One of the most recent controversies surrounding the Internet in the US concerns the FCC’s proposal for open internet rules having direct impact on the concept of Net Neutrality. Net neutrality is what makes the Internet a fair and leveled playing field for all. Net neutrality is considered the fundamental precondition to the growth and entrepreneurship on the Internet.
On May 15, 2014, the FCC released an unofficial announcement informing the public that it is launching rulemaking on how to protect and promote the open Internet. This announcement, almost immediately, spiked an uproar among the Internet community pointing out that FCC’s proposal would de facto hinder the Internet as we know it. As many news providers reported, this proposal, under section 706 of the Telecommunications Act, would effectively undercut the very idea of a leveled and open Internet because it would create a so-called ‘slow’ and ‘fast lane’ for the Internet speed and thereby allowing for companies to pay Internet providers to deliver content to customers more quickly. Moreover, this proposal comes under the leadership of the FCC’s Chairman Tom Wheeler, who was appointed to his current position in November 2013 after spending years being one of the top lobbyist for the cable and wireless companies.
The FCC has opened its proposal (proceeding number 14-28) for public comment through June 27, 2014. Those interested in commenting may utilize the FCC’s inbox for Open Internet Comments and send an email to the listed email address, or you may file a comment using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System. This proposal has already generated over 42,000 comments that can be viewed here.
- Elise Hu, John Oliver Helps Rally 45,000 Net Neutrality Comments to FCC, NPR All Tech Considered (June 3, 2014).
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Net Neutrality, YouTube (June 1, 2014).
- News Release, Federal Communications Commission, FCC Launches Broad Rulemaking on How Best to Protect and Promote the Open Internet (May 15, 2014).
- Jacob Kastrenakes, The FCC Wants to Hear Your Comments on Its New Net Neutrality Plans, The Verge (May 15, 2014).
- Adi Robertson, The Real Battle for Net Neutrality Just Began, The Verge (May 15, 2014).
- Tom Wheeler, Setting the Record Straight on the FCC’s Open Internet Rules, Official FCC Blog (Apr. 24, 2014).
- Laura Sydell, Life Outside the Fast Lane: Startups Wary of Web Traffic Plan, NPR All Tech Considered (Apr. 24, 2014).