The internet, the FCC and Congress

So, I’m not against the FCC classifying the internet as a common carrier. And surprisingly I’m not against the bureaucracy having control. Because I can’t trust Congress to treat it right. They’ve sold out. The only thing keeping it free so far was the hue and cry from the public every time a new bill came out. Which was regularly. Sooner or later, Comcast was going to slip something past us and we certainly can’t rely on congress to do the right thing and turn away so much money.

On the plus side:

As expected, the FCC’s new rules forbid ISPs from charging Internet users for special treatment on their networks. It will also reach interconnection between ISPs and transit providers or edge services, allowing the FCC to ensure that ISPs don’t abuse their gatekeeper authority to favor some services over others.

That’s great for making sure websites and services can reach ISP customers, but what about making sure customers can choose for themselves how to use their Internet connections without interference from their ISPs? To accomplish this, the FCC has banned ISPs from blocking or throttling their customers’ traffic based on content, applications or services—which means users, hackers, tinkerers, artists, and knowledge seekers can continue to innovate and experiment on the Internet, using any app or service they please, without having to get their ISP’s permission first.

Even better, the rules will apply to wireless and wired broadband in the same way, so you don’t have to worry that your phone switching from Wi-Fi to a 4G network will suddenly cause apps not to work or websites to become inaccessible.

Will there be horrible unintended consequences from this? It is certainly possible. It’s a sad state of affairs when the bureaucracy is more responsive than the people’s representatives.


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