FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Tech at Night: Catching up with the D Block, Net Neutrality, and Google
Sorry but Monday night I plain forgot to post. So I just have twice as much stuff to discuss tonight is all.
Arguably the big story right now is what to do with the D Block. The D block is one of five pieces of the old television spectrum that is now freed up for new uses since we’ve gotten television broadcasts moved into a new, narrower range. However back in 2008 we tried to auction it off, but got no takers. I agree with the plan to give it to public safety groups, learning from the lessons of 9/11.
One interesting aspect of the issue is how it all relates the the FCC. If we move forward with the D Block resolution through legislation, then we take it away from the regulators. We can likely get broad bipartisan support for that even, because who wants to argue against first responders and post-9/11 recommendations? The FCC recognizes this threat, too, which is why the FCC on the 25th strained its arm patting itself on the back in some press releases.
Because as we all know by now, a runaway FCC is bad news. Just look at Net Neutrality. Seton Motley says the move was like voting themselves “Internet Overlords.” Which is why Verizon moved as fast as they could to try to stop it. Whether they even went too fast to the courts is a matter for the lawyers, honestly.
But Verizon’s now been joined by a smaller wireless provider. MetroPCS is also appealing Net Neutrality since the radicals are after them for having tiered pricing, making the Internet accessible to more people than before. It’s as though the left doesn’t want competition, because it undermines their arguments.
Here’s a new one on me though: Al Franken and Maria Cantwell are trying to make Net Neutrality bigger, but with legislation. Wow, even the Net Neuties hate the FCC these days, don’t they? Nobody wants to let them run off on their own. Power grabs are dangerous and end up pleasing nobody but the most rigid ideological extremists.
One reason I’m glad Republicans have the house is that it likely kills any hope of the Internet Kill Switch passing. The Internet is a broad, diverse network of networks. You’re never going to cut the whole thing off from an external threat. The Internet is designed to route around problems. The only real effect of such an impractical plan is to expand the government’s power online. Seriously: few words threaten limited government more than “emergency powers.”
Moving on, I have to say I’m not too crazy about Consumer Watchdog. They’re anti-corporate for the sake of being anti-corporate. But given that the White House admitted there were improper ties between the White House CTO’s office and Google, I do look forward to Darrell Issa probing that issue.
And to close the night, grab some popcorn and watch Bobby Rush call out James Rucker’s Color of Change, because regulations like Net Neutrality can only hurt the poor’s access to the Internet.