Article “The internet is fucked” | The Verge

One of my own (many) gripes against capitalism is that it breeds huge mutant monopoly companies who eat their families. When big industries are deregulated, the powerful tend to use their power to squash competition, or merge with other powerful companies. They then use this new strength to squeeze out even more competition until they remain, alone, at the top of the heap. (Think about the old days when princes would murder their brothers and any other familial rival…Hey, at least they were honest.)

This sad capitalistic story keeps replaying itself in American, and if you want, you can make a bag of popcorn and watch it unfold, as mega-bucks mutant freak corporation Comcast grows bigger and bigger….But be warned, watching it unfold may require shelling out big bucks to Comcast for an internet bundle plan.

Here are a few choice cuts from the article:

What happens in countries where there’s real competition? In the UK, where incumbent provider BT is required to allow competitors to use its wired broadband network, home internet service prices are as low as £2.50 a month, or just over $4…..

 “We can either have competition, which would solve a lot of these problems, or we can have regulation,” says Aaron. “What Comcast is trying is to have neither.” It’s insanity, and we keep lying to ourselves about it. It’s time to start thinking about ways to actually do something….

“Comcast and Verizon have so much clout in Washington that they’ve taken all the reasonable options off the table,” says the Free Press’ Aaron….FCC commissioners are drawn from the ranks of industry lobbyists, while industry lobbyists are drawn from the ranks of FCC commissioners….

So there’s the entire problem, expressed in four simple ideas: the internet is a utility, there is zero meaningful competition to provide that utility to Americans, all internet providers should be treated equally, and the FCC is doing a miserably ineffective job. The United States should lead the world in broadband deployment and speeds: we should have the lowest prices, the best service, and the most competition. We should have the freest speech and the loudest voices, the best debate and the soundest policy. We are home to the most innovative technology companies in the world, and we should have the broadband networks to match….

Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

4 thoughts on “Article “The internet is fucked” | The Verge”

  1. I’ve actually played poker with Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast. His big brother is a good friend of mine from grad school. The dad and founder of the company was also playing. They flew in from Philadelphia to Denver on the corporate jet for my friend’s 50th birthday bash. After awhile I couldn’t keep up with the stakes so I dropped out of the game. It just goes to show: you can be a nice guy and a good brother/dad yet still be a robber baron.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your thought here is something that has taken on much greater meaning for me, over the years, as I think about capitalism and culture more generally. A culture can do much harm while being composed of a lot of “nice people.” You don’t have to be a bastard to exploit folks who work in sweatshops to make the stuff we buy in Walmart. You just have to be ignorant and/or naive.


      1. I repeated this same poker story on a more recent post of yours about the internet and Comcast. Hey, if I said it twice, it must be true! That’s a Trump rule isn’t it? Now there’s a guy who exploits folks and who also seems to be a bastard.


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