It’s about to get worse: President Trump’s F.C.C., under the leadership of its fiercely deregulatory chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to let these companies become even more powerful by letting them do whatever they want and allowing them to merge with one another.
.. pushed Congress to erase rules that would have constrained these companies from using and selling our sensitive online information.
And he is getting ready to wipe out the classification of high-speed data services as a utility — even though, without this legal label, the F.C.C.’s authority to require these five companies to treat their customers fairly will be fatally undermined.
Mr. Pai is responsible for a sector that accounts for a sixth of the American economy. But even that is an understatement: Everything we do, from manufacturing to governance, requires reliable, inexpensive, world-class data transmission.
.. Perhaps the most immediate concern is the commission’s so-called net neutrality rule .. Mr. Pai has put dismantling this structure at the top of his agenda.
.. It’s not just that the existing giants want free rein over their customers. They also want even greater scale and even greater involvement in content as well as distribution
- .. Comcast bought NBCU
- .. AT&T, which already swallowed up DirecTV, wants to buy HBO’s and CNN’s programming through an $85 billion merger with Time Warner.
- .. Verizon already bought AOL, is about to absorb Yahoo
.. Other countries — South Korea, Sweden, even China — have made the widespread adoption of universal, inexpensive, high-speed data transmission a priority.
.. understand that markets, if left to their own devices, won’t deliver this benefit to all citizens.