Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA-9th) is supporting the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) “Open Internet Proposal,” or “Net Neutrality.” Are you terrified yet? Update 10-23-09 below.
Boucher believes we need a new rule, where we have none now. He’s already working on how to defend a court challenge, and he wants to modernize wireless.
As I read through this report on the proposed rule, I think it actually tells us nothing, although the public has until January 14th to comment on it.
The FCC wants to ensure “openness” for the Internet. The FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, says there is a consensus among board members that:
“…we should move forward with a healthy and transparent process on an open Internet.”
Sounds like a good idea. On our behalf the FCC, which plans to destroy talk radio, is trying to protect us. Create a rule, and create an opportunity for those managing the rule:
The FCC goal:
Internet rule that would prevent telecom network operators from
barring or blocking content based on the revenue it generates.
Some telecommunications services are apparently against “openness” through net neutrality – companies like AT&T, Verizon and Qwest. They say net neutrality will:
“strip them of the ability to manage their networks effectively and would stifle innovation and competition.”
I will be the first to say that I do not fully understand the problems of managing networks effectively. I know that my internet service works very, very well. I’m not threatened by the revenue I generate (smiles). Things zip along well for me. But the “net neutrality” rule will apparently cause some problems:
…prevent operators from discriminating
against any legal content a third party wants to deliver to
consumers on their networks, though it allows for “reasonable”
network management to unclog congestion, clear viruses and
spam, and block unlawful content like child pornography or the
transfer of pirated content.
Quite frankly, that means nothing to me. What I think the FCC is trying to do is to effect a “rule” where there is none now. Once a rule is established, the rule can be changed.
Of course, Google has an opinion about this, and Google and Verizon issued a joint statement. From that statement, here is what stood out to me:
First, it’s obvious that users should continue to have the final say
about their web experience, from the networks and software they use, to
the hardware they plug in to the Internet and the services they access
online. The Internet revolution has been people powered from the very
beginning, and should remain so. The minute that anyone, whether from
government or the private sector, starts to control how people use the
Internet, it is the beginning of the end of the Net as we know it.
The Google-Verizon joint statement ends with “transparency is a must.” Now how can we know we will have transparency? We can’t.
We have a Democrat president who doesn’t like a particular news network and speaks about it openly. The FCC Commissioner, Michael Copps is on record saying this, in what he called the American Media Contract 2007 (guests were Jane Fonda, Helen Thomas, Jessie Jackson, Senator Bernie Sanders, among others):
We expect these:
1. A right to media that strengthens our democracy
2. A right to local stations that are actually local
3. A right to media that looks and sounds like America
4. A right to news that isn’t canned and radio playlists that aren’t for sale
5. A right to programming that isn’t so damned bad so damned often
And what do the American people — who own the public airwaves, by the
way — get in return? Too little news, too much baloney passed off as
news. Too little quality entertainment, too many people eating bugs on
reality TV. Too little local and regional music, too much brain-numbing
national play-lists. Too little of America, too much of Wall Street and
As I asked in a previous article, who decides what America “looks and sounds”like?
Who decides if the news is “canned” or not”
Who decides what strengthens our democracy?
Obama’s FCC transtion leader is a far-left attorney, Henry Rivera, who talks a lot about social justice. Rivera is the chair of the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council. This is what he wants the FCC to do:
1) funnel more “federal advertising” to minority media
2) allow foreign ownership; relax U.S. trade barriers to provide “overseas capital,” for minority broadcasters
3) develop “constitutionally permissible yet non-dilute method of defining” the class [race] of licensees, i.e., “an applicant’s race would be one of the numerous factors considered when the Commission reviews a license application.”
4) change the FCC Commission to a more diverse Commission – it should look like America
In addition, Rivera wants a blue-ribbon panel discussion, now,
to bring Communications to the table by creating a White House Cabinet
position, and he advocates for “localism” to prevail when issuing
broadcasting licenses – a position to be seen in Copps’ comments above. “Localism” means increased minority ownership, including women, from the local community. The big boys go away. Won’t radio be fun when this happens.
These are frightening, dangerous people. The FCC is considering these undemocratic measures for radio. Do we want them “regulating” the internet?
Thanks to David Lemon, Master of Bronze
Comments from Rep. Marsha blackburn (R-TN):
Net neutrality, as I see it, is the fairness doctrine for the Internet,” she said. The creators “fully understand what the Fairness Doctrine would be when it applies to TV or radio. What they do not want is the federal government policing how they deploy their content over the Internet and they want the ISPs to manage their networks and deploy the content however they have agreed on with ISP. They do not want a czar of the Internet…
Senator John McCain has just introduced legislation to “prohibit the FCC from governing communications.” McCain’s bill is titled the “Internet Freedom Act.” A snippet of text from the bill:
…the FCC “shall not propose, promulgate, or issue any regulations regarding the Internet or IP-enabled services.”