The FCC Plans to Rewrite Net Neutrality Riles
The whole of the internet was sent into a panic last month when the US Court of Appeals struck down the so-called net neutrality rules that the Federal Communications Commission put in place on internet service providers after the rules were challenged by Verizon.
Well, the FCC hasn’t given up the fight over net neutrality and have stated that they are targeting later this year for a new set of net neutrality rules.
The court’s ruling said that established net neutrality rules didn’t apply to ISPs as they were classified as information service providers and the rules, as written, applied to telecommunications companies. Since the court’s decision left the door open for the FCC to write a set of net neutrality rules that specifically applied to ISPs, they are going back and working on a new set of rules to comply with the ruling.
Since the ruling, most major ISPs have pledged to abide by the principles of net neutrality until such time as the FCC can get around to reestablishing the rules for broadband ISPs. Of course, this hasn’t stopped several mock Verizon pricing memes from popping up on the internet since they seem hell-bent on gouging consumers so they can access websites that they already get as part of an open internet.
The FCC says new rules likely to come in late spring or early summer. Currently, they’re dealing with analysis of the potential merger of America’s two biggest cable and internet providers, Comcast and Time Warner, which could be a big concern for many US internet users.
While it looks like the FCC is on the right track, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai doesn’t necessarily sound like he’s on-board with the return of net neutrality rules. He was quoted by Reuters as saying, “The Internet was free and open before the FCC adopted Net neutrality rules. It remains free and open today. I am skeptical that this effort will end any differently from the last.”
Pai isn’t alone in thinking that government shouldn’t intervene in net neutrality. House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden issued a statement referring to net neutrality rules as “harmful policies.” Like Pai, they’re both Republicans and interested in aiding big business.
However, since big business is more interested in helping themselves rather than putting an emphasis on consumer rights and satisfaction, giving big business carte blanche to set their own rules of the internet would be more truly be the harmful policy. Letting the likes of Verizon destroy the openness of the internet in pursuit of more money would be bastardizing the principles upon which the internet was built.
Hopefully the FCC doesn’t run into political roadblocks and the typical Republicans vs. Obama gamesmanship that typifies business in Washington. Internet users can’t afford for that to happen.