FCC Ignores Congress, Approves Net Neutrality – What It Means to You
Numerous communications groups, businesses, freedom advocates and others are condemning the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) decision. The internet was considered one of the last "free' parts of American business and technology.
Net Neutrality is a fancy term for taking the internet as we know it, and regulating it by the government as if it were utility - such as those who supply power or water to a community. Net Neutrality will force internet service providers (ISP's) to live under a new umbrella of federal regulations, especially when it comes to content delivery and costs.
It's this, in a nutshell:
"the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites."
Now at first glance, that might sound all nice and fair. But what it's going to do is completely unravel the current system we are under. Suppose you don't want an overly expensive internet package for your home. You're not a gamer, you just want cheap internet that works. Ours at home, is just $29 dollars a month. (If you want to know who our ISP is, email me, John McKay). That might go away, if this one-size-fits-all plan is actually enacted. It's going to put pricing, services available, and quality, all under federal regulation - and we saw what happened with the Healthcare exchanges. Do you want those people overseeing your ISP?
Gone will be the ability for service providers to provide various tiers of services, based upon a free-market system of what people are willing to pay. Companies soon find out that if their proposals aren't working, they won't stay in business long. The ACLU likes the idea, but defenders of freedom don't.
It's largely because of the heavy hand the government will have on companies such as Comcast, Verizon, Charter and others. The government will be calling the shots on what programs, services and products are offered - not the free market.
Predictably, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee applaud the move. Inslee's statement sounds eerily similar to ones echoed about redistribution of wealth:
"I applaud today's decisive Open Internet decision by Chairman Wheeler and the Federal Communications Commission. The internet is far and away the greatest economic, social and civic tool of the modern age and by their vote, the FCC has recognized that all Americans must continue to get open and equitable treatment, free of discrimination. This is a big win for Washingtonians who create, innovate or communicate on the internet."
Perhaps the most disturbing part of this is the FCC, under the control of President Obama, completely by-passed Congress and made their own decision. Such groups as Americans for Limited Government, had this to say:
"The FCC has voted to do that which Congress has denied — and that's essentially to rewrite the 1934 Communications Act to treat broadband Internet as a utility under Title II. Whatever the merits of 'net neutrality,' the fact is that this entire process has been designed to avert the traditional, constitutional lawmaking process. It also creates much regulatory uncertainty, since broadband was previously treated as exempt 'information services' providers by the FCC in 2002. This is a dysfunctional regulatory precedent where an agency can simply change its interpretation of law depending on the partisan composition of the board. That is not the rule of law, it is rule by executive decree. Why even have a Congress?'
Now, the federal government will have to come up with a set of rules and regulations to enforce net neutrality, for an industry is doesn't understand. Most experts agree the feds are 20-25 years behind in understanding how technological the digital age is.
By the time the FCC and feds finish their regulations, it will be for technology, equipment and services that are already obsolete...therefore, they're useless.