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Net Neutrality Updates 9/10/19

One More Time: Just Because The Internet Didn’t Explode Doesn’t Mean Killing Net Neutrality Was A Great Idea

from the feigned-ignorance dept

By now we’ve well established that the FCC ignored the public, ignored the experts, and ignored all objective data when it killed net neutrality rules at the behest of telecom monopolies.

One common refrain by Pai and and the industry (and many folks who don’t understand how the broken telecom market works) is that because the internet didn’t immediately collapse upon itself post-repeal in a rainbow-colored explosion, that the repeal itself must not be that big of a deal. That ignores the fact that ISPs are only largely behaving because they’re worried about the numerous new state level net neutrality laws passed in the wake of the federal repeal. Not to mention the 23 state AG lawsuit against the FCC (which, if victorious, would restore some or all of the rules).

None of that matters to the Chicago Tribune editorial staff, the latest outlet to proclaim that because your internet connection still works, ignoring the public and letting AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast dictate US federal internet policy must not have been a bad thing:

“The FCC did vote to nix net neutrality, effective June 2018. A year-plus later, broadband download and upload speeds have quickened rather than slowed. Internet providers haven’t bifurcated service into different speeds for rich and poor households. Mobile networks, too, move data more swiftly than before. Broadband investment in better technology again has accelerated. And if baseball fan Chuck Schumer has missed a pitch, blame his bat speed, not his data speed.”



Where do the 2020 presidential candidates stand on net neutrality?

One of NTEN’s core beliefs is that the internet is vital to our daily lives and that it should be affordable and accessible to all people. We use the internet every day for things ranging from registering for health care, managing appointments, and talking with doctors to accessing education and communicating with family member’s schools. From finding and applying for jobs to engaging in social and civic life locally and nationally. That’s not to mention how necessary the internet is for nonprofit organizations to function, communicate internally, and serve their communities.

Net neutrality is the principle that all internet service providers (ISPs) should provide access to all content and applications equally without preference for the source or destination of the content. Net neutrality is significantly impacted by who is president because the president is the one who appoints the chairman of the FCC, the governing body on internet related policy.

With Open Internet Under Assault, 2020 Democrats Urged to Sign Pledge to Reject Telecom Cash and Restore Net Neutrality

“If net neutrality is not restored, the public will lose the ability to access sites, run small businesses, and tell the stories too often ignored by the mainstream media.”

The podium at a news conference in the Capitol on March 6, 2019. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A diverse coalition of nearly 20 progressive advocacy groups launched a new campaignMonday urging 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to reject campaign cash from the telecommunications industry and commit to restoring net neutrality.

“It’s not enough for candidates to simply say they support net neutrality.”
—Mark Stanley, Demand Progress

The organizations are calling on all Democratic primary contenders to sign a pledge vowing to “publicly call for the restoration of strong open internet protections” and turn down “contributions from phone and cable company executives, lobbyists, and PACs.”

The groups are also demanding that the Democratic presidential hopefuls vow to appoint Federal Communications Committee (FCC) commissioners who will:

  • Restore all of the Title II-based net neutrality rules, enforcement authority, broadband competition and consumer protections the FCC eliminated in 2017;
  • Enforce a ban on circumventing net neutrality at the point where data enters ISPs’ networks; and
  • Ban harmful forms of ‘zero-rating’ that advantage some apps over others or require apps to pay fees.

Mark Stanley, communications director of advocacy group Demand Progress, said in a statement that paying lip service to net neutrality is not sufficient in the face of the Trump FCC’s far-reaching assault on the open internet, which resulted in the total repeal of net neutrality protections in 2017.

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