BREAKING (at least for me; I have not been on the ’Net since this morning): FCC voted to end ’Net Neutrality, not to regulate the ’Net as a common carrier. Massive outcry to all 5 commissioners is needed; some of them expressed concerns. Check with Daily Kos, EFF, etc. Verizon and ATT are against us; Netflix, Google, Amazon support ’Net neutrality.
Occupy the FCC—a group led, I believe, by Fight for the Future, together with EFF and others, have been camped outside the FCC in Washington, D.C. waiting for today’s meeting. The FCC has proposed tw0-tiered Internet service, with preferred (read paying) content providers getting faster speeds. They claim that no speeds would be reduced, that they would just accelerate some—but that is not the point. Once other speeds are accelerated, what we now consider “normal”—which already varies based on the equipment with which one accesses the ’Net—would seem quite slow, and the preference would be for the sites of those entities who can afford to pay to stay in the fast lane—certainly not most of “the 99%”, not those involved in sociopolitical activism.
Already, there have been petitions, and Tom Wheeler (@FCCTomWheeler), chairperson of the FCC, has responded (at least I have received an e-mail in reply to one I signed) that he [paraphrasing; will edit when I can get back to my e-mail] “believes in an open Internet”—interesting, as he has been promoting the two-tiered approach.
We do have a partial victory—the FCC is seeking public comment on regulating the Internet as a public utility. This seems right to me; like (almost exactly) telephone service, like water or electricity, the Internet, for better or worse (mostly, I think, better, until I wonder about what skills we might have lost) has become virtually a necessity; certainly enables us to do as much as we do and communicate more efficiently (although sometimes not as personally; we can also drown in information overload). Telephone companies are considered “common carriers”, all phone calls are created equal—so must be all Internet communication.