Telcos don’t want to be common carriers, unless there’s some tax subsidy in it for their businesses. See, Internet Service Providers have spent years playing both sides of the Net Neutrality issue. Begging for taxpayer handouts when it suited their ends and demanding the ability to charge whatever the market will cough up for internet service.
In fact, as TechDirt points out, Verizon and AT&T begged for Title II classification from the FCC to get tax dollars funneled into their businesses. So now that they’re free from all that onerous Net Neutrality regulation, we’d like our tax subsidies back. Cool?
TechDirt has covered this hypocrisy, calling it the “Title II shell game.”
Internet Service Providers were classified under Title I in 2015 under “common carrier” rules similar to other utilities. Common carriers have to serve everyone under the same rules. But competing service providers for cable and DSL were classified under Title I, leaving them free to discriminate and charge whatever they saw fit.
Once Title II doled out the subsidies, carriers were totally over operating under the necessary rules. Oh and that rural broadband built out the country was promised? Nah.
Internet Service Providers figured out how to game the system for their maximum benefit, collecting tax breaks and subsidies when it suited them while also screaming about how unfair regulations were to their business.
Now Net Neutrality is gone. ISPs can charge whomever, whatever they want to get online. Seems like carriers like Verizon and AT&T owe the American people a check. We’ll wait.
Featured image: Pixabay