Blog Post 3
In February, Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took a stand to make the Internet a public utility so that Net Neutrality would be protected under law, specifically Title II. This response to the Net Neutrality issue is the first big step in the right direction. This is great news for the future of the Internet. However, big Internet companies like AT&T and Comcast are not happy with this policy. These companies and their supporters in congress are trying to reverse this policy. AT&T is suing the FCC claiming the new policy is unconstitutional. AT&T and Comcast have succeeded suing FCC in the past for Net Neutrality, but the Title II approach seems to be holding up. On June 11, the federal court refused the broadband industry’s request to delay implementation of a key part of the Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality order. This small victory will not stop these money hungry owners and will keep trying to find loopholes to exploit. For now AT&T and Comcast are relying on their congress buddies to do their dirty work.
Also congress in the pass was tried to make Anti- Net Neutrality but have fail due to internet activist. Laws like S.O.P.A and A.C.T.A had very vague working of Internet that worried many Internet users. Now Congress is trying a much more stealthy approach.
As of June 1, different members of congress are trying to construct laws to overturn the FCC policy. Recently, the House committee voted against two amendments to remove anti-Net Neutrality language from a must-pass government-funding package. This is actually a sneak attack on Net Neutrality. “The anti-Net Neutrality provisions — buried deep within this 158-page bill — would strip the FCC of the money it needs to enforce its open Internet protections. The provisions would also prevent the rules from remaining in effect until after the court cases challenging them have been decided — a process that could take years” (Kroin). This way the FCC will be crippled from enforcing Net Neutrality without the public’s knowledge. Already, a coalition of more than 60 digital rights and social justice groups urged the chairman and ranking member of the House committees to remove the anti-Net Neutrality provisions. Some of these included: Free Press Action Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Media Justice, ColorOfChange.org, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Media Action Grassroots Network, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge and Writers Guild of America West. Other signers include the American Library Association, the Association of Free Community Papers and Etsy.
Not all congressmen are not on the Broadband companies’side. Representative Jose Serrano from New York stated, “Blocking Net Neutrality means blocking the open Internet. My colleagues are trying to give corporations more freedom … while putting more restrictions on individual citizens.”
The funding package is coming closer to a vote before the full House, but there’s still time for members to remove the anti-Net Neutrality provisions. Call Congress before it’s too late.
Brodkin, Jon. “Broadband Industry Loses Bid to Stop Title II Net Neutrality Rules.” Ars Technia. Condé Nast, 11 June 2015. Web. 20 July 2015.
Kroin, Amy. “Sneak Attack on Net Neutrality Picks Up Steam in the House.” Free Press. Free Press, 17 June 2015. Web. 20 July 2015.