Richi Jennings

The Internet asks: Et tu, FCC?

April 24, 2014 6:42 AM EDT


Has corporate "free speech" ruined the Internet?

"Not that I loved the Internet less, but that I loved corporations more." This isn't the exact quote from Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, but many bloggers believe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler is thinking it. Wheeler -- according to multiple reports -- has approved changes that will permit Internet Service Providers (ISP's) to charge premium rates for faster data speeds.

Because of this alarming news, many feel the FCC has effectively killed the long-standing practice of "network neutrality" -- meaning all data is treated, well, neutral -- no preferential treatment. Are bloggers getting worked-up for no reason? Wheeler says the new rules will not kill net neutrality -- if so, then why change the rules at all?

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers believe those with the gold, make the rules.

Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.

 
News from Grant Gross gets prefential treatment:

The [FCC] will propose new...rules Thursday that will allow broadband providers to charge companies like Netflix for preferential traffic management, according to a news report.
...
The FCC's proposal would prohibit broadband providers from slowing down or blocking traffic to specific websites, but allow them to give some traffic preferential treatment based on commercially reasonable terms, according to a Wall Street Journal story.  MORE


 
Feeling sold out, Andrew Leonard abandons his principles:

[The] FCC has abandoned any pretense of supporting net neutrality -- the principle that [ISP's] may not price discriminate against online content providers.  MORE


 
And Sean Hollister believes he is flat-out wrong:

[FCC] chairman Tom Wheeler, a former cable industry lobbyist, says that there has been "no turnaround in policy," and calls those reports "flat out wrong."  MORE


 
Jon Brodkin's world revolves around a door:

Washington, DC, has long had a revolving door through which government officials exit to become lobbyists, and lobbyists enter to become government officials.
...
Regulators being led by former executives from the industries they're supposed to regulate and industry groups being led by their former regulators sounds like it should be the stuff of fiction. But the [FCC] has once again proven that this phenomenon is quite real.  MORE


 
So Dan Gillmore turns around:

Remember: "turnaround" by FCC's Wheeler reflects outright betrayal by Obama, whose Net Neutrality vow was a lie.  MORE


 
Then, Alex Wilhelm slants at newcomers:

Why the kerfuffle? Simply put, a tiered Internet is slanted towards incumbents at the expense of newcomers.  MORE


 
Om Malik breaks our corrupted hearts:

The [Tom Wheeler] appointment as head of [FCC to] eventually stab net neutrality in the heart is just another sign of complete DC corruption.  MORE


 
Meanwhile, Iain Thomson gets his changed out:

[FCC] chairman Tom Wheeler has had a major change of heart when it comes to net neutrality, [reportedly].   MORE


 

Subscribe now to the Blogs Newsletter for a daily summary of the most recent and relevant blog posts at Computerworld.