Its always said where there’s smoke there’s fire but in the case of the Republicans, when they start having a hissy over some proposed new rule or regulation its best to take a second look. In the Hill a piece entitled “Cruz Warns of Obamacare for Internet“. In typical slavish obedience to his corporate masters, Cruz hammers away hysterically at the last vestiges of reason left in his audience. The Hill reports Cruz as carrying on, “Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet,” Cruz said on Twitter Monday morning. “The Internet should not operate at the speed of government.”
The Hill also adds that, “Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who is expected to become the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee next year, added his fear that Obama’s demand “would turn the Internet into a government-regulated utility and stifle our nation’s dynamic and robust Internet sector with rules written nearly 80 years ago for plain old telephone service.”
Yet when one reads further into the story and does a little scoping for the truth what comes up is quite a different story. Net Neutrality is obviously not a healthcare plan for the intertubes although nearly all of us might need some serious healthcare if we wake up to find our internet dominated by Disney and the History Channel.
The current dispute over the Obama administration’s proposal to reclassify ISP’s as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act would allow the federal government to install guidelines to ensure that ISP’s do not attempt to split internet access into a multi-tiered platform. If this were to happen (which is want the large ISP’s want, large providers able to pay high fees will get high speed access to offer at higher rates to their customers (corporations) while the smaller and less monied providers will be left with slower ISP service. Most likely the cost will be so high that only large providers with specifically geared marketing content interests will dominate the internet that you and I will see the most of.
On the Free Press blog today is another explanation:
The President Might Have Just Saved the Internet
This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post.
During his first run for the White House, Barack Obama promised that he would take “a back seat to no one” on Net Neutrality.
Today, the president finally got in the driver’s seat.
Early this morning, President Obama issued a clear and powerful statement of support for real Net Neutrality — one that left no wiggle room or confusion about where he stands.
The short summary for anyone who has been following the debate over Net Neutrality: THIS IS HUGE.
The president’s statement is worth quoting at length:
An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.
‘Net Neutrality’ has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today I am asking the Federal Communications Commission to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect Net Neutrality.
As a result, access to news that covers all interests and most importantly questions the powerful in that society (in America most likely big business and its close ties with government) will not get aired. Content will be tacitly reviewed and any content that might be perceived as too challenging, controversial or digging too deep will not get aired.
Like television today where the costs prohibit an individual or small group to have their own station only those with the funds and able to keep the funds rolling in have stations. Like television as well the interests will more than likely be commercial to pay the high fees demanded of the large ISP’s and thus content will be geared to market that pays, which will mean gearing content to the lowest common denominator.
The demise of PBS stations have reflected the move most people have made to the internet, but it also reflects the commercial and marketing nature of television; without large funds rolling in the station dries up. While we won’t get into a conversation about whether the government should have continued to support public broadcasting, the fact that its support has been drastically cut is reflected in its content. Gone is cutting edge journalism and creative and diverse content. Do we want our internet to become the same dead space that Springsteen once railed about in his song “57 Channels and Nothing on?”; a dead space of empty advertising and brainless programing?
Even beyond the most basic is the fact that the FCC itself seems to have far too much undue influence by the large ISP companies and cable companies that want to make the internet their private profiteering route. Suffice it to say, the is far from dead or dormant and people need to pay attention and take action where needed.