The FCC Chairman Wants to Give Up the Net Neutrality Fight
The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, seems to have given up his fight with Big Internet over Net Neutrality. Wheeler published a blog post on the FCC website in which he talked about the ongoing battle over the internet and frequently used the lobbyist terms “Open Internet” and “fast lanes.”
Wheeler started his blog post by saying that he is a strong believer in the “Open Internet.” That was immediately contradicted with the following paragraph that should have everyone up in arms:
“The idea of net neutrality (or the Open Internet) has been discussed for a decade with no lasting results. Today Internet Openness is being decided on an ad hoc basis by big companies. Further delay will only exacerbate this problem.”
Basically, this is Tom Wheeler saying “if you can’t beat them, join them.” Saying that trying to implement new Net Neutrality rules that are close to the old ones will take too long so it’s better to give in is a completely defeatist attitude.
Also, suggesting that the implementation of the so-called “fast lanes” won’t harm the customers who don’t buy the service. He thinks that all internet is equal but some is more equal than others. I mean, Wheeler said that the “commercially reasonable” rules they were implementing for fast lanes would prevent ISPs from exploiting any user regardless of whether they’re on the fast lane or not.
If you ask me, though, Wheeler using the terms that Big Internet want him to use like “Fast Lane” rather than “high-speed toll road” should also worry us. These fast lanes are part of an “Open Internet” rather than an internet with “Net Neutrality” which is functionally dead in America as long as fast lanes exist.
The most ridiculous thing is that Wheeler admits that if the FCC called ISPs a Title II telecommunications provider rather than a service, they would be able to implement the Net Neutrality rules that they previously had. If it’s that easy, why doesn’t Wheeler just do that instead of letting the ISPs have their cake and eat it too?
Some redeeming news is that the FCC has opened up the issue to public comment. I’d imagine there will be just a few comments to be made on this. You can make your views known at this link.