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Signs of Life at the FCC?

During the Bush administration (and let’s face it: during the Clinton administration too), the Federal Communications Commission never found a merger it didn’t like. It also seemed to deregulate just about everything having to do with anything and gave media, phone, and internet companies carte blanche to fuck consumers by any means necessary.

In theory the FCC is supposed to protect consumers. Well done, FCC.

I just caught this headline: FCC asks Verizon Wireless to explain fees.

It’s not actually that interesting an article and, frankly, I’m surprised it’s news at all. Imagine that: the regulatory body charged with protecting consumers from the communications companies is actually asking a company why it believes it has the right to charge certain fees. This shouldn’t be news. This should be the FCC doing its daily duty.

Still, I’ve rather liked the shift at the FCC of late. They seem to be a little friendlier to ideas like net neutrality, which would keep the internet free and open to the public, something the various internet providers are dead set against.

The big test will be the NBC/Comcast merger. That will be one monster of a media/communications company, which will almost certainly screw consumers in the long run. Has the FCC grown the balls to stop it?

The connections between free and open media and a thriving democracy are undeniable, and if you feel like geeking out on these issues for a while, is your one-stop shop for information about these things.

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