Re: Congress votes on access charges:

From: Dan Fabulich (
Date: Fri May 19 2000 - 19:21:31 MDT

Lee Daniel Crocker fired back:

> I don't see this as "getting it right" at all. In the short run, this
> is one regulating agency patching a problem created by another, made
> necessary because of the artificial monopoly they both created. But
> in the long run it will make access /more/ expensive, not less, than if
> both agencies got out of the way and let the market work. In a free
> market, prices are lowest when they are structured most closely to the
> reality of the costs of producing the product. Network access time is
> a scarce commodity measured by time; two minutes of access time really
> is twice as valuable as one minute. If consumers are forced by law to
> buy it by the month and average their use, some group of consumers will
> realize that they can overgraze the commons by hogging their full month
> and subletting time to others; and they don't have the infrastructure
> that the original providers do for maintaining the equipment, supporting
> users, etc., so they will contract for those services from the original
> provider at the expense of the its non-hogging customers, further
> increasing costs, etc., etc. It's cheaper just to cut out the middle
> and let the big boys sell minutes in the first place.

You were mislead by the headline. The "ban" in question isn't a ban
on private citizens or their right to charge whatever they want for
Internet service. It's a ban on the FCC charging extra taxes at a
per-minute rate.

Congress is voting to get out of the way.


      -unless you love someone-
    -nothing else makes any sense-
           e.e. cummings

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