[bestbits] [governance] Re: NMI and the Brazilian CGI.br

Barry Shein bzs at world.std.com
Mon Dec 8 14:53:36 EST 2014

From: Lee W McKnight <lmcknigh at syr.edu>
>Letting NetFlix, the current biggest bandwidth hog of the US and Europe, an=
>d - coincidentally? the most vocal Title II advocate in the US - define our=
> common futures, I suggest is unwise. Especially since they have recently b=
>een caught out in classic sleazy market-regulation manipulating behaviors..=
>.which indicates they are acting much more typically capitalist and less so=
>cialist in their calls for Title II regulation than some understand.

Citing NetFlix without mentioning that their primary complaint was
with Comcast, a vast company who built their empire out of local and
other govt-protected monopolies or very small-N oligopolies -- the
other small 'N' such as Verizon being similar beneficiaries of govt
largesse and thus cross-subsidization -- seems disingenuous.

Comcast has built what could be described informally as a vertical
trust with control of a huge share of the US last-mile internet
business, ownership of NBC Universal, and a cable TV system with a
large on-demand business in direct competition with NetFlix. And
internet infrastructure to support that.

Plus vast new acquisitions of competitors even within their own space.
Comcast's proposed acquisition of the also very large Time-Warner
cable system I believe would give them about 60% of all CATV (and
hence last-mile DOCSIS) connections.

Personally I don't think the solution is via an FCC Title II
regulation application.

I think it's through the DoJ and FTC to break up these govt-subsidized
vertical trusts and separate wire-plant from their content business.

By granting these mono/oligopolies -- to even call them oligopolies is
almost hair-splitting, often the 'small N' is '1' or one plus the
incumbent phone monopoly -- the govt created this market distortion
and it seems appropriate for the govt to intervene.

This is not free market economics in action at all.

Or, if we sincerely do want less govt intervention in these
businesses, then remove the protections and let anyone go into these
businesses. For example let's let NetFlix sell CATV etc which
currently they would be forbidden BY LAW from doing in most major

P.S. Here in Boston we can't even get Verizon's FiOS, why is a longer
story but the effect is it's Comcast or nothing other than Verizon DSL
which doesn't include CATV etc service and is waning for good reason
everywhere. And, yes, the lack of FiOS arises from the exclusivity
granted by the City of Boston to Comcast. I suppose there's also dish
TV and in some places a small RCN presence but that's almost quibbling
at this point.

        -Barry Shein

The World              | bzs at TheWorld.com           | http://www.TheWorld.com
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