March 18, 2016

FCC Conspires With Google: Promoting Fairness or Causing Chaos?

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By Lauren C.

Regulation is here to protect the little guy, right? At least, that’s what the politicians and the activists tell us. So, how many regulations are there? Well, to give you an idea, there was a set regulation record with 2,375 proposed for 2015 alone.

Scared yet? Well, listen to this! There’s a new proposed FCC rule that would hand control of your TV to Google, in order to make TV more “competitive.” Therefore it seems as though regulation is in fact a blessing that exists to protect consumers.

Or is it?

Let’s start out by saying it’s not as though we don’t like Google. In fact, the Tek Team is a little biased if you haven’t been able to tell already! And the idea of regulation promoting competition is not a new one. We discussed net neutrality back in October of 2014, which is essentially a government regulation mandating that ISPs treat the speed of information equally for all websites, despite the fact that certain websites are more popular than others, or are able to pay for a faster speed.

Even though net neutrality is dressed up as protecting competition, it is in fact a regulation that compels fairness, which some argue makes things incredibly unfair.

Philosophical and political arguments aside, the idea of the government handing control of your television over to Google sends shivers down the spine of many or, at least, raises a few eyebrows. So, what’s this all about? And how exactly would it work?

The new FCC rule would “force TV providers to buy and install a new box that would give tech companies access to their programming-live and in real-time for them to use to launch competing services.” These boxes are called “AllVid,” which is named after a different proposal the FCC rejected a few years ago.

Some call it a giveaway to the country’s biggest monopolist (aka Google), while adding on new costs for TV viewers, which actually would discourage competition.

Basically, the regulation would allow Google to put TV channels you’ve already paid for alongside its other searchable content. The problem is that you can easily already find this information. So, what’s really going on here? If you want to watch TV, you will have to buy a new Google TV box, even if you already have one from a competing company.

This would hurt other competitors, as well as jack up the cost for TV consumers who will be forced to purchase whatever Google and the government want you to buy.

Ever heard of crony capitalism?

Google and the government are the best of pals, so this regulation benefits both of them. Of course, the government and Google can’t exactly tell us that in so many words, so they dress is up in double speak; using buzzwords like “fairness,” “equality,” and “anti-discrimination.”

Throw in a few American terms like “competition,” and “commerce,” and we are all for it. Or are we?

We the Tek Team are Google fans, but this seems a little bit fishy to us. However, we are willing to hear any counter arguments. Let us know your thoughts!

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