This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

FCC Net Neutrality Debate Obscures 'Last Mile' Dilemma

Stocks in this article: CMCSA T NFLX GOOG

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The people protesting the Federal Communications Commission's "net neutrality" decision, claiming it will "ruin the Internet," need to answer a hard question.

How do we pay for the last mile?

Specifically, how do we pay the estimated $100 billion cost of bringing fiber to every home, or even most of them?

The FCC is saying that it will let last-mile ISPs -- carriers like Comcast (CMCSA) and AT&T (T) -- create a "fast lane" for content and charge for it. This follows Comcast's recent agreement with Netflix (NFLX), under which Netflix pays for the fat pipes needed to deliver massive streaming to customers.

The Internet's rules don't forbid this. They endorse it. Peering is based on equal traffic going in both directions. When you're streaming video, traffic is mostly one-way -- Netflix is sending bits and Comcast is taking them for you.

TheStreet's Leon Lazaroff reports Comcast insists this is the way things should work, regardless of the regulatory scheme. 

It sounds like bullying but it's accurate. Lazaroff also writes that content companies will win, regardless. Again, he's right.

What net neutrality advocates like Craig Aaron, writing at MSNBC, demand is the FCC "reclassify broadband," treating it as a common carrier, the way phone companies have been regulated for a century.

That's how we got into this mess. Utilities like AT&T don't invest new money without a guarantee they can get it back and more.

Before Google (GOOG) will consider running fiber to homes, it demands concessions. Its fiber-ready checklist includes fast, cheap access to a city's whole infrastructure, with detailed plans aimed at cutting Google's costs.

AT&T has a competing offer called Gigapower, but the hidden costs are high.

State legislators are being told that if they want AT&T GigaPower, they have to completely deregulate, eliminating limits on prices and the requirement that the company serve all customers.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs