Today my inspiration for blogging came during a townhall meeting about something very important to me, high-speed internet access. I have blogged in the past about my lack of access to high speed internet without giving up body parts. This posting to the blog will not be about the dead horse I have been beating for almost 6 years, I shall blog now about a rare moment of honesty. This afternoon, I dragged my son to a townhall hosted by our PSC (Public Service Commission) for the Northern District in Mississippi. The commissioner made a statement today that struck home with me. Deregulation. I was glad he used the “D” word and not I. I am sure if I used the “D” word it would have been seen as a liberal takeover at the townhall.
Deregulation of industries in America has not served the people as well as they have corporations. A few examples would be a certain telecommunications company that fought checking the landline wring although the customer paid for wiring protection. This same company has sold refurbished phones as new phones which make it impossible to get the phone repaired within the original warranty period. Finally this same company has some Magic 8 Ball method of granting high-speed internet access to households. This company had the same reply to each of the above complaints, suck it up.
Telling a Mississippian to “suck it up” is not the brightest thing one can do. The commissioner was in a room that while not packed was filled with people who had made extensive overtures to a particular telecommunication company for resolutions to issues without success. Once the commissioner understood who was in attendance at this meeting, he broke the real issue down like a Southern Baptist minister. Because of deregulation some corporations, who have paid much to have our government do their biddings, feel free to not respond to the needs of the customers. (I am paraphrasing what he said using huge liberal paintbrush). He then said something I was not expecting; he, an elected public official, encouraged us to contact our state legislatures to get them to allow his office more control over public services. He was very honest about the limitations imposed on his office by the state. I appreciated his time and his honesty.
I had contacted him six months ago about not being able to have DSL even though the cable had been laid 5 years ago. He got to work immediately. He had the president’s office of a certain huge telecomm contact me. The office worked with me for 5 weeks but told to me I would have to suck it up. Between health issues and work I was not able to immediately follow-up on the matter. I now control more of my time and my health is better. I am now ready to return to the fight for my right to DSL. My next steps will be letters to the FCC, U.S. legislators, and the president. I shall also follow-up with my state legislators and the PSC.
http://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-101 (please read and then act)