Trying to justify the cable industry’s latest lawsuit over net neutrality, former FCC boss turned top cable lobbyist Michael Powell has offered up an incredibly entertaining interview in which he struggles to understand why Google tends to see higher customer satisfaction ratings than the cable industry, and tries to brush away anti-competitive concerns as the ramblings of the uninformed masses who just don’t understand what a sweetheart the cable industry truly is. In fact, Powell claims the entire net neutrality debate is an unfair persecution of an innocent cable industry and the wholesale hallucination of a few rabblerousers :
“There’s probably a book we could write on this. A huge element that led to this decision was a well-orchestrated, dynamic movement, launched, housed and managed on the Internet, that created a myth that something was happening that wasn’t actually happening. You can go look at all the materials from Free Press and others who said the cable industry is in the middle of setting up tolls on the Internet. But there is no justification that we were ever doing any of things we were alleged. In Mark Cuban’s words, this is nothing but big-company bashing–the idea that cable is full of these evil corporate entities who are thinking of ways to screw you over.”
One, if you’re using Mark Cuban as an example of someone with a solid grasp on what the net neutrality debate is about, you’re doing it wrong. Two, dismissing the entire net neutrality movement as the incoherent ramblings of Free Press is dismissive and obnoxious given the millions of individuals and companies that have made their position on the issue very clear. Three, the cable industry absolutely was engaged in bad behavior, ranging from throttling all upstream BitTorrent traffic (and lying about it repeatedly) to imposing usage caps to hinder internet video (and lying about the fact it was necessary to battle the network congestion bogeyman). That’s before you even touch on the obnoxious behavior of the wireless industry, and its endless efforts to block competing technologies, apps and services.
It’s clear while reading the…