FCC caving on net neutrality

May 4, 2010 | By | 1 Reply More

Josh Silver of Free Press is reporting terrible news on the issue of net neutrality:

On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that the Federal Communications Commission is expected to abandon its pledges to protect Net Neutrality and to ensure universal, affordable broadband. The story cites anonymous insiders confirming that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is “leaning toward” siding with the most powerful phone and cable lobbyists on a crucial decision: whether the FCC will have any authority to protect an open Internet and make it available to all.

It is a testament to the phone and cable industry’s overwhelming influence that they seem to have convinced the nation’s communications agency to swear off authority to protect Americans’ right to open communications. But it is stunning that Genachowski would even contemplate allowing it to stand, given President Obama’s repeated pledge to ensure fast, affordable, universal Internet broadband for every American.

The FCC has the power to correct the damage done by a recent Court of Appeals decision that has heightened this crisis. Josh Silver explains:

In early April, a a federal appeals court ruled that, based on decisions by the Bush-era FCC, the agency lacks the authority to regulate broadband providers. In so doing, the court effectively handed control of the Internet to companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon — allowing them to slow down or block any website, any blog post, any tweet, any outreach by a congressional campaign. The FCC no longer has the power to stop them. Fortunately, the FCC does have the power to easily fix the problem by “reclassifying” broadband under the law. All it would take is a vote by its five commissioners — and Genachowski already has the votes.

This is your chance to take action–it will take you 3 minutes to write to Chairman Julius Genachowski–remind him that he represents the People of the United States, not the telecoms. Or as Art Brodsky of media public interest group Public Knowledge says,

The telephone and cable companies will object to any path the chairman takes . . . He might as well take the one that best protects consumers and is most legally sound.


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Category: Internet, Politics, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (1)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Good news from Free Press:

    Today, Chairman Julius Genachowski blinked. He backed away from the cliff and announced he was moving to implement broadband policies that will preserve the open Internet and promote universal access.

    This decision was an epic loss for AT&T and Comcast and their multi-million dollar lobbyists — but a solid victory for the rest of us, including the more than 1.9 million Americans who've demanded that Washington take a stand for Net Neutrality.


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