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Tech at Night: Lots more Net Neutrality

Tech at Night

Alright I admit it. I’m kicking off tonight’s Tech at Night with this article from NationalJournal.com because it mentions me. I like feedback.

But seriously it’s an important overview of Net Neutrality with respect to the conservative grassroots and the TEA party. Our side has been resistant to any action (Because as Digital Society points out, we don’t support action for its own sake), but the Obama FCC just might not give us any choice on that.

In fact, the FCC’s express words for months have been telling us that we won’t have a choice on that. The runaway FCC must be slapped down before they claim broad powers with Title II reclassification, and Congressional leaders have to take the lead on that.

One thing though, the closing quote in the National Journal piece isn’t quite right:

“If legislation is needed to stop the FCC from carrying out its ‘third way’ proposal, it will be up to industry to sell the idea to the tea party,” said Paul Raak, head of legislative affairs at the Independent Telephone and Telecommunications Alliance. “Otherwise, the tea party will always be negative on net neutrality.”

It’s not just industry. I’m also here to make the case. The FCC can do so much damage, including price and content controls, if we don’t stop them. Think of how tightly regulated and taxed phones are. Can our economy afford that kind of choking effect on the Internet? I don’t think so.

I’ll close tonight with something very technical. One way that, even under more radical Net Neutrality proposals, customers and ISPs could get around regulation would be to forego traditional Internet services and go with more specialized “managed services.” So of course the FCC is talking about regulating those as well. Nothing is too private for the FCC to get involved. There’s no pretense of something being public that demands regulation.

Once again, we need [legislation] to stop this ever-expanding scope that the FCC is claiming for itself. We have to save the real open Internet by stopping regulation, and say no to the Orwellian rhetoric of radicals like Free Press, who are claiming that only through tight government controls can we be free. But we know better.

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