What Is Net Neutrality?
Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
Net neutrality is the idea that broadband operators shouldn't be allowed to block or degrade Internet content and services–or charge content providers an extra fee for speedier delivery or more favorable placement.
In November 2011 I wrote about the government attempt to control the Internet Protect IP Act (PIPA – S.968) and Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA – H.R.3261).
The title of the article was “The Government and American Censorship: 1984 in 2011.”
I searched the New York Times to see what the newspaper that (“Prints all the news fit to Print”) had to say about the bills. My search produced this reply.
Your search – Protect IP Act (PIPA – S.968) and Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA – H.R.3261). – did not match any documents under All Results Since 1851.
The most vital part of our economy and job growth at the moment is the Internet. These two bills will destroy this monumental jobs creating machine.
It is another piece of lunacy brought to you by our federal government. I wonder how many Representatives and Senators have read the bills.
“There are two very disturbing bills making their way through Congress: These bills are coated in rhetoric that I find disgusting since at their core they are online censorship bills. It’s incredible to me that Congress would take seriously anything that censors the Internet and the American public but in the last few weeks PIPA and SOPA have burst forth with incredibly momentum, largely being underwritten by large media companies and their lobbyists.”
Let me remind everyone that large media companies offered huge support to President Obama and the Democrats in congress. These bills are congruent with the large antiquated media”s vested interest and President Obama’s goal of central control over our lives.
EFF, Free Software Foundation, Public Knowledge, Progress, Fight, Participatory Politics Foundation, and Creative Commons in support of free speech and a free and open Internet are opposing the bills and have organized American Censorship Day for tomorrow (11/16/11). The goal is to make every American aware of this new trick play and stop this lunacy.
This video does a great job of explaining the two bills’ potential primary and secondary impact. I do not believe our congressional representatives understand the impact of the bills.
Someone is trying to railroad passage through congress.
PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.
Both failed to pass in congress because of the overwhelming outcry by the technology community.
President Obama promised the American public he would issue regulations through executive orders and agency powers to enact laws that congress failed to enact.
When President Obama was running for president in 2007 and 2008 he was a strong proponent of Net Neutrality.
At that time President Obama was asked: "Would you make it a priority in your first year of office to reinstate Net neutrality as the law of the land? And would you pledge to only appoint FCC commissioners that support open Internet principles like Net neutrality?"
"The answer is yes," Obama replied. "I am a strong supporter of Net neutrality."
The White House announced: President Obama is strongly committed to Net Neutrality in order to keep an open Internet that fosters investment, innovation, consumer choice, and free speech. The announced action by FCC Chairman Genachowski, building on the work of Chairman Waxman's collaborative effort to craft legislation in this area, advances this important policy priority.
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In 2014 President Obama hires a lobbyist Tom Wheeler who is a former telecommunication lobbyist. Mr. Wheeler is opposed to Net Neutrality. The president has the FCC issuing regulations that oppose Net Neutrality and transfer great power and a complex bureaucracy to the federal government.
It represents another broken promise by President Obama.
“Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler went ahead with his proposal on Thursday to give his agency the power to decide whether the terms and prices of broadband Internet services are "reasonable."
This is another power grab by the central government to have control of the Internet. The concept is once again not covered by the traditional media in an understandable way.
As a reaction to satisfy the “Net Neutral” community Mr. Wheeler said the goal is not to have a fast and slow speed Internet no matter how much broadband they consume.
Mr. Wheeler said he prefers the "reasonable" pricing standard. But he also suggested another, even worse option to regulate broadband prices: reclassifying Internet connections as "telecommunications services."
A reader of my blog wrote, "Can you think of anything that the U.S. government does really, really well?"
“For two decades Congress has wisely refused to give the FCC the same power over the Internet that it holds over the telephone system. And for two decades the Internet has enabled a gusher of creativity that was unimaginable over a century of regulated telephony. “
Regulators from every state will also be able to get into the act. I cannot imagine it will be regulated for the benefit of consumers. There is something strange about all the telecoms companies merging with each other in the past few months.
“Mr. Wheeler's brainstorm to change all this is simply to pretend the Internet is a phone network.”
Since this designation would automatically impose myriad obligations that have nothing to do with current customer needs—and that many modern firms could not possibly fulfill—the commission would then have to issue a flurry of exemptions ("forbearance" in FCC parlance) to prevent chaos in the market for Internet connections.
The FCC is inventing an Obamacare for the Internet. It is enacting an unworkable system upon a system (the Internet). Then the FCC will have to get busy issuing waivers which will prevent the new system from operating as it was theoretically designed to operate.
The telecommunication industry will have a field day at the expense of the public.
“GOP Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, who also dissented, notes that the FCC's net-neutrality campaign "rests on a faulty foundation of make-believe statutory authority."
Imagine all the costs, confusion, lawsuits, legal fees, and regulations that will occur to restrict the freedom of the internet and all the innovations in commerce the Internet has created.
The elimination of Net Neutrality is all about increasing government power, restricting individual freedoms and shifting the costs of government’s inefficient control on to consumers.
Anna Eshoe is the ranking Democrat on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee. She has pointed out that the new FCC wording has not fooled Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
“Like many Internet users, I fear that the latest round of proposed Net Neutrality rules from the FCC will not do enough to curtail discrimination of Internet traffic, but rather leave the door open to discrimination under more ambiguous terms.”
The new regulations diminish Net Neutrality while empowering government bureaucracy. The online gatekeepers threaten free speech, harm competition and diminish the continued openness of the Internet. The proposed regulations do not protect the freedoms and available to consumers and businesses in a Net Neutral environment.
Barack Obama promised in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns that he would enforce Net Neutrality. He has not kept that promise.
The affect on Americans’ freedoms will be as bad or worse than Obamacare.
Please write to your congressmen and President Obama and ask them to preserve Net Neutrality.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone
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