Is “Net Neutrality” neutral or not?- Responses to Phil Erwin column

By George Miller
Phil Erwin wrote an article here attacking the FCC “Net Neutrality” proposal. He believes it is not really “neutral” at all InternetOpenand has other, more sinister implications. Many believe such regulation would be unconstitutional, as the FCC is an agency attempting to write law, instead of Congress. Article I of the U.S. Constitution says Congress exclusively writes law, while Article II says that the Executive branch is responsible for carrying out the law. We welcome alternative or supporting views.  
This is a big issue being significantly underplayed and misrepresented by the so called “MainStream Media,” (if we can believe Commissioner Ajit Pai, who “outed” the dangers to the public). Meanwhile, the clock runs out to implementation by default while the public is denied access to even read the 332 page proposed regulatory text.
Original column:

So, the news is that Facebook readers commented both pro and con on the column and Mr. Erwin did a follow-up response, too, as follows, as of 10:30 PM Feb. 18:


Charles Muller Major underreported issue- thanks for publishing this. Write to Congress and FCC now about it.

Allen Ball This is the most bizarrely disassociated, non sequitur bit of tripe The Journal has printed….possibly ever. The inter net uses publicly owned wave-lengths to provide it’s various products. At it’s inception the many provider start ups ATT&T, Time Warner, Verizon, etc. insisted on free access , or net neutrality, in order to lower costs for themselves and get their foot in the door. Now that they, dominate the field, they want to charge the public for the publics use of the publicly owned wave lengths they dominate. The fallacious argument that the FCC is making “closed door” decisions regarding keeping the internet free and open is belied by the fact that John Oliver , on his show on HBO Last Week Tonight did an entire segment on the FCC’s pending decision, noting that at the time that the FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, a former lobbyist for the National Cable &Telecommunications Assoc (NCTA), and the Cellular Communications and Internet Assoc. (CCIA), both strongly against net neutrality, had come out against net neutrality favoring his prior clients desire to charge the public for the publics use of public property. The resulting barrage of public comment favoring net neutrality, in the hundred of thousands, shut down the FCC’ s web page. That’s not a closed door decision making process. Tom Wheeler, inspite of his lobbying past, succumbed to overwhelming public comment, and favored net neutrality. Now the conglomerate of inter net providers are attempting to restructure the argument as a “big brother government intrusion”, without bothering to mention that they want to charge us for using that which we the public owns, and that which we now use for free. The Orwellian discussion is ridiculous hyperbole and an appeal to illiterates. You might as well say it’s government intrusion and an attempt by “big brother” to exercise control for the government by implementing highway and roadway traffic laws. The author of this article is either a paranoid conspiracy theorist, or a paid hack working for the inter net conglomerates, or both.

Like · Reply · 1 · 6 hours ago

Charles Muller I can’t even believe I’m reading your uninformed comment, Allen. To begin with, the Internet is not using “publicly-owned wave-lengths”, for the most part. The Internet backbone is overwhelmingly hard-wired on PRIVATE networks, using Internet protocol. Some local and satellite transmissions are by user choice on rented/owned PRIVATE RF networks.

You are either misled about the nature of the 332 page secret FCC reg. (have you read it? Doubtful), or deliberately obfuscationg. I only know about it because ONE FCC member outed the statist takeover attempt. There is NO need to regulate the Internet. It has been insanely successful on its own, partially because government got the hell out after DARPA (not the algore) invented it. In fact, the government is the single biggest threat to the Internet. They want to regulate it, control means, access, use, prices and even content.

Mr. David Koszela is right that innovation will outstrip any capacity bottlenecks and major cost constraints faster and better than our ponderous, corrupt government ever could.

In any case, the huge bandwidth application purveyors, such as large video delivery probably should pay at least something, if they want fast service and they are making money at it at carriers’ expense. Maybe you’ll have to pay a bit more for your Netflix. Sounds like economic justice to me.

Mr. Erwin is an IT expert. You are an amateur with an obvious political agenda,a worst case combination.

Like · about an hour ago

Citizens Journal – Ventura County We were asked to post this by Mr. Erwin who is an IT manager and author of this piece. Allen Ball, you managed to pack a lot of wrong ideas into a paragraph. Let me see if I can disabuse you:

1. The Internet does not travel through “publicly owned wave-lengths”, as you state. Internet transmissions are via PRIVATELY-OWNED telephone, fibre-optic and microwave equipment. You can now get Internet transmissions on your cell phone, but that “wave-length” is already leased to your cell provider. Using it to receive Internet data is no different than using it to receive a phone call. 

2. Your notion of how the Internet “grew up” is inaccurate. Early Internet transmissions were primarily universities and large corporations LEASING telephone access from AT&T and the like,to send INTERNAL communications (such as e-mail) from one office to another. This gradually grew into transactions BETWEEN differing corporations (e-commerce). There was NEVER an issue of “neutrality” involved — the only question was how much a corporation was willing to pay for faster transmissions. “AT&T, Verizon, etc.” did not care one whit who was sending what to whom — they only cared that you paid the bill you agreed to. (As they still do.)

3. I did not argue that the FCC is making “closed door” decisions. In fact it is the WHITE HOUSE doing so. Had you followed the link I provided and actually LISTENED to the interview, you would have heard one of the FCC’s own Commissioners saying as much, to wit: That the 322-page proposed regulations were delivered TO the FCC, not produced BY the FCC, as would be the norm.

4. You would ALSO have heard that Commissioner saying they had been directed to hold the contents of the proposal SECRET until AFTER adopting it. That certainly renders the voluminous public comment irrelevant, to say the least. The public didn’t know what they were commenting on, since not even the Commissioners had seen the proposal..

5. Finally, I note that the public’s huge response indicates their overriding interest is in making certain that the Internet “remains” neutral. But this was always a red herring — the “neutrality” of the Internet is not, and never has been, in jeopardy. That is simply a ruse to get the public to support what this government WANTS them to support, which is: Intervention where no such intervention is needed, in order to gain control over a communications medium. (The only non-neutral thing about the Internet is just what it’s always been: If you want faster access, will you pay more for it? That is no less “neutral” than saying, If you want a Ferrari, are you willing to pay for it?)

I remind you: It was the FCC’s own Commissioner who said, “We’re adopting a solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist, using legal authority we don’t have.”

So: The public being deliberately misinformed by government, in order to drum up support for unknown governmental regulations designed to gain control over a KEY communications medium that has previously been beyond government’s control, that they have already used to deliver propaganda, and that may soon be carrying Bi-Directional data between citizen and server… I dunno, that sounds pretty Orwellian to me.

But I’m not at all clear how, as you suggest, an Orwellian reference would hold any appeal for illiterates, given that they can’t read, and so probably don’t know who Orwell was


Like · Commented on by Citizens Journal – Ventura County · about an hour ago 


David Koszela The government should have no play in this. We are not suffering. Google fiber and others will double and triple speeds before we know it. Less government, not more…

Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hours ago


David M Stewart actually the internet does not use publicly owned bandwidth. It is all private and the public does not own it, never did own it. It was built by private enterprise although the original very limited infrastructure was build between universities. It was always piggybacked on private telecom infrastructure. Allen, you have no idea what you are talking about. Government will ruin the internet if they regulate it. You don’t seem to be able to handle freedom and private enterprise. I know a great little island not to far from Florida where you can get all the benefits of total government control.

Like · Reply ·


Original article: 

Nothing Neutral About Net Neutrality

Nothing Neutral About Net Neutrality

By Phil Erwin – Heard the latest “paranoid” musings about the government using bi-directional television sets to eavesdrop on your every moment? George Orwell’s famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four predicted that politics would devolve to unseen, unknown and uncontrollable shadow governments taking over everyone’s thoughts, rendering the notions of freedom, choice and individuality essentially moot. Written in […]

To contact committee members in Congress –

Protest to the FCC 

FCC: Pro-Net Neutrality: Open Internet |

Send Us Your Comments |

A Pro-NN background article

Anti: Net neutrality lies exposed by Ajit Pai, FCC Feb 10, 2015 …


George Miller is Publisher of and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.


Get Headlines free  SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us publishing – DONATE

Scroll down to add your comments!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments