Views on current issues with "Net Neutrality"?

Your toothbrush example is misleading and a bit ridiculous. toothbrush manufacturers don't own exclusively the distribution channel to my mouth so i don't know where you are going with that. I'm not arguing for communism nor am I arguing for state ownership of all production. it's intellectually dishonest of you to suggest that i do when you seem to have a good enough grasp of economics/business to understand where i was going with my post. If you are interested in an honest discussion or socratic debate on these issues please treat me with respect.

Your point about Japanese utility pole is interesting. What kind of telecom regulatory system do they have in Japan and what are the outcomes in terms of network coverage and speed/pricing? Is it simply laissez-faire or is there a state imposed framework to allow for competition?

Well to suggest that it would be more efficient for government to run (through regulation) and/or own the telecomunications industry, which was not necessarily applied directly at you, but rather at the general ideas of government intervention and the comments that usually follow, is an argument that could be applied to all industries, in all countries, and does not relieve the problem. The problem being poor service and monopoly pricing due to a lack of competition, and not a lack of regulation, you can not emulate the efficiencies of the free-market with a centrally planned monopoly, you just can't.

The efficiencies of the free-market come from widely dispersed skills, and innovation which is often done by trial-and-error. You don't get those without a multitude of companies, nor do you get the incentive for efficiency which comes with the requirement to maximize shareholder investments from private companies. Nor is there any reason, apart from a purely political or philosophical reason, for a utilities monopoly to sink more of their shareholder profits into an infrastructure that is perfectly adequate for the extraction of revenue from consumers.

Therefore my argument is that the USA and all countries for that matter, need to set telecomunications policy around promoting and cultivating a telecommunications sector based upon market driven competition as opposed to continued discouragement and further entrenchment of the monopolies they have already made. I am not that familiar with the telecomunications policy of japan for instance, but one thing is clear, they do not make competition illegal by granting exlcusive licenses to provide services. I imagine it is some regulatory framework which promotes competition such as forcing sharing of ducts and utility poles, and peering and that sort of stuff.

Thanks, i think we're pretty much on the same page re: increasing competition through removing barriers to entry.

My concern is that we're starting from a situation today where we already have large, dominant corporations in most of our countries that can use their market share to raise costs of entry and lock out/buy out competitors. So to get to a more competitive market to provide services we need to be careful about what changes to the regulatory framework we should make.

It seems in Japan, the few time the government intervenes was to force NTT, the largest company and previously state owned monopoly, to decouple services from one another (e.g. copper, mobile, internet). The wiki on it at least suggests that there is some regulation vis-a-vis market share (stricter on larger share companies), but to be honest i'm not familiar enough to really comment on this. Not sure how net neutrality or such applies there. It's interesting though.

I just hope more countries move in the right direction.

I'm saying that because the regulation we have now barely takes into account the fact that the internet exists at all, that cable television is dead or should be treated as dead and that wireless communications have the ability to carry all types of data (not just phone calls/broadcast television), we need to empower the FCC to band-aid the situation as best we can. Until we overhaul the '96 act itself with an entirely new framework, I strongly prefer more regulation originating from the FCC instead of letting the current companies do whatever they want. Letting a few companies do whatever they want is never good for the consumer.

Government involvement is a spectrum not binary. T II would allow the FCC to be more strict (impose more regulation) than their classification status is now (they are deregulated, have less regulation, if compared to what they would be under TII). Telcos are an oligopoly atm and should be regulated as such.

Net neutrality doesn't exist in reality and has never existed.

Net neutrality is not something to fight for, it's the same as fighting for the right to pick up your neighbour's idle entertainment bill.

A right that IS worth fighting for, is the right as a consumer to get a correct service for a correct price, and service providers that are held accountable and liable.

If net neutrality would become a general legal principle, it would inhibit the evolution towards free internet access. I believe a baseline needs to be set, an amount of bandwidth that should be free for everyone, and can be used for whatever. Not a matter of net neutrality,  just a matter of public domain, freedom and privacy. I believe that people that use more bandwidth than others, for instance for video streaming, should pay for that, and that net neutrality is just an alibi for ISP's to charge high prices to everyone, even those that do not congest the net with idle video entertainment. Many businesses pay a lot more than private persons, but use far less bandwidth than the typical youtube and netflix addicts. I believe that's not fair. I believe "net neutrality" is just a marketing buzzword to keep an unfair and stagnant situation alive to better serve the ISP shareholders, because it doesn't even make any sense as such.

Yes and that is why they need to split the government created and backed monopolies into lots of tiny little pieces, say a dozen or so, unbundle the local loop, decouple internet and tv, and maybe even create tax policy around encouraging investment.