April 14, 2010 |
Here's an entry in my bizspeak-to-English dictionary: When executives in certain industries talk about needing to be rid of regulation so they can foster "better customer service," they're really talking about safeguarding their income. Case in point: the cable and telecommunications industry, and the concept of network neutrality. Net neutrality, broadly speaking, is the principle that any Internet service provider, such as your cable or phone company, should be largely blind to whatever data flow to your computer from the websites you access -- your service provider shouldn't interfere with your Web searches, say, by giving Google preferential routing (and thus faster speed to you)
February 3, 2014 |
This post has been corrected, as noted below. Entering the home stretch of his congressional career, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) is trying again to let the federal government regulate the Internet just enough to preserve the status quo. And this legislation is almost guaranteed to meet the same fate as his last bill on the topic back in 2010: It will run into a brick wall of GOP opposition. Waxman's proposal would overturn a recent appeals court ruling that barred the FCC from enforcing the "net neutrality" -- excuse me, "open Internet" -- rules it adopted (with its two Republican appointees dissenting)
August 7, 2010
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski's first major initiative — a proposal to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all legal Web traffic — is foundering. The chairman sought a compromise with opponents of the proposed "Net neutrality" rules, holding a series of talks with major Internet service providers and Web companies. But the commission halted the discussions Thursday as reports spread that Google and Verizon, which have been negotiating privately for almost a year, were about to propose their own, less regulatory framework for Net neutrality.
March 21, 2014 |
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took to his company's blog this week to call for the implementation of strong net neutrality rules. Hasting's blog post comes about two months after a federal appeals court disallowed government regulations that ensured equal access to the Internet for all users and companies. This concept of equal access to the Internet is known as net neutrality. "To ensure the Internet remains humanity's most important platform for progress, net neutrality must be defended and strengthened," Hastings wrote.
April 25, 2014 |
A common assumption underlying the Net neutrality debate is that broadband ISPs will impose tolls on content providers, and content providers will pass those costs on to consumers, if only the Federal Communications Commission lets them. Witness this passage from a piece in Friday's Los Angeles Times about the Net neutrality proposal being floated by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: " 'It could create a tiered Internet where consumers either pay more for content and speed, or get left behind with fewer choices,' warned Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union.
January 14, 2014 |
Advocates of a free and open Internet could see this coming, but today's ruling from a Washington appeals court striking down the FCC's rules protecting the open net was worse than the most dire forecasts. It was " even more emphatic and disastrous than anyone expected," in the words of one veteran advocate for network neutrality. The Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit thoroughly eviscerated the Federal Communications Commission's latest lame attempt to prevent Internet service providers from playing favorites among websites--awarding faster speeds to sites that pay a special fee, for example, or slowing or blocking sites and services that compete with favored affiliates.