Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

Nothing But Net Neutrality

Longtime readers remember my praising the FCC for its decision to support net neutrality.  Basically, they agreed that ISP's couldn't block certain sites until they made nice with the ISP.  You know, the same tactics AOL tried and people started abandoning once they saw there was a bigger Internet out there.  Comcast took the ruling to court.  Comcast (and AT&T and Verizon, it should be noted) feel that, since maintaining their servers costs billions of dollars, they have the right to charge a fee for premium access to their customers and such.  The FCC's stance was that, without net neutrality, ISP's could discriminate against certain web sites if they felt like it.

The federal court ruled in favor of Comcast.  Basically, the FCC can't force companies to provide indiscriminate access to the Internet.

So, what now?  The FCC could appeal, but that takes a while, costs money, and they say they have more important things to do.  The likely outcome is they will reclassify broadband in new terms (which they do have the authority to do) that brings them more under the FCC's control.  In other words, Comcast may have won the battle, but is about to lose the war.  Badly.

Don't mess with government regulators.  Especially one of the few groups seeking to uphold freedom.  Well, on the Internet.  Super Bowl halftime shows still get the magnifying glass.
Tags: digital rights, news, politics
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