The US Federal Communications Commission’s soon-to-be-proposed rules on net neutrality reportedly won’t stop American broadband providers from giving better service to people that pay for it. That stinks. This was the agency’s big chance to lock down a set of regulations that will keep the internet free and open, and it’s letting America down.
In fact, the FCC has had a lot of chances to save net neutrality and, in a way, the internet. Past plans have run aground for a variety of reasons, but this time it seems the FCC has straight-up reversed its stance on the pay-to-play issue. As The New York Times put it, it’s a “complete turnaround”, one that happens to be in the best interests of huge corporations like Comcast and Time Warner. Why? It’s hard to say.
The FCC’s well-documented revolving door to the telecom industry could certainly have something to do with it. Heck, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler himself was a big shot telecom lobbyist before he took control of the body that regulates the telecom industry.
We’ll know more specifics about the rules on Thursday when the draft is released. There will also be a period of public comment before the FCC meets on May 15 to discuss the rules. If you care about the future of the internet, you should speak up. Because a future without net neutrality probably isn’t one you’d want to live in.