutes. 🙁

  6. Jon,

    This is addressed to Paul and Nick, please let’s do our best to maintain the request of the host of this blog. Please do not comment on anything I post and I will not make comments on your post.

    You may think that I am wrong or disagree with what I have to say, that’s fine. And the same goes for myself about what you may post.

    It appears that the exchanges do detract from the blog. I am asking this in order to maintain the hosts request for civility and it’s shown that we do one ups man ship.

    Please at the request of the host, let’s maintain civility. Ignore my posts and I will respond in kind. Thank you.


    1. AY – I am not good at having terms or conditions dictated to me by someone else. You do what you feel comfortable with. Civilly yours, Paul

  7. Thank you Jon…I am pleased you recognized my response to Paul as being uncivil. However, there was the agent principle that in my mind necessitated the response. If you will look closely it my response to the attack that got deleted.

    1. Anonymously Yours, I have deleted additional comments from you as violations of the civility rule. I have also deleted a number of comments from others in this thread in an effort to return comments to the merits of these stories. To all of you, we are not interested on this blog to hear about your mutual dislike or your personal attacks on other commenters. Being attacked does not give you license to violate our civility rule. You can raise any violations with me and I have tried to respond quickly. However, I give no credence to claims that you are merely responding in kind by being equally uncivil and immature. We have a civility rule on this blog. Most blogs do not. If this minimal rule seems unduly restrictive, I strongly suggest that any violators look elsewhere in the Internet for a better fit to your tastes and style.

  8. Anonymously Yours, I have deleted another comment in clear violation of our civility rule. Please comply with our rule or refrain from commenting.

  9. “That is not to say every right winger that posts here is paid but there definitely is a recognizable pattern.” -swarthmoremom


    And anonymity on these blogs is an essential antidote, contrary to the rubbish that folks like “Paul” are spewing.

    Register yourself, if you think that identification is so important, Paul. But leave others alone — clearly something that you have trouble doing.

    1. anonymous – I y’am what I y’am. Please point out the paid posters or bloggers on this site.

  10. The “Big Hurt” was the nickname of Frank Thomas, a Chicago White Sox player for many years. Big Home run guy.

  11. “SWM, Paranoia is tough to witness in people you know.” nick Tom DeLay had a paid crew on message boards in 2000, and it has been escalating ever since. Has nothing to do with paranoia and more to do with the ability to recognize it when you see it. That is not to say every right winger that posts here is paid but there definitely is a recognizable pattern.

  12. Paul,

    Why are you so hostile to the other commenters here? You rarely contribute but pick on, or pick apart someone else’s comment. Since this is owned and run by Jon he can allow you and others to be disrespectful. But you would not last long on many other sites, that I can assure you. On one site, if a person gets reported by more than two people in one day, comments get delayed in posting until someone can see if they are valid. The risk that the reporting person takes is they get banned from that site if they make more than 5 reports against the same person. I am not sure the time line. Just say…

    1. AY and Hmmm – isn’t the point of SWM’s link that anonymous people are attacking other people to drive them out of sites. So far that is what both of you have been trying to do to me and Nick You are proof of the link.

      Anonymouly Yours – I am not sure if you are also Anonymously Yours or just using a similar branding.

      Hmmm – yes, you are hiding. However, Jonathon allows it and I will go along with it.

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