Politics, The Commons

Net Neutrality Fight Continues

I cannot believe we are still fighting this bullshit. I wrote this eleven years ago on May 12, 2006 on my now-shuttered blog, Blue Lyon.

The telecoms want to create a tiered Internet where web page owners who can pay for speed will get faster loading pages, etc. Right now the Internet works much the same way that phone service works. We all pay our monthly charges and we all get the same service. You pick up the phone, dial the number, and voila! your call goes through at the same speed as George Bush’s or Paris Hilton’s. It doesn’t matter who you are or who you are calling.

Currently the same sort of system applies for web hosting. When we pay our monthly web hosting fee, it doesn’t matter who we are, what the content is on our pages or anything. My web page doesn’t load faster than Amazon.com’s, nor does their web site load faster than mine. Both load at the same speed. But, if the telecoms have their way, not only will we be paying for access to the web, owners of web site will ALSO be required to pay fees that will allow their pages to load quickly. If they can’t afford it, too bad. Their sites will be choked off. Even the big names on the Internet (Amazon.com, Google, etc) are against this, yet, it appears that our Congress Critters are in bed with the Telecoms. Click on the ad to the right. Learn more. Sign the petition to protect Net Neutrality, call your legislators.

July 12, 2017: DAY OF ACTION: SEN. WYDEN LEADS THE BATTLE FOR NET NEUTRALITY (Wired)

Without net neutrality rules, internet service providers ranging from home broadband companies like Comcast to wireless data providers like Verizon would be free to slow video streams, charge you extra to access particular content, or outright block you from visiting sites. Net neutrality advocates worry that this would be a huge blow to free expression online, as well as hamper innovation as smaller companies might have to shell out to large telcos to get their content seen by the public. Wyden echoes those concerns, and especially worries about the impact on small businesses in his state.

The FCC passed the current incarnation of its rules in early 2015, and it was immediately sued by the broadband industry. These days, the industry says it doesn’t mind net neutrality in and of itself, but opposes the part of the FCC’s Open Internet Order that reclassifies internet service providers as “Title II” common carriers, which means they’re regulated more like traditional telephone service providers.

The trouble with the industry’s argument is that thanks to a lawsuit that Verizon won against the FCC in 2014, the agency can’t enforce net neutrality rules without Title II reclassification. “It is the teeth behind the concept,” Wyden says. “And without it the companies aren’t going to do it. We’ve seen them use the legal process previously with court cases to try to get around what net neutrality is all about.”

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