Amazing! Guess somebody at Fox didn’t get the marching orders and has gone and done the unthinkable – written the truth:
by John R. Quain
The Federal Communications Commission thinks the Internet in the United States can be run at two speeds. Backtracking from an earlier proposal, the FCC now believes it will be just fine to let Internet service providers (ISPs) control what you access online, with a few exceptions that the FCC would police.
While this new proposal might not kill the Internet, as it exists now, it would certainly cripple it – at least for American consumers and businesses.
Multiple leaks about FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal to the commission, which will be presented on Thursday, indicate that the agency would not allow ISPs to give preferential treatment – faster Internet access – to their own subsidiaries. But it would allow other companies to pay for faster, more reliable access. (No matter that such a similar restriction has already failed in the case of Comcast giving preferential treatment to its own Golf Channel.)
Unfortunately, there is no halfway approach to how data should flow over the Internet. It’s a binary proposition: Either access to the Internet is equal, no matter the type or size of the business, or it is not. Letting Amazon have better access because it can pay and because it is not owned by AT&T will not make the situation more equal.
If the Internet does not maintain net neutrality, wherein all digital data is treated the same, countless businesses – tech companies in Silicon Valley, auto companies in Detroit, health care providers in Houston, startups in New York – will suffer. And, of course, you and I will pay for diminishing service and be denied the option of choosing what we want to read, view and listen to at faster speeds.
Representatives of the country’s largest ISPs are claiming that the one solution to preserving net neutrality in the U.S. – legally classifying broadband Internet utilities as utilities – “would threaten new investment in broadband infrastructure and jeopardize the spread of broadband technology across America, holding back Internet speeds and ultimately deepening the digital divide.” That’s according to a press release attached to a letter signed by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Time Warner Cable CEO Robert Marcus and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.
Nothing could be further from the truth.