It seems like FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has forgotten that he is no longer a telecom industry lobbyist–he has been appointed to the agency that’s supposed to regulate communications in the interests of the nation and its citizens. His proposal doesn’t do that.
In the face of a tidal wave of protests and criticism, the FCC voted this morning to move forward with the formal process of implementing a new framework of rules that dooms net neutrality. It isn’t in effect yet–today’s vote starts a four-month period of public comment.
Wheeler is a Democrat, but calling the proposal to allow companies to buy faster, priority Internet access “net neutrality” is a very Rovian, GOP form of doublespeak. It’s like calling the bill to strip away the Bill of Rights the “PATRIOT Act”, or calling a bill to allow companies to pollute more the “Clean Air Act”.
Here is what I wrote for PCWorld about today’s vote:
The FCC has voted to start the formal process of establishing new “Net Neutrality” rules. More accurately, the FCC has begun the process of killing the concept of net neutrality in favor of a system that lets broadband providers make money from both sides and charge companies for faster, priority delivery of Internet content.
Tom Wheeler, the FCC Chairman and former telecom lobbyist, pushed forward with a vote to begin the formal consideration process in spite of a backlash against his proposal. The rules are not yet in place—today’s vote simply begins a four-month period for public comment providing an opportunity for supporters and opponents to weigh in before the FCC moves forward to actually implement the new rules.
In a recent blog post defending his plan, Wheeler stressed expedience. It seems that even Wheeler recognizes that his proposal is far short of the net neutrality ideal, but he feels that it is something the FCC can do now that fits within the guidance handed down by the court when it sided with Verizon and essentially struck down the previous FCC net neutrality framework. The message of his post seems to be, “This isn’t the plan we want, but it’s the plan we can get approved.”
Read the full article at PCWorld: FCC puts first nail in the coffin of net neutrality.
Also, make sure you email the FCC to share your comments on the “net neutrality” proposal.