Mark Cuban, the Shark Tank star, is “out” when it comes to net neutrality.
The self-made billionaire is anything but neutral on the subject.
It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Democrat majority on the Federal Communications Commission in Washington will vote in favor of net neutrality regulations on Thursday, February 26, that would regulate broadband providers for the first time.
The agency plans to seize upon the Communications Act of 1934 to reclassify internet service providers (ISP) as so-called common carriers or public utilities similar to phone companies, thereby making them subject to government regulation at the federal level.
The Obama administration insists that the new rules will “safeguard competition and user choice” by treating all internet traffic equally.
During an appearance at the Code/Media conference in California last Wednesday, Cuban declared of net neutrality that it “will f**k everything up… Net neutrality is just a demonization of big companies,” re/code reported.
As far as the FCC regulating the web, the Dallas Mavericks owner added that “Having them overseeing the internet scares the sh*t out of me.”
Cuban insisted that the dispute between Netflix and Comcast over video speed and extra fees imposed for same, for example, could have been worked out between the two companies without getting the government involved in regulating the internet. The entrepreneur indicated, however, that he doesn’t have any problem with “Congress passing a law specifying that internet providers can’t discriminate against or block legal websites.”
In an interview with The Washington Post in November, Cuban — who is not identified with either major political party — expanded on his opposition to net neutrality and his support for an open internet.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… There is no better platform in the world to start a new business than the internet in the United States.”
Cuban also remarked to the Post that he isn’t necessarily opposed to so-called fast lanes, particularly for medical applications.
“There is a difference between a boost and a fast lane. I want there to be fast lanes because there will be applications that need fast lanes. We are just now entering a period where we are seeing new ways to create and use high bitrate applications.”
Continuing on the theme of a vocal opposition to the impending new broadband regulations, Mark Cuban told CNBC yesterday that net neutrality “is the dumbest stuff ever” in part because it seems to be a witch-hunt against large companies such as Comcast or AT&T.
“Because it’s Comcast, and their customer service is awful for cable, they must suck, and they’re going to ruin the internet for everybody, so let’s come up with new rules and regulations, that the FCC is going to try to enforce with a new set of commissioners ever five or so years. AT&T must be the bad guy, so let’s go and create all these new rules… to keep things as they are. It’s ridiculous… To me, as a capitalist, that’s just wrong.”
[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]