MUNICIPAL WIRELESS: A NEW HORIZON?

Hope everyone has had a chance to listen to my intervention lecture and process it. Through the lecture I posed 2 very different questions – – the first a  provocation on the dichotomy between regulation and free market — and the second, a speculative projection for the future – – the concept of municipal wireless. So here then are the two questions to respond to and build a conversation around:

 

1. All regulations do is reshape the playing field. Competitors compete on the playing field that exists. The playing field is reshaped based on broader priorities such as those from a citizens point of view.

Your thoughts / responses?

 

2. The network neutrality debate is merely an opener for what must emerge if the internet where to be thought about from within the framework of a public utility-municipal wireless/community broadband. Again, your thoughts and responses?

45 thoughts on “MUNICIPAL WIRELESS: A NEW HORIZON?

  1. Capitalist is defined as ” an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.” Because such system encourages a focus on profit rather then fair play it is very important for the regulators to ensure that the public and competition is protected by unfair competition. Looking back at the golden age and the rise of titans such as Rockefeller, Carnegie and J.P Morgan we see that a market left to its own devices will result in one big winner that fully controls the prices.

    Hence why I believe that the importance of maintaining a free equal access to the internet for all who needs need to remain of utmost importance to the regulators. It needs to be a balanced approach that doesn’t hinder innovation but also doesn’t allow companies who control the access to the internet to monopolize access. The example of the market as a playfield is a good example of how in reality markets need to be shaped to ensure fair competition which in turn results in innovations.

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    1. Hi Ervis, I really enjoyed reading your post! I totally agree that if left without regulations capitalism and its insatiable urge for profit maximization for its shareholder the capitalist would not play a fair game in order to increase its profits. Without regulations the capitalist would do all in its power to reduce cost with could incur in underpaid labor and poor working conditions. Thus, regulations are vital. Moreover I also found your reasoning behind net neutrality really interesting and I agree with it.

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  2. 1. I feel that the more our need for higher speed internet, and internet in general grows larger, the competition base also grows larger. We can see that with the introduction of 5G, even that had to be halted due to aviation issues. Part of me feels that the companies are rushing to be the first and they aren’t thinking of all the complications that can come with it, like interfering with airspace which is why the launch had to be halted.
    2. I do believe that the internet should be a public utility, but if that were to happen I do not believe that it would be as good as we have it now. The government and locals are so slow to upgrade things or find the manpower or money to upgrade them, if they were in charge of our internet services I do not think that we would have expanded the internet base as much as we have. It takes years for upgrades around towns and on public roads, and they never fix things completely like all of the potholes in the roads that have been there for years just growing that they never fix. While I believe that everyone should have access to the internet, I do not think that the government or local towns can handle the responsibility that it brings.

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    1. Hi Jessica, I enjoyed reading your response. One concern I would have about making the internet a public utility is exactly what you mentioned. The speed and services offered would be much worse, especially when compared to how government regulates things now. The government certainly lacks in its response to public roads and issues like you said, and having the internet be placed in their hands could present a large issue. If there was another way to provide equal access to customers and be monitored carefully, I would definitely say that it should be a public utility, but in the government’s hands, it is quite risky.

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    2. Hi Jessica,
      I fully agree with you that if we turn our internet infrastructure over to the local and state government it will hurt innovation because as you mentioned the government while efficient at a macro level it moves very slowly at a micro state/municipal level. I am for free but controlled market to ensure free competition. The biggest advantage our county has is the entrepreneurial spirit that anything is possible and leaving companies to their own devices to innovate as they see fit to increase profits its the best way to ensure continues improvements to our internet.

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    3. Hello Jessica,
      I agree with your post and agree that most companies are fighting on who has the fastest internet. I also agree with you that it should be a public utility because not a lot of people have access to the internet. It would be very difficult for people to access financial information and unemployment benefits.

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  3. 1. While companies do have to act within the regulations and guidelines set forth by the government, their biggest priority is to respond to the wants and needs of the consumer base. Consumer preferences are also constantly changing, and the companies need to be ready to alter their approach and products as to continue to capture the profits of their current customers and attract new consumers, and stay ahead or in-line with their competition.

    Our topic on conversation the past week has revolved around the internet and data, and we looked towards the main telecommunication and cable providers. Consumer need for data, speed, and reliability has never been greater, and it is the responsibility of these corporations to not only act within the rules of the marketplace, but to continue to improve themselves in order to meet these needs.

    2. In my discussion post to Group One’s Section B prompt on network neutrality, I had mentioned I was torn on whether or not the internet should be considered a public utility. After reviewing the responses and this week’s lecture, I am beginning to lean towards the side of making the service a public utility, but my hesitancy is still with how new and evolving the internet is. If regulations are to be put in place for the internet, I believe the rules need to remain fluid in order to adapt to the future. At the moment, it feels as if we are in a technological “boom” in regards to the internet, with new products, resources, and evolutions coming each year. I feel it would be difficult to set in regulations for the internet now as it is still evolving. But if the rules set in place can be easily removed/adjusted, then proper regulation of the internet may be beneficial for consumers.

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    1. Hey Joe, I thought you had a great response. I was also a bit torn, and while I think everyone should have access to the internet in some way, I agree with your hesitancy here. The internet and technology in general continues to evolve and change, and it might be hard for the government to keep up. If there was a way for these rules to be adjusted and consistently monitored, I would say having internet as a public utility could work, but with our knowledge of government-regulated things and how this might go, I felt that it should not become public yet.

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    2. Hi Joe,
      You bring up a good point that severe regulation will slow down innovation. After all its the desire for self enrichment that most often motivates individuals. While i am for having a fair internet I don’t necessarily feel that turning them into municipality controlled assets will be much beneficial due to the slow moving governments will fail to keep up with innovations. I believe that competition is what creates the most innovation and if we unable companies to enter this arena we call the free market with fair set of rules in place we will be victorious.

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    3. Hey Joe – Great post this week – interesting how the posts have had such a profound impact on where you stand with net neutrality. I agree with you perspective regarding making the internet a public utility. I think innovation is an amazing this and over the past 100 years that innovation was always born in and thrived in the private sector. As so many people have pointed out, the government is notoriously slow so putting this type of commodity in their hands would essentially stall its evolution. Furthermore with the surmounting debt crisis continuing to accumulate with each new administration that comes into office, funding pressures would certainly be a huge struggle for engineers on maintenance of the overall infrastructure and new technology. While so many folks stand to gain for this concept, we have to think about and challenge the best way to do it.

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  4. The needs from citizens certainly have to be something companies consider when offering products or services. Regulations keep specific factors in check within a playing field, but competitors will always find a way to put themselves ahead of another business. Within a set playing field of a certain type of product or service offering, competitors need something to make themselves stand out from the others. Gauging interest and needs from customers is the best way to set them apart from the others.

    I mentioned in the net neutrality debate that I could certainly see the benefits and negative aspects of both sides of the topic, but in the end I do feel that the internet should not be a provided public utility. Giving the government control of the internet is much more complicated than control of other necessary things, like water and electricity. These are regulated by local government companies, but are very standard without much needed room for variation. The internet is drastically more involved, and its benefits can differ amongst individuals. Some might use the internet casually, whereas others might need it often for work, and even use it as the core of a business. Having it as a public utility can also jeopardize the existing companies that offer internet services and their employees. Being able to offer different packages, speeds, and pricing is what sets some of these companies apart from the others, which relates to my first paragraph. Although these companies are all competing on the same playing field, they all have something different to offer, which would allow customers to make a decision about how much internet they need and how much they want to pay, rather than getting the same amount from a specific company regulated by the government.

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    1. Hey Jared – Great post this week and I wanted to expand upon what you mentioned regarding the impact to existing internet service providers. Most of the largest providers are included in the Fortune 20 and earn substantial revenue from internet service packages that they can sell to consumers based on their needs. For example an individual working from home might require an upgraded packages offering higher transfer rates in Mbps versus an individual who travels more for their work and are light touch with internet needs at home. Also the competition on this market place is extremely fierce – which in my opinion encourages innovation and new tech to be created. Especially with 5G, although there is talk about it’s impact to air travel, C BAND has been used all throughout the globe in Asia and Europe near airports with no impact to the airplanes, so it seems unfounded to me.

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  5. I think it’s important to mention two types of customers when responding to this question. The first type of customer is the one who already has above average internet service, while the second is very poor internet service. For the first type of customer the solution is innovation, which would provide better service to an already strong existing internet service. For those with poor internet service, the solution is renovation to correct the existing issues with the internet service. If we look at the internet as a public utility everyone should have, I do not think private companies, focused on profit, will ensure all with poor or non-existent internet service will be provided with internet service. Therefore, I think government regulation is important here to make sure they are targeting the areas that need the service. On the flip side, I do not think government regulation would allow innovation. Private companies should still manage their own innovation, but when ensuring areas that do not have internet service will receive it, that should be regulated by the government.

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    1. Hi David,

      I am also partially split on the idea of the internet as a public utility, with government regulation having both positive and negative impacts. While it may ensure all customers are receiving the same service, I feel the issue with regulations is that it is hard to set rules for a service that is still evolving.

      I believe companies will still seek to innovate, to a degree, in order to stay competitive and retain/attract clients. With that said, if rules are to be passed then they should also be loose or retractable because the internet, as we know it, is still so new. To set strong rules on an evolving product seems foolish, and that would hinder any potential growth.

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  6. Hi All,

    Very insightful discussion.
    1. Competition is always regulated by the citizens of the world, As competition exists because consumers look for options and they evaluate different players before buying any services or goods. There are many necessities that have to be regulated by the government because private players would have a monopoly or try to increase the prices by creating a scarcity of resources. For example, Covid vaccination in India was provided by private and government both. Government provided vaccine free of cost, however, private players charged nominal fees of INR 800 to INR 1500 and this prices were regulated by the government of India. This is example to explain how private players can be regulated and also if not regulated they can take undue advantage of public for making profits.

    2. In my view internet should not be public utility because one points highlighted by Jared, Joe & Jessica and additional below reasons:.
    a. Government has so many responsibilities already and adding one more will need more manpower, infrastructure etc.
    b . Governtment has many other important issues to address and it should be able to focus on it.
    c. The ideal should be that government can regulate prices or set some rule on private player in internet business for the benefit of consumers.

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  7. Hi All,

    Very insightful discussion.
    1. Competition is always regulated by the citizens of the world, As competition exists because consumers look for options and they evaluate different players before buying any services or goods. There are many necessities that have to be regulated by the government because private players would have a monopoly or try to increase the prices by creating a scarcity of resources. For example, Covid vaccination in India was provided by private and government both. Government provided vaccine free of cost, however, private players charged nominal fees of INR 800 to INR 1500 and this prices were regulated by the government of India. This is example to explain how private players can be regulated and also if not regulated they can take undue advantage of public for making profits.

    2. In my view internet should not be public utility because firstly considering points highlighted by Jared, Joe & Jessica and additional below reasons:.
    a. Government has so many responsibilities already and adding one more will need more manpower, infrastructure etc.
    b . Governtment has many other important issues to address and it should be able to focus on it.
    c. The ideal should be that government can regulate prices or set some rule on private player in internet business for the benefit of consumers.

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  8. 1. My thoughts on the statement is that playing field isn’t always shaped to favor the citizens point of view. When regulations are being passed through the voting phases, sometimes they are voted opposite of what the majority of citizens want. Sometimes they are passed to favor the businesses. I do agree that competitors compete based on the existing playing field. It is all about working the current demand and answering the needs of that demand.

    2. I agree that network neutrality should be thought of as if it is a public utility. Everyone gets access to all the “utility” that they would need, and pay for it based on usage. There should be no other charges if someone wants to reach a certain site or application. Putting it for the perspective of a utility, paying a premium for certain cites and application would be similar to paying your monthly water bill but paying additional fees for water that was used to water plants. The water being used is the same water, but what it is being used for would incur the additional fee. Same thing with the internet. It is the same service but just because it is being used to reach an application doesn’t mean that more money should be paid.

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    1. Hello Brianna,

      While I do believe organization’s operate to appease customer interests/needs, I do agree that the playing field established is not always friendly to the entire consumer base or each company. Regulations and laws constantly shift the market and how organizations are allowed to operate, and it seems impossible to please every player (company, consumer). What I think these rules look to do is try to appease a majority and force others to adapt or fade away. It would also be ignorant to assume all rules passed are fair, and some policies look to please the specific interests of some parties and provide a competitive advantage with which to operate from.

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    2. Hello Brianna,

      While I do believe organization’s operate to appease customer interests/needs, I do agree that the playing field established is not always friendly to the entire consumer base or each company. Regulations and laws constantly shift the market and how organizations are allowed to operate, and it seems impossible to please every player (company, consumer). What I think these rules look to do is try to appease a majority and force others to adapt or fade away. It would also be ignorant to assume all rules passed are fair, and some policies look to please the specific interests of some parties and provide a competitive advantage with which to operate from.

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    3. Hello Brianna,

      While I do believe organization’s operate to appease customer interests/needs, I do agree that the playing field established is not always friendly to the entire consumer base or each company. Regulations and laws constantly shift the market and how organizations are allowed to operate, and it seems impossible to please every player (company, consumer). What I think these rules look to do is try to appease a majority and force others to adapt or fade away. It would also be ignorant to assume all rules passed are fair, and some policies look to please the specific interests of some parties and provide a competitive advantage with which to operate from.

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    4. Hello Brianna,

      While I do believe organization’s operate to appease customer interests/needs, I do agree that the playing field established is not always friendly to the entire consumer base or each company. Regulations and laws constantly shift the market and how organizations are allowed to operate, and it seems impossible to please every player (company, consumer). What I think these rules look to do is try to appease a majority and force others to adapt or fade away. It would also be ignorant to assume all rules passed are fair, and some policies look to please the specific interests of some parties and provide a competitive advantage with which to operate from.

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    5. Hello Brianna,

      While I do believe organization’s operate to appease customer interests/needs, I do agree that the playing field established is not always friendly to the entire consumer base or each company. Regulations and laws constantly shift the market and how organizations are allowed to operate, and it seems impossible to please every player (company, consumer). What I think these rules look to do is try to appease a majority and force others to adapt or fade away. It would also be ignorant to assume all rules passed are fair, and some policies look to please the specific interests of some parties and provide a competitive advantage with which to operate from.

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    6. Hello Brianna,

      While I do believe organization’s operate to appease customer interests/needs, I do agree that the playing field established is not always friendly to the entire consumer base or each company. Regulations and laws constantly shift the market and how organizations are allowed to operate, and it seems impossible to please every player (company, consumer). What I think these rules look to do is try to appease a majority and force others to adapt or fade away. It would also be ignorant to assume all rules passed are fair, and some policies look to please the specific interests of some parties and provide a competitive advantage with which to operate from.

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    7. Hello Brianna,

      While I do believe organization’s operate to appease customer interests/needs, I do agree that the playing field established is not always friendly to the entire consumer base or each company. Regulations and laws constantly shift the market and how organizations are allowed to operate, and it seems impossible to please every player (company, consumer). What I think these rules look to do is try to appease a majority and force others to adapt or fade away. It would also be ignorant to assume all rules passed are fair, and some policies look to please the specific interests of some parties and provide a competitive advantage with which to operate from.

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    8. Hey Brianna,

      Interesting perspective on these questions. As they relate to regulations, I appreciate your point of view in discussing regulations to voting. We’re seeing today how restrictive regulations are not in the citizen’s best interest and are shaping the playing field to the needs of those who impose them. I took a different approach and analyzed the question from a consumer goods angle. In such an industry, the citizen/consumer has major influence on businesses. Their buying paterns require companies to adapt to meet consumer needs. In turn, regulations are put in place to make the market fair so businesses have a competitive playing field for sales.

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    9. Hi Brianna, after reading your post I agree that the playing field is not always shaped in favor of the citizens. As you mentioned there are times where the majority of the population votes for something and that is not passed. In recent years, the filibuster has been used to usurp many things that the public wants which shows how the playing field is not for what the majority wants but rather there are many other factors involved as well such as power, money and the interest of the shareholders of companies rather than the whole.

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  9. Broadband be a public utility and the service model should follow suit. Corporations, in this discussion should not be considered. Let’s take banks and brokerages as an example. If Cantor Fitzgerald brokers want access to prices of bonds or other securities at banks they will often purchase point to point circuits from a third party, Verizon or IPC. This offers access at the speed of nanoseconds, ensuring competitive prices as they occur. Additionally, since the pandemic has began, corporations have increased their bandwidth by incredibly large magnitudes, so much that carriers had to upgrade their systems and infrastructure to take on the orders. This is all to say that in the context of doing business, corporations have never played by the same rules as citizens anyway, so the argument that their business could be disrupted is weak. In the case of people and Broadband, they would lose a significant standard of living.

    The proposal from the FCC was a 25Mb up speed, which is fair and appropriate. Examining the weight that the pandemic has imposed by forcing people to work from home and rely on broadband should offer the realization that a higher standard of service is necessary. The concept of municipal wireless is fascinating and if carried out right, it would be groundbreaking. I think the supporters of this would face resistance from ISPs and the like considering the need for LTE would be significantly reduced. It could even dissuade people from moving to unlimited data packages as this could be irrelevant in the wake of muni-wireless. Larger townships could do deals with ISPs to work collaboratively to provide this service. Sure, taxes will rise, but with everyone using this service and picking up the cost, it could save on already expensive data packages.

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    1. Hi Jesse,
      I thought you raised an excellent point about the capability of carriers to increase their infrastructure to meet demand while customers are unable to. Given the capital that these carriers are able to work with, it makes sense. To compensate, as you mentioned the citizens would need to look at support from the government because they do not have the capital to invest in more infrastructure. While the municipal wireless is an exciting idea, I agree the ISP’s would push back, but I also wonder if carriers will as well since they could potentially lose money on the unlimited data packages.

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  10. I agree that all “playing field” does require regulations, and hence all regulations do reshape to fit the reality. Such as, the law does improve once in a while to serve appropriately. I also agree that “the playing field is reshaped based on broader priorities such as those from a citizens point of view.” However, all playing field changes need to be under regulations.
    A government contract is an excellent idea for having companies think in different frameworks. However, how many companies could win government contracts? Will the government give a small slice of cake to the startup or small company? What are the regulations for the government contract? Is a larger company willing to give up its consumer markets and change the method to a different framework? There are too many conflicts within this discussion. Last but not least, I do think it’s a good idea to become a public utility-municipal wireless/community broadband, but I don’t think it’s a reality.

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    1. Hi Cici,
      I also thought the idea of leveraging government contracts was a good one. I think looking at a typical government contract (maybe a civil one as an example such as construction), hopefully a lot of your questions would be answered. The government should have policies and rules in place to fairly bid out the work. Government contracts would be an excellent way of renovating and getting communities without internet access the help they need. However, I think in terms of innovation, it is best to leave with the private companies.

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  11. 1) I agree that regulations being a playing field and shape how the playing field should be played. The competitors all in that field and trying to be the best company can be very chaotic. The playing field can change because it depends on consumer needs or broader priorities. I agree that regulations can make sure everything runs smoothly.
    2) I strongly believe that internet should be a public utility. The reason being is because not a lot of people have access to information the internet provides. Also, it would be very difficult for someone to do research, apply for unemployment, check medical records, and financial information. The internet should be available for the public and shouldn’t have any regulations attached with it.

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    1. Hi anthony,

      Very interesting discussion. I am opposed to you on the fact that internet should be a public utility. When I think of a public utility I think of paying like water, electric, etc. This would in my opinion be like network neutrality, which is paying based on something like consumption, similarly like other utilities. Many people would not be able to afford the internet if it was like this. Also we are using more technology ever and is going to continue to grow. many of our device use internet and use it 24/7. This could get very costly if the internet was treated like a public utility.

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  12. Good briefing on classification of customers David.

    I also agree who supported for municipal regulations to reshape the playing field especially in case of internet service reaches to poor communities. But while coming to urban areas where its a necessity to encompass the city life with the high quality or high speed of municipal broadband connections are in need for the better growth of society by the release of new offers and latest features allowing the competitors innovate digital world.

    Municipal broadband is broadband Internet access owned by public entities. The purpose of municipal broadband is to bridge the gap between high quality internet access to those who cannot afford internet from internet service providers and local governments are increasingly investing in said services for their communities. President Joseph R. Biden proposes to narrow the digital divide that exists for poor and rural Americans by funding municipal broadband networks across the United States to allow every American to connect to high-speed internet. Municipal broadband networks provide internet services, similar to for-profit companies such as Verizon, but are controlled by local governments—meaning there is often less pressure to make money and more incentive to serve hard-to-reach individuals might benefit the people or poor people.

    Ultimately, communities and local governments should be able to decide for themselves whether operating their own broadband network would be the best way to address a lack of broadband availability and to subsequently catalyze local economic development. Despite lobbying from incumbent ISPs against such efforts, as well as state legislation inhibiting the development of these infrastructure projects, communities should feel empowered to invest in their digital futures by investing in their own broadband networks.

    https://www.theregreview.org/2021/08/11/schaengold-municipal-broadband-networks-close-digital-divide/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipal_wireless_network

    https://www.newamerica.org/oti/reports/community-broadband/introduction/

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  13. 1. I do believe regulations help shape a competitive playing field. In any industry, regulations ensure competitors are providing goods and services to consumers within the parameters of the boundaries set by these regulations. In turn, regulations do shape the playing field in which companies do business. The citizens, or consumers, drive these regulations through their purchasing habits. As their desires shift, so too must businesses who provide goods and services which then leads to shifts in regulations.

    2. I firmly believe the internet needs to be a public utility. It has become such an integral part of our every day lives and we have all grown up with it as an immediately accessible entity. As a society, we have continued to push so much of our daily lives towards the internet that it’s difficult for me to accept it becoming something that is regulated by a larger body of governance. While there are some levels of regulation out there, we’ve debated the possibility of increased regulation that would limit access to some applications for the internet. I simply believe people treat the internet like a man-made natural resource and a lack of net neutrality could create backlash.

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    1. Hi Tom

      I enjoyed reading your post! I agree with you when you stated regulations help shape a competitive playing field. if it weren’t for regulation many companies could become monopolies in certain fields and charge any price for the products sold. Consumers would have to pay these higher prices since they have no other choice to. Having these regulations really helps and protects consumers and other smaller companies from getting taken advantage of.

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  14. 1. I absolutely think the stance on net neutrality certainly depends on a number of variables and people’s current situations. As Brendan mentions in his post above, you have to consider who your audience and consumers are – folks with access to high speed internet and the financial means to pay for said services aren’t sos concerned with the broader availability of internet to folks across the board. Similarly with the ability to pay for those services, I want my provider to continue finding out ways to make a better and more reliable product and in-turn likely charge me more money for it. On the other hand there are less privileged individuals who need these services to level the playing field and get that start on life though information sharing and knowledge the internet provides to people.
    2. Ultimately while it’s important for free and open access to internet across the board, if that happens the service providers need to still be incentivized to innovate their networks and create better products or we’ll all be settling for what is “good enough” due to their inability to continue evolving the technology. If Im forced to pick a side I would say I’m against net neutrality since I think it will hamper our advancement

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    1. Hey Christian,

      I liked your response. However, I disagree with your perspective that the internet should not be maintained as a public utility. Arguably the Internet is an important aspect of U,.S. infrastructure that allows everyone who has access to it with a slew of different resources as well as high communicative connectivity. People can use Microsoft Word for important memos and papers and people can use Excel for important financial documents like balance sheets and income statements for a company. If the Internet were to be regulated as a public utility, I would argue that more people in the United States would have better access to it. We can also be incentivized to expand and improve existing networks by justifying the expense on making sure everyone has access to this great public utility. Lastly, in order to stand by the principles of equality in the United States, I would argue that we need to make sure everyone is provided all the essential resources to succeed. These include: food, water, education, etc. If we add Internet to this list then we can help to encourage and support more disenfranchised minority communities in urban areas.This will help the U.S. address the large wealth inequality gap and stand by its guiding principles inn the Constitution. Overall, it’s a win-win situation for both consumer and government with these shared economic benefits.

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  15. 1.) I agree that regulation shapes the playing field, and is prompted based on broader priorities. The reason for new regulation is because the current market outcomes are undesirable for a significant portion of the population. I like to think of Wall Street and insider trading as an example. The government imposes regulation that would change that market outcome. Due to a constantly changing field, often times the proposed regulation has a different outcome than was intended, but it generally moves us in a desirable direction. As long as the government is using its regulatory power to help citizens in the marketplace, and not take away personal freedoms, there can be a fair balance.

    2.) The debate on internet as a public utility is such an interesting one. On one hand, we have already considered internet as a basic utility for a long time. When we move into a new house/apartment, we must transfer electric, gas, water, and sewer bills over to us. We also sign up for an internet plan, even though it isn’t required. In a weird way, it is as essential to us as running water.

    On the other hand, internet is different from other utilities because it is rapidly evolving. To hinder its growth in any way seems like a disservice. I think if the government has control over internet, it would largely result in a lower quality product. There needs to be a balance between the two; allow the internet to grow on its own, but impose regulation that keeps the playing field level for consumers. I also think having municipal wireless available in poor/rural areas is a good idea, but it should only be implemented on a local level.

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    1. Hey Joseph,

      Very informative post! I agree with you that regulations help government reshape the playing field for the better. Had laws like OSHA or the Civil Rights Act not been passed as regulatory safety and racial equality laws then arguably the American workforce would be a less equal and more dangerous environment for those in minority communities. In the case of Net Neutrality, these regulations are important because it provides people with equal access to there Internet and equal data delivery speeds. However, with it now repealed we are seeing more people have less access to the internet as a basic human right. If we are to restore equality to more of the disenfranchised in America, I’d argue we need to take more steps to put Net Neutrality back in action again.

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  16. The purpose of regulations can be defined as a set of laws that companies abide by in order to “ to balance the interests of business with those of the public as a whole”. Regulations are the rules of the game set to protect the players against titans that could easily take over due to their vast resources if that happens the game would not be fair thus regulations are vital in ensuring a relatively more fair game for the public to enjoy. As I mentioned before if regulations are not set the more powerful would take over and the popular saying that the rich get richer and the poor gets poorer would keep increasing.

    In regards to net neutrality, I agree that all data on the internet should be treated equally. If internet service providers can be influenced by corporations on what to distribute, that diminishes the chances of innovations and could be biased based on the corporations that pay the most. I believe that the ability of individuals to research and get outside of the box could be hindered if the information they find is manipulated by corporations. Thus, keeping the internet open and free is indispensable for growth and innovation.

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  17. 1. Regulations are influenced by competitors and their markets. I think overall citizens ultimately want the choice on the provider or product where they feel they are getting the best price. When it comes to the Internet, the larger ISPs tend to dominate the market. The threat is on if these companies continue to acquire others reducing the number of competitors. This can lead to the prices increasing or putting more power into the hands of the ISPs to charge the price they want. These regulations can segment into the network neutrality legislation and the need to ensure ISPs are providing the best service at the fairest price for consumers.

    2. After reading the sources from last week’s topics, my conclusion is the internet should be a public utility. If ISPs start prioritizing who can use the Internet and what content loads faster, then I anticipate slower reactivity and the ability to work. The pandemic has hit many different fields but working remotely is more common. From my own experience, we are not fully remote at my company, but we have a flexible work week (working some days from home). I rely on a quality internet service so I can work from home with limited interruptions and the ability to carry out my daily tasks. Ultimately, I am in support of network neutrality and having the internet as a public utility.

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  18. 1. Internet access is becoming an increasingly important part of our day-to-day activities. It has infused every aspect of people’s lives and is no longer just about career or entertainment. From simple applications such as using online maps to more complex systems such as the business exchange between transnational companies, there is something for everyone. Everyone requires internet, just as everyone requires water and electricity, but this does not imply that it should be considered a public utility. I acknowledge that regulations keep track of specific aspects that should never be influenced by persuasive design when it comes to shaping the playing field. And, regulations should be established with policies that benefit all -consumers, workers, and citizens.

    2. Since the Internet has become an integral part of everyone’s life. I agree that it be a public utility. I have mentioned a Hybrid approach in my previous post that would be helpful, as the Municipal networks won’t overtake or replace the private networks that already exist. Instead, the two can exist in partnership. Private companies can continue to provide the core network and municipal wireless networks can act as a pervasive backup throughout the cities providing basic wireless services. And that can charge along with the township utilities at low prices. Consumers can opt for a higher level of access/bandwidths/value-added services from private providers.

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  19. 1. All regulations do is reshape the playing field. Competitors compete on the playing field that exists. The playing field is reshaped based on broader priorities such as those from a citizens point of view. Your thoughts / responses?

    I believe that regulations are important in society. They help make sure that people are protected from anti-consumer activities. As for network neutrality, this practice helps make sure that internet providers can’t charge exorbitant amounts for data speeds. Competitors such as AT&T and Verizon need to understand that they should value the satisfaction of their consumers over personal profits. However, in today’s landscape all it seems that big businesses are focused on is making sure that they can have their way with their customers in order to squeeze them for every last penny that they are worth. To me, these priorities should not be focused on personal profit but, on customer satisfaction in order to retain this large audience. For this to happen, I believe Net Neutrality should be put back in place by the Biden administration as well as have price controls put in place for data charging in order to make sure that companies don’t overcharge their customers for Wi-fi speeds and data delivery.

    2. The network neutrality debate is merely an opener for what must emerge if the internet where to be thought about from within the framework of a public utility-municipal wireless/community broadband. Again, your thoughts and responses?

    I think the Internet should be regulated as a public utility because in regulating it as one the government can ensure that no bad actors decide to bully their consumers into paying more for basic Internet. It should be noted that in the United States all people are to be provided equal rights under the 14th Amendment. If we interpret that in terms of Net Neutrality, then this should mean that everyone should have proper access to basic Internet. Therefore, it should stand to reason that Net Neutrality should be reinstated for the public to be afforded these rights.

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  20. The needs from citizens probably play the biggest role for companies to consider when offering products or services. You would not want to make or sell a product that no one is going to buy. Along with this companies also always want to compete against one another to keep ahead of competition. Having certain rules and regulations keep many factors in check within a playing field. Having the newest product makes the consumer want to buy from you and not a competitor. So both regulations and the playing field are reshaped by what the consumers of the products want.

    To reiterate my opinion on network neutrality, I am for it since it does more good than harm. It treats all Internet communications equally, and does not discriminate or charge differently based on anything.The Internet should not be treated as a public utility. I think this because it will be like having to pay per your consumption. This could get expensive especially in the future. I do not believe that I have or will be affected by the removal of net neutrality. While I do use the internet on a regular basis like everyone else, I do not use it to the degree of it affecting me financially. This could affect people running an online business, people working from home or others that use the internet above the average person. The internet is being used more and more for all devices. Our homes, cars and much more use the internet 24/7 and are only going to continue to grow.

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