The telecom trust’s use of the FCC to raise your rates is a direct example of how corporate greed impacts each of us.
In light of Major Mike Bloomberg’s displacement of Liberty Plaza/Zuccotti Park, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) campaign is spreading throughout the nation and the world. Most important, its critique of inequality is getting sharper and more systematic. Its core target has been the banking and financial-services industry, but activists are turning the spotlight on other, equally pernicious sectors of the economy, including the extraction,
healthcare military and prison industries. Analyses of these industries reveal a common story: the fix is in.
The nation’s communications industry traditionally escapes critical
inspection. In our busy postmodern life, communications, like air, water and electricity, is essential, merely taken for granted. Whether making a phone call, emailing a friend, accessing information, paying a bill or watching a political debate or TV show, our telecommunications infrastructure is a vital link to others and the world.
Last Month, the Federal Communications Commission announced a reform plan of the Universal Service Fund (USF) as part of its implementation of the National Broadband Plan. The reform is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, President Obama’s stimulus plan. Unfortunately, the USF reform plan is going to raise your phone, broadband, Internet and wireless rates in five new ways, all designed to give more money to the phone and cable companies.
Few have raised objections to the FCC’s effort and one can only ask why? The answer is that the “communications trust” — AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and other major telecom companies — has taken control of the FCC, the agency that is suppose to “regulate” telecommunications and the media. The trust spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually buying off members of Congress, state legislatures and Public Service Commissions (PSCs), maintaining an army of influence peddlers and subsidizing numerous think-tanks, astroturf groups and nonprofit organizations.
OWS has put greed on the political agenda and exposed how pervasive it is throughout corporate America. The telecom trust’s use of the FCC to raise your communications rates is a direct pocketbook example of how corporate greed impacts each of us in subtle and not so subtle ways.