July 27, 2017 by Paul Dughi
Before the Federal Communications Commission takes action, it puts out proposals and asks for public comments. When it comes to net neutrality rules, the public commented big time. Nearly 11 million comments have been filed.
There’s no question the issue is a lightning rod. In 2015, the FCC voted in the rules which prohibit broadband companies from blocking or slowing down your internet service for some providers while providing others full access.
It also prevents them from charging companies a fee to provide faster service. For example, it would prevent a company like Comcast (just an example) from giving higher speed deliver to Netflix (just an example) while slowing down this website because it hadn’t paid.
Sounds good for consumers and content creators, right? Everybody gets equal treatment on the ‘net.
Two FCC commissioners Chairman Ajit Pai and Michael O’Reilly) have always opposed the rules. They say the rules stifle business investment. They are signaling a serious attempt repeal the rules.
DEFINITION: Net Neutrality
The idea that all internet service providers treat all content equally and do not give preference to specific providers.
AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and other ISPs (not examples) have filed comments asking to repeal the rules. That’s not a surprise. Repealing the rules would provide an additional revenue stream for the providers. Some of the biggest tech companies in the world are opposing it. Google, Netflix, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon are against repeal saying it give the ISPs too may power and control. Without net neutrality, they say, it would make it harder for small guys to compete. What they don’t say, is that it’s likely to make business more expensive for them as well if they want to keep the flow going.
It sounds almost like an extortion deal. Pay us more of we’ll slow down deliver of your service. Slowing down Netflix could make the user experience worse. That could cause them to lose customers. If your Netflix, do you pay the money? We may find out.
The Trump administration has recently softened its public support. “The administration believes that rules of the road are important for everyone — website providers, internet service providers, and consumers alike,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a White House news briefing. While criticizing the Obama administration for the way it put the rules in place, it almost seemed like it was taking issue with the procedure, not the underlying rule itself.
“The previous administration went about this the wrong way by imposing rules on ISPs through the FCC’s Title II rulemaking power. We support the FCC chair’s efforts to review and consider rolling back these rules, and believe that the best way to get fair rules for everyone is for Congress to take action and create regulatory and economic certainty.” – Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Or is it just talk?