Monday, December 20, 2010
Al Franken is not joking. Internet freedom on verge of being destroyed by the FCC...
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was expected this week to vote on a set of so-called "Net Neutrality" rules that some Democrats believed would fulfill a key Obama campaign promise to ensure all Internet traffic is treated equally.
Instead, rules authored by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski would allow for a greater fractioning of the Internet and data rationing on mobile and wired networks, according to analysis of the policies. Major network stakeholders like Verizon and AT&T would be able to sell bandwidth in capped tiers, with overage charges for users who download too much information, and certain types of data traffic like peer-to-peer file transfers could be banned altogether.
If they pass and telecoms are allowed to move forward with their plans, "the Internet as we know it would cease to exist," Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) concluded in an editorial published by Huffington Post.
"That's why Tuesday is such an important day," he continued. "The FCC will be meeting to discuss those regulations, and we must make sure that its members understand that allowing corporations to control the Internet is simply unacceptable."
Franken added that Genachowski "has been calling the CEOs of major Internet corporations seeking their public endorsement" of a bill that would actually "destroy" the principle of "Net Neutrality."
He also called "troubling" the fact that President Obama and Genachowski have campaigned "convincingly" for "Net Neutrality," yet now appear poised to deal its death blow.
"Imagine if Comcast customers couldn't watch Netflix, but were limited only to Comcast's Video On Demand service," Franken continued. "Imagine if a cable news network could get its website to load faster on your computer than your favorite local political blog. Imagine if big corporations with their own agenda could decide who wins or loses online. The Internet as we know it would cease to exist."