Friday, November 14, 2014

A clarifying example...

A clarifying example ... of how politicians think.  The FCC has been signaling for months that it's considering some level of Internet regulation (especially for ISPs).  Just this week Obama announced his support for regulating the Internet like a utility (a la cable TV).  Nobody knows what's actually going to happen; right now it's all just blather.  Now imagine that you're the CEO of an ISP planning to invest $18 billion into rolling out broadband nationwide.  The uncertainty about how ISPs will (or will not) be regulated means that you no longer know whether you can recover your $18 billion investment and make a profit, so naturally you halt the investment until the regulatory uncertain gets cleared up.

In a sane world, that CEO (Randall Stephenson of AT&T) would be lauded for his careful management of shareholder's money.  In the real world of Washington, D.C. he's being called everything from an extortionist to evil incarnate.  I listened to a few minutes of a C-SPAN house hearings broadcast this morning that was nothing but one insult after another being hurled at Stephenson. 

There are times when I think our species has some sort of genetic coding for self-extermination...

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