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Keep at it guys

22 Dec

Yesterday the FCC voted on new regulations to help maintain the internet of today the way it should be, free. Free as in freedom, not free as in price. While they’ve made progress, by passing some very important regulation, there’s still work to be done. Not just with physical connection based services but with wireless internet as well. The ISPs responsibility to their paying customers is to provide a fast and reliable connection from the internet to our homes, their responsibility and their authority ends there, they should not be involved with the type of data or quantity of data flowing through their network as long as it fits within the bandwidth parameters of the connection.

Unfortunately the regulations aren’t enough, yet, but they aren’t completely powerless as claimed by some sensationalized articles. I believe what Al Franken sent out in a recent Email sums up the situation pretty well.

Subject: Not good enough

If you saw my op-ed in the Huffington Post yesterday, you know how concerned I was about today’s FCC meeting on net neutrality (and, by the way, would you mind sharing it on Twitter and Facebook?).

Chairman Genachowski’s draft Order was worse than nothing–and we needed to make sure the FCC didn’t approve it today.

Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that, thanks to Commissioners Copps and Clyburn–not to mention a nationwide network of net neutrality activists like you–the proposal approved today is better than the original. For instance, the FCC has now stated that it does not condone discriminatory behavior by wireless companies like Verizon and AT&T–an important piece that was missing from the first draft. We made a difference.

The bad news is that, while it’s no longer worse than nothing, the Order approved today is not nearly strong enough to protect consumers or preserve the free and open Internet. And with so much at stake, I cannot support it.

I’m still very concerned that it includes almost nothing to protect net neutrality for mobile broadband service–often the only choice for broadband if you live in rural or otherwise underserved areas. And I’m particularly disappointed that the FCC isn’t specifically banning paid prioritization–the creation of an Internet “fast lane” for corporations that can afford to pay for it.

But here’s the important thing to remember: This fight’s not over. The FCC must vigorously enforce these new regulations–and it must follow through on addressing wireless discrimination going forward.

So what now? First, we need to work together to make sure the FCC keeps the promises it made today–just as our movement was instrumental in improving these regulations from the first draft, we’ll be critical in ensuring that the regulations are enforced vigorously.

And I’m going to keep working with net neutrality advocates to see if there are legislative or administrative steps that can be taken to strengthen these protections.

But, for today, know that the work we’re doing to save the Internet is making a difference. Today, the FCC took a small step forward–too small by my estimation, but forward nonetheless.

Thanks for your support,

Al

Let’s hope that, in time, the FCC will see the holes in their regulations and patch them. Only then will the internet be guaranteed a bright future, operating as it has been since it’s inception.

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4 Comments

Posted by on December 22, 2010 in General

 

4 responses to “Keep at it guys

  1. Pat Reagin

    December 22, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    By the way, any time Stuart Smalley supports something, you bet that it is good for the socialist agenda and not good for the American people.

     
    • nick2600

      December 23, 2010 at 1:52 AM

      Don’t you have that last part wrong, shouldn’t it read, “you bet that it is good for the American people and not good for the greedy corporations?” And by the way, how does what he’s doing with Net Neutrality at all correlate to a Socialist agenda? I hear these words, Socialist Agenda, thrown around a lot these days for some of the most random reasons. While I can’t speak for his other views, I can say that his view on Net Neutrality bears no resemblance to a socialist agenda. The corporations tend to think only of themselves and their bottom line. The government’s responsibility should be to its citizens, not to corporations, this may not always be the case. But pigeonholing a politician, who tries to keep the citizens’ best interest in mind, as having a socialist agenda is extremely prejudicial. By the way, when did we stop taking former actors turned politicians seriously. I think if I ever need to bring up Ronald Reagan in the future I’ll refer to him as Merle Fisher.

       
  2. Pat Reagin

    December 22, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    Net Neutrality is a good concept, so long as politicians don’t use it to silence critics or limit freedom. That is the thing about government, you give them a toe hold and they expand it until they have total control. I hope that the author of this blog keeps as close a watch on the implementation of these regulations over the course of the next several years as he does on their being approved by the FCC et al.

     
    • nick2600

      December 23, 2010 at 1:01 AM

      If the politicians had intentions of using Net Neutrality as a “foot-in-the-door” approach to silencing critics and limiting freedom it couldn’t really be called neutrality anymore, do we need to keep an eye on the gov, definitely. At any rate, the FCC, and by extension many Americans, want to ensure that our internet, that has worked so well up to this point, continues to do so, and that the service providers aren’t, silencing critics and limiting freedom. Comcast doesn’t like some site that is critical of their customer service so Comcast blocks there customer’s access to it, BAM critic silenced. Verizon charges you an extra fee to watch Hulu instead of their own on-demand service, BAM freedom limited. These are the kinds of anti-competitive practices that need to prevented and as long as the FCC remembers who they truly serve these things, in due time, will be taken care of. And you can be certain that I will be watching the implementation of these regulations until the day I die, as what they can do for us all is very important to me.

       

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