Net Neutrality Is Dead…Or Is It?

By | February 19, 2014
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Grim-ReaperThe FCC is trying to revive net neutrality but it doesn’t look like they have a snowball’s chance in…you know where.

Sometimes, as much as we don’t like it, government regulation is necessary. Imagine a highway system run by private corporations, for instance. Do you think you’d be able to traverse 2000 miles of privately owned highways, free? No, of course not.

And take the airlines…deregulation was supposed to lower fares and increase competition. But did it? No. The big fish bought out the little fish and now we have 4 or 5 big fishes all charging close to the same fare. Of course, there’s a few low-cost carriers like Jet Blue, but I’d have to drive to New York to fly it.

Anyway, I’m not in favor of government meddling in anything, but sometimes I’d rather have the government in charge of some things than a handful of gold-worshipping, multi-billionaires. Oh, I could go off on a rant. But I won’t.

Anyway, read the following and then come back and vote in our poll about net neutrality — which you’ll find near the bottom of the page, just above the ads we wish we could get rid of but can’t.

The FCC has a plan to save net neutrality, but no one likes it

The FCC has announced its intention to pursue a new version of the Open Internet order that was struck down by a judge last month. In a statement, agency chair Tom Wheeler says that he will begin taking public input on an updated set of net neutrality rules. The FCC will not pursue an appeal in the case it lost against Verizon in January, opting instead to use the authority that the court granted in its decision. “Preserving the internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace is an important responsibility of this agency,” says Wheeler.

The FCC’s original case relied on a piecemeal set of arguments that Judge David Tatel found unconvincing. Now, it’s taking the shard of hope he gave it and digging deep. The court said the FCC could regulate the internet under Section 706, which lets it make rules to promote broadband deployment, and Wheeler will be proceeding with this plan. In principle, the new framework sound very much like the old one: wired broadband providers shouldn’t be able to block lawful sites and services on their networks, they shouldn’t discriminate against content, and they should make their network management plans public. According to a senior FCC official, wireless broadband providers will likely still be given looser rules. But the commission is just now considering proposals, and we don’t know exactly what we’ll end up with.

The original rules failed because they were too much like those for “common carrier” services like phone companies, which can be regulated more strictly. As he made this decision, though, Tatel said that internet providers did have strong incentives to abuse their power and unfairly favor their own services — and that net neutrality rules could therefore promote broadband adoption and competition. Wheeler has said over and over that he’s going to “accept that invitation,” but it’s still a relatively limited one, and the commission will have to work around that. One of major sticking points is non-discrimination, a contentious rule that was explicitly struck down. Wheeler suggests that companies that violate non-discrimination rules could be evaluated on a case-by-case basis rather than outright censured. An FCC official said that doing this could avoid making a bright-line test that was too much like a common carrier rule, shoehorning it into Section 706. But even a milquetoast set of rules could still end up going on trial again…

Read the rest here —>

Please let us know what you think:

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3 thoughts on “Net Neutrality Is Dead…Or Is It?

  1. Nancy Phipps

    I really do not understand all of this so not much to comment on.
    I have not been able to get high speed internet since I live in such a rural area.
    All that is available to me, is satellite which I feel is very expensive.
    Our telephone company offers it (rural areas) but only in select places, such as where prisons are built.
    If they want to make rules then make companies offer their services to everyone that is under their company.
    I miss out on all the services that you have to offer (computer care) because dial up is too slow.

  2. missyg

    Net neutrality is an issue that needs to be fought for, and the first step is to keep up with the issue as much as possible. If anyone needs a refresher on the basic issues, here’s a great short mockumentary:

  3. danstewart

    I feel that the internet should be available for everyone, however, from past experience, anything the feds touch turns to crap. They should keep their hands off the internet.


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