The FCC is considering allowing Internet service providers to create a tiered Internet. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is a former lobbyist for both the cable TV and wireless phone industries(!). He has proposed an anti- net neutrality plan that, perversely, he labels “net neutrality”. Yes, Newspeak has arrived at the FCC. (originally published 16 July 2014)
More than 900,000 Americans have filed comments with the FCC on this topic. Today, the FCC extended the comment period:
The deadline for filing submissions as part of the first round of public comments in the FCC’s Open Internet proceeding arrived today. Not surprisingly, we have seen an overwhelming surge in traffic on our website that is making it difficult for many people to file comments through our Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). Please be assured that the Commission is aware of these issues and is committed to making sure that everyone trying to submit comments will have their views entered into the record. Accordingly, we are extending the comment deadline until midnight Friday, July 18. You also have the option of emailing your comments to email@example.com, and your views will be placed in the public record.
Without enforcement of net neutrality, ISPs will be tempted to sell high-speed access to preferred content at a premium price. Everything else must poke along in a slow lane. Cable TV companies have grown fat on this model: it allows them to collect revenue from both you the subscriber and CNN the content provider.
The Internet was not built on this model. Its creators envisioned a level playing field on which each user enjoys equal access to all Internet resources, and vice-versa. This has allowed fledgling sites to quickly blossom into giants. It encourages constant innovation. Mr. Wheeler’s proposed tiered Internet would encourage the status quo.
I vote for innovation. Email your vote to firstname.lastname@example.org before midnight Friday, July 18.
Confused? Listen to a good audio explanation of net neutrality.
31 July 2014
Thank you very much for contacting us about the ongoing Open Internet proceeding. We’re hoping to hear from as many people as possible about this critical issue, and so I’m very glad that we can include your thoughts and opinions.
I’m a strong supporter of the Open Internet, and I will fight to keep the internet open. Thanks again for sharing your views with me.
Chairman Federal Communications Commission
Mr. Wheeler’s definition of “an open Internet” seems to mean one that’s open to exploitation by shared monopolies such as Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T (the companies that he once lobbied for). Until now, the Internet has succeeded by leveling hierarchies. Mr. Wheeler would allow these companies to create new hierarchies, which would be a giant step backward.