1 hour ago, JohnAskew wrote
So, back to the point, is this good, bad, or ugly... or all three?
/me thinks good.
The only one I can say for sure is that it's ugly, though it's likely all three.
We hate the telcos and cable companies, but they got where they are with the power they have because they were government regulated. Local governments allowed (even encouraged) them to become defacto monopolies, for instance. There's as much chance of government control making things worse as there is for it to make things better. The only thing you know for sure is that it's going to be ugly, because politics are always ugly (just read the comments on this thread already).
Another way to look at it... things are bad right now because a very few companies have complete control over the Internet. Those are the same companies that are most effective at buying... err... lobbying politicians, so they'll remain in control even if government takes control legally. Cynical, but pretty darn accurate.
On the flip side, things are bad because we don't have free market competition here. But it's also the free market that allows companies to do what ever they want so long as they have customers willing to buy from them.
The answer is somewhere in the middle, but it's hard to find. Objectively, I don't know what the answer is. I do believe some regulation is necessary, but it needs to be done with a very light touch... something governments aren't known for.