Monday, December 20, 2010

Obama's FCC Prepares To Fuck Net Neutrality

Timothy Karr:

Late Monday, a majority of the FCC's commissioners indicated that they're going to vote with Chairman Julius Genachowski for a toothless Net Neutrality rule.

According to all reports, the rule, which will be voted on during tomorrow's FCC meeting, falls drastically short of earlier pledges by President Obama and the FCC Chairman to protect the free and open Internet. 

The rule is so riddled with loopholes that it's become clear that this FCC chairman crafted it with the sole purpose of winning the endorsement of AT&T and cable lobbyists, and not defending the interests of the tens of millions of Internet users. 

Welcome to AT&T's Internet

For the first time in history of telecommunications law the FCC has given its stamp of approval to online discrimination.

Will any vestige of the 'net full of small blogs we all know and love survive? Or will the 'net become like cable TV, served by the big players who can afford the tolls, players who deliver content they think you should have? Stay tuned. If putting up and serving a blog becomes something that requires real money to provide an acceptable bandwidth, I'm outta here.

UPDATE: Craig Aaron's piece is well worth reading.

UPDATE: according to the NYT,  the primary deficiency of the regs to be voted on in about an hour is that it permits wireless carriers to restrict content. If I understand correctly, that means AT&T, Verizon, etc. can sell their own version of the 'net, with no obligation to carry content products that compete with their own. Hey, kids, let's play Monopoly™!

UPDATE:  Now the AP describes the regs in terms exactly opposite to those of SaveTheInternet etc. Either I have misunderstood completely or (as I think more likely) the AP will say anything its corporate masters want it to say. Time will tell.

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