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by FiveBoxes Staff | 2010-03-17 21:59 

What will they think of next? The FCC now has a “national broadband internet plan“.

That’s right, folks. Not content with muscling their way into the auto, mortgage, school loan, and financial industries, while the nation is focused on healthcare the FCC is trying to insert itself into the internet business. And they’re doing it in a way that doesn’t require Congress to be pass a law.

The FCC is proposing that Congress allocate the entire $4,600,000,000-per-year Universal Service Fund to rolling out high-speed internet service, and they want an additional $9,000,000,000 over three years to help speed things up.

The Universal Service Fund was established in 1996 to help ensure low-income people, schools, libraries, and rural health care providers have access to basic telephone service. All telecommunications companies have to pay into the fund. These companies don’t actually pay the fee… like all fees companies are forced to pay by government regulations, they pass those fees onto their customers. Like every backdoor tax, it translates into one of those additional fees we all pay on our telephone bill that raises our bill from the phone company’s $29 base fee to $45, which goes to provide basic phone service for the above-listed places.

Basic telephone service. A dial tone. Local calls to 911.

Compare this to what the FCC wants to roll out with regards to the internet: 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) service, and wireless access. For the non-geeks out there, the current top-level residential service is about 25Mbps fiber optic service. So the government wants to roll out “free” service that is four times as fast as the currently-available pay-for service.

What ever happened to supply and demand? If there was a demand for broadband in the sticks, and there was any money to be made in supplying it, broadband carriers would have been beating each other up trying to deliver it.

The fact of the matter is, the people in rural areas choose to live there. Many of them have no interest in the internet, let alone 100Mbps service or wireless access. While city-dwellers can’t understand how people can’t live without high-speed access, the people in the rural areas wonder how people in the city can spend all day perched in front of a computer monitor. Many people move out into the rural areas to escape the trappings of city life, including the internet.

Online technology columnists like Jared Newman at PCWorld write articles talking about how this is going to be great, and how there are all these “winners” like “People Who Can’t Afford or Access the Internet”

Once we deliver “free” broadband to “People Who Can’t Afford or Access the Internet”… what good will it be if they can’t afford a computer? Are we going to supply those too? And “free” upgrades? “Free” tech support? Well, I want my “free” pony!

So Jared, we put together our own “winners and losers” list

  • Winner: Big Government, Big Brother, Socialism, Fascism, Opponents of Capitalism
  • Loser: Every American who pays taxes
  • Loser: The free-market system
  • Loser: Freedom of speech
  • Loser: Liberty

Internet access is not a right. Healthcare is not a right. Food, shelter… not rights. You have a right to live. You have a right to produce and to own property. That’s all you have a right to. And when the government becomes big enough to supply everything you want, they become big enough to regulate your usage of it. Or take it all away.

If the government is supplying internet service, that gives them the ability to decide who gets the access, and who doesn’t. That gives them the ability to dictate what is said on the internet, and what isn’t. And that gives them the ability to monitor everything we say and everything we do. Think we’re crazy? Think again.

The Obama administration declassified part of its cybersecurity plan. Part of it details how the “EINSTEIN 2” and “EINSTEIN 3” systems are “designed to inspect internet traffic entering government networks”. If the government is supplying your ability to search Google and shop on eBay and Amazon, then the bits and bytes coming to your computer are “entering a government network.” Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has already said that “EINSTEIN 3” has the ability to read the content of emails and other messages.

Is it any coincidence that the National Security Agency — the same one decried by Obama and his supporters for “warrentless wiretaps” — has built a $1.5 billion data center in Utah, capable of holding a yottabyte of information?

We think not.

(You may be wondering, “How big is a yottabyte?” 1,000,000,000,000,000 gigabytes, or big enough to hold 40,000,000,000,000,000,000 average-sized emails.)

For all those in rural areas who want high-speed internet access, we have another box you can use: the moving box. The government has no business getting involved in supplying — and monitoring — the internet, for to do so would be a threat to us all.


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Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Government wants to give you another “free pony” (some strings attached)”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Ok, the “national broadband plan” is not about regulating the internet, its about regulating the 3 or 4 companies the provide the internet. Its main purpose is to prevent those companies from censoring the internet in their favor.

  2. GunsUp Says:

    Kevin, you’re a moron. Everything the government has gotten involved in, they have regulated, no matter what it is: money, trade, securities, education, healthcare, loans… all of it.

    It IS about regulating the internet. Or haven’t you been paying attention to Janet “Big Sis” Napoletano? Did you happen to miss her comment that the government needs to “monitor the internet to prevent homegrown terrorists”.