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Topic: The government is the freaking dragon. (Read 7573 times)

  • OakdaleFTL
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The government is the freaking dragon.
The FCC (the U.S. Federal Communications Commission) has approved -by a partisan majority of 3 to 2- the (presumably desirable) Net Neutrality rules (not yet released to the public...) to regulate ISPs -and, of course, other "players"- to ensure a free and open internet... (see here, for instance) by bureaucratic interference, based upon the rules meant to constrain the government-granted monopoly to AT&T in the late 30's.

I am eager to read the "final" 317 pages "agreed to" by this commission, and look forward to the court cases it prompts. (Not to mention, because I don't believe such will be forthcoming, the congressional backlash and remedy...sad to say). I'd like to read it because I might be able to deconstruct its purpose -- and argue against such.
(Yes, I think I know what it is...)

My main point here is to highlight the perennial question: What warrants and justifies government regulation? And when and why should such be accepted or promulgated, absent irremediable harms?

Put more simply: If it ain't broke, why "fix" it?

Other thoughts...?
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Macallan
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #25

My Internet speed is currently 50/4. It used to be 70/2.5, but the subscription changed. The modem actually synced at 70/6 when I last checked, meaning that's the maximum speed I could get over VDSL if I paid almost twice as much. Over cable a slightly higher speed might be possible, but not for less money and besides the cable company has horrid policies.

We're supposed to get something like 20/1 although actual measurements indicate something closer to twice that. Since this is comcast cable my guess is that this:
They use the same wire for IPTV and internet, bandwidth is shared. The bandwidth used by the TV service varies and so does the amount of noise on the cable, so they advertise a lower speed than what they actually run at so they can more or less guarantee that's what you actually get. Also, data throughput is necessarily lower than actual line speed - think protocol overhead, control messages and all that.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #26
What prevents other "players" from entering into the ISP market?
Seriously, Sang (and others...): Where's the snag? Is it capital investment? Or is it local or wide-spread government regulation?
Might it be that the uncertainty of future regulations, which -even if they are onerous- will take, given the current regime's adamant preference for control, most players into ass-kissing mode?

I'd like to know why you think the government is likely to "protect" our freedoms...

Do you have --like-- evidence? :)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • mjmsprt40
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  • undocumented space alien
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #27
Oak-- I'd like to know why you think AT&T and Comcast have any interest in protecting your freedoms. Their running record isn't terribly good to date, given free reign they would have monopolies in no time and you would have to accept poor service at outrageous prices, with no recourse.

I don't trust the government. I trust AT&T and Comcast even less. As it is, net neutrality at least gives a start-up a chance-- small though it is. Take away net neutrality and allow the big companies to do as they see fit without regulation---nobody else gets to play and that's that.
What would happen if a large asteroid slammed into the Earth?
According to several tests involving a watermelon and a large hammer, it would be really bad!

  • Macallan
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #28

Oak-- I'd like to know why you think AT&T and Comcast have any interest in protecting your freedoms. Their running record isn't terribly good to date, given free reign they would have monopolies in no time and you would have to accept poor service at outrageous prices, with no recourse.

Comcast is a virtual monopoly around here. The only alternative is DSL, which gives you significantly less speed per buck since it's not subsidized by TV subscribers.


Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #29
I recently switched my internet provider to Charter and experience a large improvement in speed. Pages load much faster.

Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #30
Comcast is a virtual monopoly around here. The only alternative is DSL, which gives you significantly less speed per buck since it's not subsidized by TV subscribers.

I have Centurylink DSL, which has been experiencing solid growth around here and the equivalent plan from Comcast costs considerably more. Their downside is incompetent tech support. There was an outage, so I tried to call them after the normal solutions failed me. So their tech support guy said there was maintenance in Las  Vegas, but my address /should/ be okay and I have no problems since Google can load (despite the fact if I tried to click any link from the search results, that site wouldn't load.)  It turned out that the issues was Century Link's DNS servers, but the tech support guy apparently had no way to know this. But I wonder if Comcast's "tech support" is really any better trained and better tools and can do much more than tell their customers to unplug their modem and plug it back in.
I don't trust the government. I trust AT&T and Comcast even less. As it is, net neutrality at least gives a start-up a chance-- small though it is. Take away net neutrality and allow the big companies to do as they see fit without regulation---nobody else gets to play and that's that.

Yup. Even mighty Google was once a small startup but now as become important to the economy and a major driver of technological innovations. What we don't need for the future is the next Google to poor performance and die in its crib all because AT&T and Comcast want to prioritize traffic to their own shitty little offerings just to get the advertising revenue.

Oakdale is not wrong for being skeptical about regulation. As discussed in other threads, regulation can be rigged in favor for current brontosaurus's of companies, slow and lumbering and destructive to the very ecosystem they thrive in but doomed to extinction in the end. But in this case, the regulation is a good thing and could even help Bronto-AT&T and Bronto-Comcast find their final resting place so the small, but fast moving and intelligent critters under their feet can grow. Remember that once mighty AOL is all but dead as service provider at the hands of its own poor service, so that's not as far fetched as it might seem. The dinos are not tramping over wineries and some other relatively unimportant industry, but the very foundation of the economy over the next few decades.

Like it or not, the internet is becoming (or indeed has become) the major conduit of communication for both consumer sector and Business to Business transaction because of defacto Network Neutrality. AT&T would be just has happy throwing us back into the old days of POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) just to keep consumers and businesses alike trapped in their own offerings, which are likely to be inferior to those of smaller, but smarter and more responsive firms.

There's a darth of strong arguments against Network Neutrality. A knee-jerk reaction against all regulation is not one of them. We need intelligent and impartial regulation that doesn't manage to lock in Bronto-AT&T, but allows for competition. We can even allow some exceptions, just Netflix "premium" that allows faster streaming. If there is something pernicious in what the president and FCC want to do, take that part out without murdering the baby while dismantling its crib.  But allowing AT&T and Comcast to and Comcast to accelerate and throttle traffic just for advertising revenue and to please the shareholders in the next quarterly report is not acceptable.

  • Macallan
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #31

Comcast is a virtual monopoly around here. The only alternative is DSL, which gives you significantly less speed per buck since it's not subsidized by TV subscribers.

I have Centurylink DSL, which has been experiencing solid growth around here and the equivalent plan from Comcast costs considerably more. Their downside is incompetent tech support. There was an outage, so I tried to call them after the normal solutions failed me. So their tech support guy said there was maintenance in Las  Vegas, but my address /should/ be okay and I have no problems since Google can load (despite the fact if I tried to click any link from the search results, that site wouldn't load.)  It turned out that the issues was Century Link's DNS servers, but the tech support guy apparently had no way to know this. But I wonder if Comcast's "tech support" is really any better trained and better tools and can do much more than tell their customers to unplug their modem and plug it back in.

What annoys me to no end is that comcast forces you to buy a TV package in order to get internet. And their sneaky pricing models - "Oh, that's the regular price. I can give you something lower just for bugging us about it! <whisper>For a time. And may Great Cthulhu make you forget to pester us again when it expires.</whisper>"

CenturyLink's DSL is available in the general area, I'm not sure if that includes my house though. Then again, they've been busy building net infrastructure all over the place for the last few years.

That said, Google's public DNS server is as 8.8.8.8, always good to have as a backup ( and I did have problems with comcast's DNS servers in the past ). There are others too, but with less memorable IP addresses :right:

  • ensbb3
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #32
So their tech support guy said there was maintenance in Las  Vegas, but my address /should/ be okay and I have no problems since Google can load

AT&T used to do that too. I always tell Comcast to just send a tech to the house now...
For a time. And may Great Cthulhu make you forget to pester us again when it expires.

You do have to occasionally remind them you exist tho.
What annoys me to no end is that comcast forces you to buy a TV package in order to get internet.

I don't like Xfinity's TV service. Perhaps I just don't watch tv enough to be used to it. Over a year now and I still haven't mastered the interface, lol.

Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #33
I don't like Xfinity's TV service. Perhaps I just don't watch tv enough to be used to it. Over a year now and I still haven't mastered the interface, lol.

DirectTV does more than I want, mostly PBS documentaries (Frontline, etc.) and recordings of Letterman, but best of all Jon Stewart's The Daily Show.

The latest Frontline is at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/putins-way/ Watch it online.

  • Macallan
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #34

For a time. And may Great Cthulhu make you forget to pester us again when it expires.

You do have to occasionally remind them you exist tho.

Paying the bill should be enugh :right:


What annoys me to no end is that comcast forces you to buy a TV package in order to get internet.

I don't like Xfinity's TV service. Perhaps I just don't watch tv enough to be used to it. Over a year now and I still haven't mastered the interface, lol.

I just don't watch TV. And my wife works for DirecTV so we get their everything-and-the-kitchen-sink package for almost free. The comcast box isn't even hooked up anymore yet we have to pay for it.

Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #35
I just don't watch TV. And my wife works for DirecTV so we get their everything-and-the-kitchen-sink package for almost free.

Meanwhile, the ISPs are coming out with their own IPTV content such as Centurylink's Prism. So they use bandwidth usage as an excuse to slow or charge extra for Netflix, or charge the service which now their competitor extra and force them to raise their rates. Thus Comcast and friends and all but force users to their own services. What part of this don't people like Oakdale not get? Of course, IPTV itself is dated already. Users want their content on demand, not having to set the DVR to record it and then having to fastforward through the commercials. So again, the dinosaurs are futilely  trying to stomp out the smallish, furry, fast moving and intelligent critters under their feet even as even their walnut sized brains slowly realize their time is drawing to a close.

Another bizarre claim is that net neutrality is censorship. I wonder how much ignorance of the Constitution does it take for an American to make that claim. The government is forbidden by the First Amendment from blocking controversial, but legal content. AT&T and friends are not.

Get it, folks like Oakdale? It's not about "fast lanes." It's about content control. Stop knee-jerking against all regulation and see what the regulation is first and get both sides of the story. What's that? I didn't read both sides myself? Yes, I did. Centurylink makes the point that the regulations are outdated. Maybe they are. So let's get Congress to actually work with the President and draft a new title of regulation that maybe allows "fast lanes" but doesn't create slow lanes for competing content. Unfortunately, this GOP Congress consists largely of chimpanzees that can do nothing but scream and fling shit at the President without offering anything constructive. I apologize to chimps for comparing them to Congress.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #36
I've been waiting for the regulations to be published, Sang.... But I enjoy your histrionics! Please don't stop. :)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ensbb3
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #37
I've been waiting for the regulations to be published

I thought the whole reason this came up was because they had published them? Link.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #38
Many thanks, ensbb3!

That's quite a lot to digest...
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ensbb3
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #39
Isn't tho. Seems they just released yesterday.

I just casually flipped thru. It's wordy.

Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #40
Quote
2.
No Unreasonable Interference or Unreasonable Disadvantage to Consumers
or Edge Providers

20.
The key insight of the virtuous cycle is that broadband providers have both the incentive
and the ability to act as gatekeepers standing between edge providers and consumers. As gatekeepers,
they can block access altogether; they can target competitors, including competitors to their own video
services;
and they can extract unfair tolls. Such conduct would, as the Commission concluded in 2010,
"reduce the rate of innovation at the edge and, in turn, the likely rate of improvements to network
infrastructure."23 In other words, when a broadband provider acts as a gatekeeper, it actually chokes
consumer demand for the very broadband product it can supply. 

Bold is mine, of course.  Verizon, mentioned many times in the regulation before this, somehow failed to note that it provides its own video service similar to Netflix. Funny how all of a sudden Netflix needs to be throttled just as the ISPs come out with competing products, isn't it? Under Net Neutrality, Verizon and others would have to improve their product and service to compete. You know, the REAL free market thing. Without it, they can effectively block the competitor and corral their customers into middling content owned by them. In this way, the virtuous cycle of innovation is broken. The result is something like AOL's semi-walled garden. You do have access to the broader internet, but at reduced speed and high prices for "third party" content and stifled innovation.

More on this from page 55:

Quote
Consumers are unlikely to know (or care) about why a particular video takes two seconds to load or is constantly rebuffering, and
will abandon those edge providers that they perceive as providing a slower and thus less enjoyable experience.");
Kickstarter Comments at 3-4 ("Users will not accept slow load times and choppy videos.").


Page 22:

Quote
70.
Verizon subsequently challenged the Open Internet Order in the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the D.C. Circuit, arguing, among other things, that the Open Internet Order exceeded the
Commission's regulatory authority and violated the Act.88 In January 2014, the D.C. Circuit upheld the
Commission's determination that section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 granted the
Commission authority to regulate broadband Internet service providers,89 and that the Commission had
demonstrated a sound policy justification for the Open Internet Order. Specifically, the court sustained
the Commission's findings that "absent rules such as those set forth in the Open Internet Order,
broadband providers represent a threat to Internet openness and could act in ways that would ultimately
inhibit the speed and extent of future broadband deployment."90 
Yes, the commission does the authority to regulate the ISPs.

Page 25:

Quote
The Continuing Need for Open Internet Protections

75.
In its remand of the Commission's Open Internet Order, the D.C. Circuit affirmed the
underlying basis for the Commission's open Internet rules, holding that "the Commission [had] more than
adequately supported and explained its conclusion that edge provider innovation leads to the expansion
and improvement of broadband infrastructure."111 The court also found "reasonable and grounded in
substantial evidence" the Commission's finding that Internet openness fosters the edge provider
innovation that drives the virtuous cycle.112 The record on remand continues to convince us that
broadband providers--including mobile broadband providers--have the incentives and ability to engage
in practices that pose a threat to Internet openness, and as such, rules to protect the open nature of the
Internet remain necessary. Today we take steps to ensure that the substantial benefits of Internet
openness continue to be realized.
Note the threat to infrastructure that I posted previously

Page 27:

Quote
77.
The record before us also overwhelmingly supports the proposition that the Internet's
openness is critical to its ability to serve as a platform for speech and civic engagement,118 and that it can
help close the digital divide by facilitating the development of diverse content, applications, and
services.
Quite so. Of course I noted before that loss of Net Neutrality is tantamount to censorship.

Quote
Technical Ability

85.
As the Commission explained in the Open Internet Order, past instances of abuse
indicate that broadband providers have the technical ability to act on incentives to harm the open
Internet.153 Broadband providers have a variety of tools at their disposal that can be used to monitor and
regulate the flow of traffic over their networks--giving them the ability to discriminate should they
choose to do so. Techniques used by broadband providers to identify and select traffic may include
approaches based on packet payloads (using deep packet inspection), network or transport layer headers
(e.g., port numbers or priority markings), or heuristics (e.g., the size, sequencing, and/or timing of
packets).154 Using these techniques, broadband providers may apply network practices to traffic that has a
particular source or destination, that is generated by a particular application or by an application that
belongs to a particular class of applications, that uses a particular application- or transport-layer protocol,
or that is classified for special treatment by the user, application, or application provider.155 Application-
specific network practices depend on the broadband provider's ability to identify the traffic associated
with particular uses of the network. Some of these application-specific practices may be reasonable
network management, e.g., tailored network security practices. However, some of these techniques may
also be abused.156 Deep packet inspection, for example, may be used in a manner that may harm the open
Internet, e.g., to limit access to certain Internet applications, to engage in paid prioritization, and even to
block certain content.157 Similarly, traffic control algorithms can be abused, e.g., to give certain packets
favorable placement in queues or to send packets along less congested routes in a manner contrary to end
user preferences.158 Use of these techniques may ultimately affect the quality of service that users receive,
which could effectively force edge providers to enter into paid prioritization agreements to prevent poor
quality of content to end users. 



...

Quote
245 See supra Section III.B. See also Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group, Port Blocking at 2 (2013)
http://www.bitag.org/documents/Port-Blocking.pdf, ("Because Port blocking can affect how particular Internet
applications function, its use has the potential to be anti-competitive, discriminatory, otherwise motivated by non-
technical factors, or construed as such."); Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, A View of
Traffic Management and Other Practices Resulting in Restrictions to the Open Internet in Europe at 8-9 (May 29,
2012), http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/sites/digital-
agenda/files/Traffic%20Management%20Investigation%20BEREC_2.pdf 

The link to the technical reasons why losing net neutrality, which we've had since the dawn of the internet (it's not an Obama thing, GOPers. I'll need to ask you to at least catch up with the late 20th century at this time :p) is anti-competitive.


This could easily turn into the longest post in history. The long and short of is that FCC did take into account the ISPs' arguments. I'm not really seeing a whole lot to oppose here. ISPs and mobile providers try to defend their offering, such a T-Mobile's music service. It's great the T-Mobile has that service, but it's noncompetitive and stifles other, perhaps better, content providers by giving priority to their own service and giving Pandora and Rhapsody, etc the "slow lane." It's as if the ISPs don't have faith that own offerings can't compete on a level playing field.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #41
I'm nowhere near far enough into this "pronouncement" to form -let alone give- an opinion. But I will say -having decided to download the PDF version, and reading from that- that this bureaucracy (the FCC) can't be bothered to format their words (justifications, reasons, decisions and determinations...) in a readable form.
Some might wonder why this is so... :)
------------------------------------------------
p.s.,
Love the acronym BIAS... (broadband Internet access service). :)
  • Last Edit: 2015-03-16, 00:38:27 by OakdaleFTL
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ensbb3
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #42
Some might wonder why this is so...


As legal-speak goes it's fairly readable. Those 'some' would be hard-up for understanding the premise. Being within their abilities and only regulations they are not 'law' therefore can be easily changed. I can only tell you such regulations should be law, but if your generation can't understand why, that's expected. Whether or not it is partisan is irrelevant. I'm not.

Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #43
The newest trope is that net neutrality would cause new taxes, despite what the regulation actually says. I'm seen bloggers say it avoids taxes by imposing fees, but this isn't true either.

Quote
Promoting Investment with a Modern Title II

37.
Today, our forbearance approach results in over 700 codified rules being inapplicable, a
"light-touch" approach for the use of Title II. This includes no unbundling of last-mile facilities, no
tariffing, no rate regulation, and no cost accounting rules, which results in a carefully tailored application
of only those Title II provisions found to directly further the public interest in an open Internet and more,
better, and open broadband. Nor will our actions result in the imposition of any new federal taxes or fees;
the ability of states to impose fees on broadband is already limited by the congressional Internet tax
moratorium.
38.
This is Title II tailored for the 21st Century. Unlike the application of Title II to
incumbent wireline companies in the 20th Century, a swath of utility-style provisions (including tariffing)
will not be applied. Indeed, there will be fewer sections of Title II applied than have been applied to
Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS), where Congress expressly required the application of
Sections 201, 202, and 208, and permitted the Commission to forbear from others. In fact, Title II has
never been applied in such a focused way.


Again, very little to oppose.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #44
Sang, they say explicitly that fees and taxes are withheld, at their "forbearance"... Are you just unsure what that word means? :)

(I'm continuing to read the actual rules promulgated...)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #45
Quote
Nor will our actions result in the imposition of any new federal taxes or fees;
the ability of states to impose fees on broadband is already limited by the congressional Internet tax
moratorium. 




http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/forbearance

Quote
1.1 Law The action of refraining from exercising a legal right, especially enforcing the payment of a debt.


http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/refrain

Quote
verb

[NO OBJECT]
Stop oneself from doing something:
she refrained from comment



The day Republicans learn fucking English is the one I drop dead of heart attack.

Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #46
The closest to an intelligent argument that net neutrality can result in higher taxes is from Forbes and that's only fear that a state or local government might apply a tax, However, he's forgetting Federal prohibits states from applying many taxes on the internet through Internet Tax Freedom Act regardless of its FCC classification.


  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #47
The only thing keeping the federal government from imposing taxes and fees on BIASs now that such are deemed Title II entities is -- the warm, fuzzy beneficence of the FCC board... I feel safer already!

What's to prevent them from simply changing their minds?
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ensbb3
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Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #48
Someone in the Federal Government finally does something useful and Republicans are pissed. Smh.

Forgive me for not having the Fox News perspective but if this is as it seems the benefits will show soon enough. At this point all they can do is wait and see.

  • mjmsprt40
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  • undocumented space alien
Re: The government is the freaking dragon.
Reply #49
Looks to me like a really bad choice. Do you trust the government or the telcos? Personally, I don't trust the telcos not to make it like 1995 again, with most everybody on dial-up and only a special few having T-1 service. That way they don't have to spend money upgrading equipment to 2015 and beyond standards.

Oak, I know you're suspicious of big government. Heck, I am too. But, if government hadn't broken up AT&T all those years ago--- if all you had was one big national company with its baby-bell satellite companies--- you would be doing good right now to have touch-tone service. AT&T has never been noted for being in a hurry to give customers the fastest speeds and the best service. Comcast is really bad too, though at least they do try to have faster speeds.
What would happen if a large asteroid slammed into the Earth?
According to several tests involving a watermelon and a large hammer, it would be really bad!