Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Net Neutrality (Future of the Internet)

President Obama put forth a plan this week calling on the Federal Communications Commission to adopt strict rules protecting net neutrality. The agency has been working to balance the interests of technology companies who create and transmit information over the Internet with the concerns of cable operators and equipment makers that build and maintain the infrastructure that carries that information.

 

Can you make a quick call to the FCC right now to tell Chairman Wheeler that you demand action for Net Neutrality without delay?



Tech companies, like Google and Netflix, generally oppose proposals that allow broadband companies to charge different rates for faster speeds. According to a story published on wnyc.org, the president is pushing for rules that would reclassify broadband operators and permit more regulation, bringing them in line with how phone companies have been regulated for decades. That would prevent preferential pricing and eliminate the so-called "fast" and "slow" lanes."


According to wired.com, Comcast was recently dubbed the “worst company in America,” by the Consumerist. AT&T is so uncompetitive that it can put the brakes on a 100-city fiber rollout, as it did this week, without feeling much pressure from business rivals.

In my opinion, there is a greater force here: freedom of the press, freedom of information, Americans' right to know. If the net here is managed or capped or tamed or whatever, while other nations are "net neutral," will that put the U.S. at a disadvantage? Remember, these "internet providers" are interested only in cash money, not in education, art, liberty or creativity.  They are looking for dollars.

A decade ago, the FCC said that less regulation would help deliver better consumer internet services, but that hasn’t panned out. Internet service here is slipping. Compared with countries such as Japan, South Korea and the Netherlands, we pay too much for not enough bandwidth. Wired advises folks check out former LA Times Reporter Chris O’Brien’s eye-opening observations on life on the French internet fast lane if you want a taste of how bad things are here in the U.S.


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