Net Neutrality Proposals Do Not Look Promising

Chairman Pai’s Restore Internet Freedom proposal will be considered at the  agency’s Dec. 14 meeting. 

This reads like some sort of line from a dystopian novel with super villain Chairman Pai planning something sinister, unfortunately it’s not fiction, it’s a tweet from the FCC regarding Ajit Pai’s plans to overturn net neutrality with a cuddly sounding slogan of “Restoring Internet Freedom”.

The proposal is not consumer friendly, and consumers are letting the FCC know that. The proposal is not being welcomed by many tech companies and is a glaring example of how officials ignore consumers and fail to serve the public.

In a recent USA Today article, Tim Berners-Lee was quoted as saying :

When I invented the World Wide Web as an information sharing system in 1989, I aimed to create a neutral space where everyone could create, share, debate, innovate, learn and dream. That’s why I gave my invention away for free, so that anyone, anywhere could access and build on it without permission. My vision was an online space that would give people freedom — and America’s entrepreneurial, optimistic spirit embraced it with enthusiasm.

There’s a lot at stake here and Chairman Pai seems to only want to represent the interests of ISP’s, completely ignoring consumers and many of those entrepreneurs.

Mashable report – The proposal to do away with net neutrality is worse than you think :

In doing away with the 2015 rules that prohibit broadband providers from discriminating against or favoring certain content, applications and services (that is, no blocking, no throttling, no fast lanes and a general rule against discrimination), Pai has radically departed from bipartisan FCC precedent. This opens the door for companies like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and Charter to pick winners and losers on the Internet by controlling which online companies get faster and better quality of service and at what price.

Sounds bad, right? Believe it or not, the proposed order is worse than that.

The proposed order would leave broadband providers largely if not completely free of oversight

Sometimes you truly do look and things and wonder what’s going on, supporters of Chairman Pai’s proposals do exist, they are thin on the ground, but they do try and tell us that this will increase competition and be a benefit, but the groundswell of opinion is in the other direction.

Now you might think that this has little to do with you, a lot of us aren’t American, but some of the services we use are, including Second Life, Sansar, High Fidelity and the ability of these services to function could very well be impacted by these proposals, as Hamlet Au over at New World Notes points out – If You Don’t Want Your Second Life Usage To Get More Expensive, Ask Congress To Keep The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules For An Affordable Internet :

As a term, “net neutrality” is an extremely confusing way for describing how the policy impacts most consumers — it preserves an affordable Internet by prohibiting ISPs and cable companies from charging extra for different Internet sites and services.

Hamlet’s article has links to a web form for people who want to contact congress, that would be people who are American by the way, as much as those of us who are outside America may want to contact congress regarding this issue, it probably won’t be helpful if we do.

Contacting the FCC on the issue appears to have been a rather futile affair too, as The Verge report – FCC ignored your net neutrality comment, unless you made a ‘serious’ legal argument :

the commission said it didn’t really care about the public’s opinion on net neutrality unless it was phrased in unique legal terms. The vast majority of the 22 million comments were form letters, the official said, and unless those letters introduced new facts into the record or made serious legal arguments, they didn’t have much bearing on the decision. The commission didn’t care about comments that were only stating opinion.

Form letters were used, so many of those contacting the FCC were repetitive but it’s pretty shocking that they didn’t care about comments stating an opinion, which makes this even murkier.

Chairman Pai seems to be relishing his role as pantomime villain at the moment, ignoring consumers, ignoring tech companies, but as much as he may imagine himself in a Darth Vader outfit with the Imperial March tune in the background, his proposals are far from entertaining.

3 Replies to “Net Neutrality Proposals Do Not Look Promising”

    1. Thanks very much for the alternative viewpoint but I feel there should be some progress here and I remain unconvinced that taking a step back is helpful. The discussion needs to broadened and positive reasons for changes need to be made.

Leave a Reply