FCC on Net Neutrality

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What is Net Neutrality?

  • CNET described net neutrality as,“the idea that traffic on the Internet should be treated equally. That means your broadband provider, which controls your access to the Internet, can’t block or slow down your ability to use services or applications or view websites.”
    The provider also can’t get the internet users to pay an additional fee to have an access, such as Netflix, faster.
    [ CNET / Marguerite Reardon ]

  • The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the U.S. government that is monitored by Congress. The FCC regulates radio, television, satellite, cable, and now Internet communications in all 50 states and between the United States and other countries.
    [ FCC ]
  • “We are looking forward to hearing the details, but, for internet users, the move to Title II is cause for dancing in the streets.”  said Marvin Ammori, a leading tech policy lawyer and net neutrality advocate. If you’re looking for a strong advocate of the FCC ruling, look no further.
    [ VOX/ Sam Gustin]

net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now-infographic

What Happened?

  • On Thursday, February 26, the FCC voted to regulate the Internet as if it was a public utility. The new measures will ensure that the Internet will not be divided into “pay-for-play fast lanes for Internet and media companies that can afford it” and slow lanes for the average customer.
    [ The New York Times / Rebecca Ruiz and Steve Lohr ]

Pros & Cons (Controversy)

  • CNN says Yah!- Not everyone is an opponent to fair,accessible for all internet. This week CNN announced that this decision from the FCC was a big one but will not affect our internet- it will feel as free tomorrow as it does today but to be on the lookout for more regulation in the future.
    [ CNN/ Jose Pagliery ]
  • Of course, numerous people have critiqued the decision. Christopher Harper of the Washington Times is concerned that with net neutrality the FCC has too much power over communication, Internet access costs will go up, Internet speeds will drop, and there will not be increased competition among Internet Service Providers.
    [ The Washington Times / Christopher Harper ]

Why does it matter?

  • The White House tells us, “”Today, high-speed broadband is not a luxury,” [Obama] said at Cedar Falls Utilities. “It’s a necessity.”  We are inclined to agree. This decision will affect and set precedent for how matters of internet determined and regulated in the future.
    [ NPR/ Krishnadev Calamur ]

How will it affect us?

  • ABC NEWS said that “they fear the Internet will begin to look more like the business of cable television, with more fees and poor service.”
  • Without neutrality:
    • Degraded service
      • contents that are not on the “fast lane” will have poor services
    • Higher costs
      • to access currently standard quality content the price will go up
      • to get “fast” Internet the price will go up
    • Less innovation
      • “ISP fees will make it more expensive and harder to launch new services, especially for small companies not tied to existing players”
      • It puts local/ startup business at a disadvantage, encouraging people to buy out of country- diverting money out of the US economy

[ ABC NEWS / Susanna Kim ]

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