Monday, February 2, 2015

Last Call For No Longer Neutral

Granted, it's from Politico, but they are reporting that FCC chair Tom Wheeler is ready to drop some of the "toughest rules possible" on broadband and mobile carriers involving net neutrality.

On Thursday, Wheeler is expected to present to the commission a set of rules that would treat broadband providers like utilities, effectively denying them the right to charge companies a premium for faster access to consumers and holding them accountable for any attempt to secretly impede the flow of data. When the commission finally approves them — a vote is scheduled for late February — it will mark the most significant rewrite of the rules of the road for the Internet in more than a dozen years and affect the competitive playing field for generations to come. 
Wheeler did not speak officially for this report. But interviews with FCC officials, industry executives and representatives of public interest groups reveal the origins of his dramatic pivot on this issue: an intense and relatively brief grass-roots lobbying campaign that targeted two people — him and President Barack Obama. 
“We [knew] that Tom Wheeler was going to make the decision on this,” said Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, a liberal public interest group. “He was the guy with the most influence over the details, and the question becomes who has the most influence over him, and that is President Obama.”

If that's true, look for the GOP Congress to try to attach legislation undoing such a move and preventing the FCC from ever imposing such rules in "must-pass" legislation.  And yes, I fully expect the GOP to try to shut the government down over this.

As it is by the end of February we could be facing a shutdown over immigration. 

We'll see.

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