The FCC is voting today on passage of Net Neutrality rules and like anything in Washington the proposal is getting both support and some opposition.
The basic premise behind net neutrality is that all sites should have equal and open access to the net.
The flip side is a situation where sites could pay to get better access so for example they would load faster for users to the detriment of non-paying sites
It seems like the rules the FCC is voting on today gives “land line” Internet users Net neutrality but changes the rules for wireless.
“”The rules would ban high-speed Internet providers like Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications from blocking lawful traffic, while recognizing the need to manage network congestion and perhaps charge based on Internet usage.””
“”The rules for wireless carriers, reflecting limited bandwidth and a more recent technology, only ban the blocking of access to websites, or competing voice and video applications.
At stake is how quickly handheld devices, like Research in Motion Ltd’s BlackBerry and Apple Inc’s iPhone, can receive videos and other data-heavy content.””
No acceptable proposal can permit paid prioritization; can exempt wireless broadband from the protections offered for wireline; nor can it move forward without reclassifying broadband, providing the legal footing required by the courts for implementation. Just as importantly, the rule must have clear, inexpensive, and rapid procedures, and meaningful penalties, so that innovators and citizens can effectively seek redress and legal clarity.
However, in his relentless search for the path of least resistance, Chairman Genachowski has proposed a set of rules that, if adopted, would normalize ISPs’ ability to discriminate between sources and types of content. The Chairman’s proposal appears to be a collection of safe-harbors requested by the largest carriers, rather than rule to benefit average citizens. And by eschewing reclassification under Title II, the Chairman all but guarantees the courts will strike down the regulations.””
CNN.com report on the bill included comments from the opposition:
“Internet-freedom advocates have called the rules a step in the right direction but say they don’t go far enough.
For example, the proposal doesn’t set the same set of rules for mobile communications as it does for Web-based ones. And it wouldn’t let the government strictly regulate internet providers in the way some advocates would like.
In fact, the proposal is similar to one put forward earlier this year by Google and Verizon, two of the internet’s biggest stakeholders.
Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat and one of Congress’ most vocal net-neutrality advocates, calls the issue “the most important free-speech issue of our time.”
In a column Monday for the Huffington Post, Franken said some of the current proposal’s language could actually weaken protections.
“(T)his Tuesday, when the FCC meets to discuss this badly flawed proposal, I’ll be watching,” he wrote. “If they approve it as is, I’ll be outraged. And you should be, too.”
This is another attempt by the Government to regulate the Internet and to the rich goes the spoils.
Personally I’m glad to see that land based access is protected.
As long as there is a choice you can always elect to go back to a wifi or other land bases connection.
If the FCC passes the rules they will still have to go to Congress next year for passage.
What so you think?