Wheeler Took Title II Plunge Based on Response to Obama

March 18th, 2015 by · 8 Comments

Now that the details on FCC's new network neutrality are out, the aftermath is getting interesting. It was clear that Obama's choice to come out in public support of applying Title II to the internet was a key moment, but according to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's testimony before Congress the effect was indirect.

Wheeler says he was more influenced by the market's lack of negative reaction to Obama's statement than by the statement itself.  That is another way of saying he had expected investors to panic and pull money out of telecom. When they didn't, it suggested that the lobbyists saying investment would dry up might be, umm, overstating the danger involved in taking a more heavy handed approach.

Yes, it's Wall Street's fault that Title II now applies to the internet. Next time, remember to panic properly so this won't happen.

I'm not entirely sure what the Republicans in Congress are looking for here though. That Obama influenced the debate? Wasn't everyone trying to do precisely that, including those same Republicans in Congress, just less successfully?

Ah well, I'm not too worried about the ability of the big guys to handle the new regulatory environment. But I'm curious how things will really play out for the smaller providers out there.  I'm not hearing much happiness, and it's not because people were planning fast lanes.

Over in Europe, they've opened a new front against network neutrality: that the Internet of Things needs prioritization or it will never come to pass.  What if your driverless car crashes because it's bandwidth got squeezed by streaming video?  Seriously?  A car whose safety depends on cellular coverage and complete data security from hackers?  Who would get in such a contraption?  For that matter, has anybody told GEICO they're going to be insuring these things?  I think this message needs some refining... I forgot it was about network neutrality already.

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8 Comments So Far


  • Jason says:

    how could anyone think any differently, lets fact it Wheeler was in the back pocket of the cable companies before landing this position. heck ya Obama pressed him for this!

  • Robert Grutza says:

    Time will prove this to be another catastrophic move by this criminal administration.

  • JWK says:

    Quote:I’m not entirely sure what the Republicans in Congress are looking for here though. That Obama influenced the debate? Wasn’t everyone trying to do precisely that, including those same Republicans in Congress, just less successfully?

    And those same Republicans at the state level were enacting legislation to prohibit community builds…does not sound like the invisible hand of the free market working to me.

  • NetFlux says:

    meanwhile, after lobbying everyone, everywhere for “net neutrality” rules, and to kill the Comcast-TWC deal, NetFlix has their (core competency) lobby machine turned at killing the ATT-DirecTV deal (http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_28053643/netflix-at-t-directv-deal-should-not-be).

    Would be better for these guys to stop blaming the internet, the body politic, telecoms, et al, for the obvious flaw in their business model (flaw: bandwidth is key variable cost charged or built out per mbps, and they allow “all you can eat” fixed pricing).

    When they mailed out DVD’s, i don’t recall them demanding free shipping from USPS or FedEX ??

    Free/cheap movies are great, but these guys act like this stuff requires everyone else to subsidize them. will they also be for all these rules (again) before they are against them (again) ?? Why are the big guys allowing them to do this?

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree – why not ask content sellers to lower the price of content while you’re at it?
      Looking at financials, maybe they could afford to pay the toll…..

    • Anonymous says:

      because John Oliver and low info voters.

  • Anon100 says:

    the DVD example is interesting. Should FedEX or USPS be forced to charge the same for overnight delivery vs 2nd day air vs ground?

    why is it “fair” to netflix that some people get to pay for better service? Someone call the US DOT.

    If I have this right, netflix buys content from studios, IT from amazon, bandwidth from cogent and L3 and can’t believe that as middle men they get squeezed. welcome to the internet, middle-man

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