Crushed by a stampede of petitioners, the FCC extends net neutrality comment period
Crushed by a flood of commenters, the FCC has extended the open comment period for their Open Internet proceedings until Friday. When we wrote about the importance of net neutrality back in May, the FCC had opened the door for open comment, and that window was due to close today. But after having been smashed yesterday and today by people like you registering their thoughts with the FCC about how best to address net neutrality, the FCC has extended that window to Friday.
You can submit your comments to the FCC at fcc.gov (if you can get it to load), or simply by emailing email@example.com
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.
Here's an analogy. Say you buy a book from amazon, and you pay for priority shipping. That means you are paying more to the post office for that book to get to your house the next day. What anti-neutrality folks are advocating for is that the post office should be allowed to ignore that you paid an extra fee and tell amazon priority shipping will only be respected if they pay something extra as well! After all, amazon has provided them with so much business they had to buy an extra truck. :-/
Proponents of net neutrality have created a fake sense of urgency with this issue... I say can we not at least wait and see if this imagined specter comes to pass before we subject ourselves to a complex regulatory scheme which may have many unintended consequences?
The arguments in favor of net neutrality are based on fear but I say at the very least we wait and see... Who know... Maybe prioritization of some traffic will be helpful. After all I don't care about latency while streaming video but I care very much while playing a game... Perhaps preferential treatment of some types of data can actually benefit the consumer. If net neutrality becomes law we will never know.
Remember new laws can be made at any time... I would urge everyone to at least wait until there is a problem before trying to "fix" it.
Although Net Neutrality didn't exist formally, the internet has always operated under that simple rule. Writing that simple rule onto law doesn't over regulate anything. It's simply keeping things the way they are! Not doing so gives companies with virtual monopolies the power to regulate whatever they want, by taxing any web company they want for any amount they want. Over regulation is bad no matter who does it. Net Neutrality ensures companies large and small can continue to innovate and compete on a level playing field, and most importantly, keeps things simple and transparent for customers.
1: "Corporate interest" literally ARE the internet. Every single function of the infrastructure that makes up the internet is create to make money by people that want to make money. It drives me nuts when people with only a passing understanding of the functioning of the internet get up on a soap box and act like the internet is some great utopia that somehow just sprang into being for the betterment of mankind and must be protected like a fragile rose from money grubbing corporate interests. Wake up and smell the coffee: The internet is created, operated and funded by those corporate interests you seem to so hate... Without them it would wither and die immediately.
I'm not saying this is good or bad... It just is.
2: We do not have any evidence that this negative scenario you are laying out will ACTUALLY occur. It could just as likely result in a positive outcome that improves everyone's service.
3: If the negative portion of this scenario actually comes to pass we can make laws to correct it at that time.
Finally: What do we have to lose by taking a wait and see approach? Is there any compelling reason to create new laws NOW rather than waiting to see if there is even a need for them?
My concern is that poorly written regulation now may not fully address every possible negative impact on users or (more likely) it is written with too broad a brush resulting in inadvertently outlawing technologies that could actually be helpful. History has shown so far that the internet does pretty well in the absence of regulation... Amazingly well in fact. Why jeopardize that over a problem that may or may not ever occur?
Especially when we consider that the internet seems to be an industry that has flourished in a relative absence of regulation... No need to change that paradigm in response to problem that *MIGHT* occur.
Also you picked a select few counties with a overall high level of service per unit of cost. The united states ranks above MOST first world countries where data is often sold in chunk (vs the "all you can eat" scenario we normally have in the US).
As for the Netflix vs Comcast argument: I have heard only here say from parties with a bone to pick with ISPs. I have yet to see any hard evidence that shows that there was some sort of conspiracy.
Finally (again): Most people in major cities have a choice of more than one ISP (they could use cable, DSL, cellular network, or satellite).
Would it have been a good thing if the government had not created geographic monopolies for cable and phone service providers? Yes very much so... But that ship has long since sailed and we have what we have... Could it be better? Yes of course. Do the ISPs have customers over a barrel? Hardly.