Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No Longer Neutral On Net Neutrality

President Obama weighed in this week on the issue of Net neutrality, and he's instructing the FCC to regulate broadband internet as a utility.  It may sound boring to you, but it would mean a lot of good news for consumers.

Obama, who campaigned on the issue of net neutrality, said the FCC's new rules should explicitly ban such paid prioritization deals and sided with consumer advocates who have pushed for the FCC to reclassify ISPs so that they can be regulated more like a public utility. 
"Simply put: No service should be stuck in a 'slow lane' because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth," Obama said in a statement. 
"I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online."

He also said the FCC should apply its new rules equally to mobile and wired ISPs, with a recognition of special challenges that come with managing wireless networks.

Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and AT&T have been fiercely lobbying against this, claiming government regulations will crush their business and the internet.  Republicans will certainly go berserk over this too.  But America has the slowest, most expensive internet in the developed world and the only way to fix it is by treating broadband internet as a public utility the way we do power, water, and sanitation.

Of course, we're behind by several trillion dollars in maintenance of power, water and sanitation, so I wouldn't hold your breath on all that getting fixed any time this generation either.

The reality however is that up until this week, tens of millions of voters had no idea what net neutrality meant.  Now they know that Obama is for it and Ted Cruz is against it, so it has to be evil, and everything that you don't like about your internet will be Obama's fault.

And that's all that matters.

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