Tech at Night

The latest Two Minutes’ Hate in lefty land is over AT&T getting sued by FTC because of throttling of unlimited bandwidth users.

The problem is, FTC is wrong, and AT&T is right here, and it’s not even close.

You see, I was an AT&T unlimited customer. In fat I was one of the customers that was grandfathered in. It was a fair idea: AT&T offered its unlimited customers a chance to keep on with the same services as before, but as an incentive to switch, they offered new services to those who did switch. I eventually switched to get wifi tethering of my computer and/or my iPad to my iPhone (I then finally moved to T-Mobile just last month to save $30/mo). Some never switched.

There was a reason AT&T made the change. They knew LTE was coming, and they knew those old unlimited data plans were totally unsustainable once the LTE era began. 3G HSPA was mature, well deployed, and had capacity to spare by that time, so unlimited 3G use wasn’t so bad. Unlimited LTE use would cripple the network and make poor service for all of AT&T’s customers.

So, if AT&T tells these users hey, you signed up for unlimited HSPA, and by gum we’ll give you unlimited HSPA+, then what’s wrong with that? Heck, T-Mobile only gives you unlimited 2G EDGE if you run out of your 4G LTE allotment, so those users would still be getting a better deal even.

Ultimately FTC is trying to take what is a fair arrangement, and turn a market outcome into an adversarial process. That’s not how government and the marketplace are supposed to work. When trade happens, both sides are supposed to benefit. That’s how wealth is created. The free market is a positive sum game. The government is tinkering with that, picking winnners, and creating losers.

FTC is wrong, and AT&T is right.

Samsung is allowing China to spy on its users.

Russia continues to attack America, too. But quick, whine about NSA, while he aids our opposition.

Do you realize just how much money the local broadcasters and networks are pocketing off of ‘free, over-the-air channels’ through regulatory monopoly-driven Retransmission Consent fee? It looks set to grow to $10 billion by 2020. And all that money is forcibly run through cable companies by regulators, and the cable companies, not government, get blamed for the ever-higher prices.

MCX, the company pressuring retailers to turn off support for competing Apple Pay in favor of its CurrentC, got broken into. Sounds… activist driven to me. I hope the attackers get prison time.

Patent lawsuits are dropping since the Supreme Court went after the broadest, most ridiculous patents used by patent trolls. ACU is right that patents are good, but we have to remember why they’re good. They’re good when protecting inventors, not creating business models for lawyers. We can tune patent law to achieve the good without suffering too much of the bad.

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