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Obama FCC Expected to Abandon Net Neutrality, Universal Internet
05-04-2010, 04:15 AM,
#1
Obama FCC Expected to Abandon Net Neutrality, Universal Internet
Obama FCC Expected to Abandon Net Neutrality, Universal Internet

On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that the Federal Communications Commission is expected to abandon its pledges to protect Net Neutrality and to ensure universal, affordable broadband. The story cites anonymous insiders confirming that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is "leaning toward" siding with the most powerful phone and cable lobbyists on a crucial decision: whether the FCC will have any authority to protect an open Internet and make it available to all.

It is a testament to the phone and cable industry's overwhelming influence that they seem to have convinced the nation's communications agency to swear off authority to protect Americans' right to open communications. But it is stunning that Genachowski would even contemplate allowing it to stand, given President Obama's repeated pledge to ensure fast, affordable, universal Internet broadband for every American.

So what's going on here?

In early April, a a federal appeals court ruled that, based on decisions by the Bush-era FCC, the agency lacks the authority to regulate broadband providers. In so doing, the court effectively handed control of the Internet to companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon -- allowing them to slow down or block any website, any blog post, any tweet, any outreach by a congressional campaign. The FCC no longer has the power to stop them.

Fortunately, the FCC does have the power to easily fix the problem by "reclassifying" broadband under the law. All it would take is a vote by its five commissioners -- and Genachowski already has the votes. But so far, he has done nothing, while proponents of Net Neutrality (the principle that prevents providers from indiscriminately blocking or slowing Internet content) have been watching and waiting with bated breath.

If Genachowski gives up on restoring FCC authority, you can be sure he will claim that Internet deployment remains the signature issue of his FCC and that he can still accomplish the goals outlined in the FCC's recently released National Broadband Plan.

But unless the FCC puts broadband under what's called "Title II" of the Telecommunications Act, nearly every broadband-related decision the agency makes from here forward will be aggressively challenged in court, and the FCC will likely lose. The phone and cable companies know this, which is why they're going all out to keep the FCC from fixing the problem.

The goals of the much-feted National Broadband Plan are to ensure all Americans can get high-speed access to the open Internet -- not a closed version of the Internet that looks more like cable TV, where phone and cable companies decide what moves fast or not at all.

Chairman Genachowski could stand up for the American people, and against one of the biggest lobbying juggernauts in Washington, but it will take courage. If he fails to stand with the public, it could mean the end of the Internet as we know it.

Before it's too late, we need to make sure the FCC knows the American people are watching, and we will not sit quietly as the largest companies destroy the open, democratic Internet.
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05-05-2010, 12:40 AM,
#2
RE: Obama FCC Expected to Abandon Net Neutrality, Universal Internet
i think we have less hope in these regulation authorities than just allowing the isps to battle it out, the free'est one wins.
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05-05-2010, 07:14 AM,
#3
RE: Obama FCC Expected to Abandon Net Neutrality, Universal Internet
This is another example of 'elite' faction warfare. The hope for the people to have anything resembling a free internet is for them (us) to create an alternative or create some competition through hard work, investment and innovation. The deck is stacked but we are the many. Unfortunately the corporate / government dependency in people has deep roots just a matter of how much people are willing to put up with before acting on a productive intelligent unified alternative to 'elite' rule.

More thoughts and discussion on the government protecting us from the evil corporations.

Net Neutrality
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=342
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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05-05-2010, 11:43 PM,
#4
RE: Obama FCC Expected to Abandon Net Neutrality, Universal Internet
(05-05-2010, 07:14 AM)FastTadpole Wrote: This is another example of 'elite' faction warfare. The hope for the people to have anything resembling a free internet is for them (us) to create an alternative or create some competition through hard work, investment and innovation. The deck is stacked but we are the many. Unfortunately the corporate / government dependency in people has deep roots just a matter of how much people are willing to put up with before acting on a productive intelligent unified alternative to 'elite' rule.

yup...

anyway, there's been an update to this particular series of events:

Quote:FCC To Protect Net Neutrality – Huge Win For Consumers
By: David Dayen Wednesday May 5, 2010 2:19 pm

Let’s wait to see if this is true, but the Wall Street Journal says that the FCC will move to reclassify broadband services to give them a greater ability to regulate in that space, protecting their intentions to reinforce net neutrality and transform broadband access for the 21st century:

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has decided to reregulate Internet lines to protect net neutrality, siding with consumer groups and Internet companies worried that Internet providers have too much power.

On Wednesday, Mr. Genachowski’s staff began briefing the FCC’s commissioners on how they will propose to regulate Internet lines under rules that were written for traditional phone networks. Some of those rules won’t be applied to Internet networks, FCC officials say, but others will be used to enforce net neutrality, or regulations that require Internet providers to treat traffic equally and not slow or block websites.

For those who haven’t been following, under the Bush Administration the FCC classified broadband under Title 1 of the Communications Act, which gave them scant and vulnerable authority to regulate against the telecoms. A recent federal court ruling, saying that the FCC couldn’t stop Comcast from blocking certain Internet traffic, showed the pitfalls of this approach. Genachowski has been wavering on reclassifying broadband under Title 2, which would give them much more authority by terming the Internet a “common carrier service.” But the article states that he made the decision to go forward with that reclassification, for the most part.

Today, Henry Waxman and Jay Rockefeller, the Chairman of the Commerce Committees in the House and Senate, wrote Genachowski asking that he “consider all viable options,” including reclassification, to ensure Internet freedom and allow the FCC to move forward with a national broadband plan.

A decision on the classification guidelines is expected to be made public shortly.
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