— MapLight (@MapLight) May 15, 2014
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Tom Wheeler has put out some misleading statements claiming the FCC was respecting the goals of Net Neutrality while operationally destroying it. And now Wheeler has put forward a rule that alleges to prevent ISPs from “blocking or slowing down access to websites” while also allowing those same ISPs to charge content companies for “faster and more reliable delivery.”
Did you catch that? No blocking or slowing down websites just speeding up those that pay more to the ISPs. In case you thought the ISPs would ever claim they were blocking or slowing down websites, now you know, they can’t.
So while Wheeler solves an imaginary problem he completely forfeited the actual fight which was over whether there would be special privileges for richer companies.
U.S. regulators on Thursday advanced a “net neutrality” proposal that would ban Internet providers from blocking or slowing down access to websites but may let them charge content companies for faster and more reliable delivery of their traffic to users…
Consumer advocates want the FCC to instead reclassify Internet providers as utilities, like telephone companies, rather than as the less-regulated information services they are now. Broadband companies and Republicans, both in Congress and at the FCC, vehemently oppose the plan.
Internet service providers clearly belong in the utilities category just like the telephone companies – many of them actually also are telephone companies. The only reason the decision keeps getting delayed is the enormous power of the ISPs like Comcast and Verizon in Washington. An avalanche of cash for lobbying and campaign contributions has come down as the fight for a free internet has heated up.
Tom Wheeler says he does not want an internet of “haves and have-nots”, if that is true then he needs to have the courage of his alleged convictions and move to classify ISPs as common carriers and stop playing rhetorical games.