Nothing but Net Neutrality! Part 2. Net Neutrality – a/k/a Open Internet – has Socially Sparked™ our lives. Currently, American consumers have equal and unrestricted access to the Internet and its services. The idea that our short-lived free Internet access could quickly be taken away is now much closer to reality.
“We are in midst of an unprecedented and chaotic form of regulatory dissonance. Is it ‘just’ regulatory dissonance or a vendetta against CNN?” — Marc Tayer, Digital TV Veteran & Author, Televisionaries
The New Net Reality
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced today that it planned to dismantle current regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for companies to charge more and block access to some websites. The FCC decision is up for a vote on December 14th.
What Does The FCC Decision Mean?
According to Socially Sparked News contributing Technology writer Marc Tayer, “On the one hand, the FCC has just reversed a 40-year-old ban limiting ownership of newspapers and TV/radio stations in the same market, while separately announcing plans to eliminate the Net Neutrality rules. On the other hand, the Justice Department has sued AT&T and Time Warner to prevent a vertical merger of two companies with no overlapping businesses.
As previously reported in Socially Sparked News’ feature Net Neutrality: Staying the Course , FCC chairman Ajit Pai proposed a broad review of the 2015 Open Internet Order, initiating an attempt to reverse the Title II “telecommunications services” classification and to repeal the net neutrality rules.
The FCC’s decision is indeed a mass repeal of the net neutrality rules put in place under the Obama administration. The primary mandates included: “no blocking” and “no throttling” of legal content (in both cases, subject to “reasonable network management”), and “no paid prioritization” a/k/a charging extra fees (i.e., ISPs can’t accept money in exchange for establishing “express lanes”).
“With industry consolidation increasing, limited competition amongst broadband ISPs, zero-rating services politically legitimized, and a strong investment climate, all signs point to staying the course with net neutrality. Let’s see how new services and competitors fare in this market environment.
“It would be a shame for the FCC to give up its strongest regulatory tool in the event that stronger competition does not emerge, enabling the powerful incumbents to further milk their dominant positions.” — Marc Tayer, ‘Staying the Course: Net Neutrality’, Socially Sparked News
Whatever happens, we will likely see more legal challenges. And to reiterate Marc Tayer’s thoughts, “Perhaps the Supreme Court will be the ultimate arbiter.” –- Abbe is Socially Sparked! Tweet @sosparkednews & @asparks01