FCC Votes On Net Neutrality Today

All of us bloggers are concerned with the net neutrality thingy……most of us are worried that the government will take control of it and in doing so eliminate those that are a voice of reason…..I am talking about Left and Right……the media will be fine since they own the FCC….but what about the rest of us?

The Federal Communications Commission will vote on net neutrality today, after lengthy debate. Though the topic seems destined for the courts, the FCC’s decision “is going to be a benchmark,” a researcher tells USA Today. The board is expected to approve chairman Tom Wheeler’s guidelines to regulate the Internet like a utility, as President Obama suggested. His proposal also labels broadband providers as “common carriers” under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which means the FCC could prohibit paid prioritization for “fast lanes,” NBC News reports. What does that mean for you?

  • “All this ruling means is that there will be FCC jurisdiction to examine practices and hear complaints,” a legal professor explains. He bats down claims that this is “an all-or-nothing decision that will transform the Internet,” suggesting much is still to be determined. “Your broadband will still cost the same amount as it did before.”
  • Essentially Wheeler’s rules would mean Internet service providers must treat all traffic equally, which is why Netflix—which claims almost 35% of peak traffic in the US—supports the move. It can’t be charged more for the bandwidth it uses. Companies like Etsy, Kickstarter, Tumblr, and Vimeo support rules similar to Wheeler’s.
  • In the past, so did Google. But nearly a decade after Google and Facebook first pushed for new rules, the search giant has urged the FCC to draft rules boosting investment in broadband Internet networks, as have net neutrality opponents AT&T and Comcast, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • An expert predicts the “public utility-style regulations” will “create a tremendous amount of chaos” for cable and Internet companies, particularly when it comes to addressing congestion. They would have to ensure their practices of freeing up bandwidth are “reasonable,” NPR reports.
  • The rules also include what’s called “zero-rating,” which is when an app or group of apps—for example T-Mobile’s Music Freedom plan—isn’t counted against a user’s data cap. Sounds like a bonus, right? “That distorts competition,” says one expert.
  • Republicans generally consider Wheeler’s rules a government power grab. Congress could respond with legislation that undercuts Wheeler’s guidelines, but Obama would likely veto.

Time to mobilize!

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11 thoughts on “FCC Votes On Net Neutrality Today

  1. I’ve been messing around on some Teabillie sites, and to them this is the government trying to “control” the internet. They have it completely backwards, don’t they?

  2. “An expert predicts the “public utility-style regulations” will “create a tremendous amount of chaos” for cable and Internet companies, particularly when it comes to addressing congestion.”

    WTF?? If this hasn’t been a problem at this point, and I’m pretty sure it hasn’t, why would this “expert” say such a thing. What am I missing here?

  3. FCC has made its decision…….

    Net neutrality wins: The FCC today decided to regulate the Internet as if it were a public utility, reports CNET. The rules mean that Internet service providers must treat content on their networks equally—they can’t, for example, speed up some traffic in “fast lanes” because companies pay for the privilege. The 3-2 vote was along party lines, and legal challenges from telecom companies will come next, reports the Wall Street Journal. (Here’s an earlier primer on the subject.)

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