The FCC has adopted rules to protect Web traffic from corporations. So why is everyone unhappy?
The 3-2 vote Tuesday on “net neutrality” has angered republicans who wish to tie up the new rules in court in hopes of getting the new law overturned. Meanwhile, the democrats are also bitter as they fear the new rules don’t go far enough.
The rules prohibit phone and cable companies from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services, such as those from rivals, but there are huge loopholes. The regulations forbid “unreasonable” network discrimination. What qualifies as unreasonable however is up in the air (or cyberspace).
Essentially, ISP giants like Comcast and Verizon are not allowed to block access to the web pages and applications you use, but might be able to slow down services to particular sites (including their competition or those who don’t pay these ISPs for privileged access).
The concern is that the rules don’t go far enough to guarantee that broadband providers cannot support their own traffic or the traffic of businesses that can pay for priority over smaller businesses and websites, resulting in a divided two lane information super highway. Net neutrality be damned.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said “Today, for the first time, we are adopting rules to preserve basic Internet values, for the first time, we’ll have enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness.” Genachowski spent more than a year trying to craft a compromise and still fell far short of what is needed to protect the internet users from the internet giants (the have and have nots). Some safeguards are better than none, but why do something half-assed? Last I checked there were three Democrats and only two Republicans on the commission, so why the compromise?
I know I can count on Republicans to always fatten the bulging wallets of corporate America without thinking about the people, that’s a given. It seems you can always count on Democrats to think skyscraper and build a port-o-potty.
One Democrat however, Senator of Minnesota Al Franken, recently stated in a blog that this was the most important free speech issue of our time. Comcast, AT & T, Verizon and Google should not be able to manipulate the service they provide in order to increase profits from other big companies at the expense of making the smaller ones virtually invisible.
Franken noted that FCC Chairman (and fellow Democrat) Julius Genachowski had been (according to reports) “calling the CEOs of major Internet corporations seeking their public endorsement of the draft proposal.” Why not go ahead and ask a criminal which laws he’d like to follow?
Hopefully the CRTC in Canada doesn’t go down this same dangerous path as the FCC. I’m a little mad already, but can you imagine how livid I’ll be when I click on a link to quietmike.org and Videotron redirects me to the FOX News Website?