Entries Tagged 'FCC' ↓

Letter From EFF on Net Neutrality

If you don’t know about the Electronic Frontier Foundation, here is an e-mail request I just received from them to sign a petition to the FCC.  It would be great if you could do it as well, it’s important.  Here’s the letter, the link is at the bottom for the petition.  Thanks!

“Last fall, the Federal Communications Commission proposed rules for “Net Neutrality” — a set of regulations intended to help innovation and free speech continue to thrive on the Internet.

But is the FCC’s version of Net Neutrality the real deal? Or is it a fake?

Buried in the FCC’s rules is a deeply problematic loophole. Open Internet principles, the FCC writes, “do not…apply to activities such as the unlawful distribution of copyrighted works.”

For years, the entertainment industry has used that innocent-sounding phrase — “unlawful distribution of copyrighted works” — to pressure Internet service providers around the world to act as copyright cops — to surveil the Internet for supposed copyright violations, and then censor or punish the accused users.

From the beginning, a central goal of the Net Neutrality movement has been to prevent corporations from interfering with the Internet in this way — so why does the FCC’s version of Net Neutrality specifically allow them to do so?

Go to the Real Net Neutrality petition to tell the FCC that if it wants to police the Internet, it first needs to demonstrate that it can protect Internet users and innovators by standing up to powerful industry lobbyists. Sign your name to demand that the copyright enforcement loophole be removed:


Electronic Frontier Foundation”

Letter to Congressman Regarding Net Neutrality

I’ve been entertained lately by Fox news and some other reading on net-neutrality.  So much so, in fact, I felt obliged to write my Congressman John Hall, who is in district 19 here in NY.  The last letter I wrote to him was begging him not to vote for Bush’s money for the banks bill that Congress really had no time to review.  He went ahead and voted for it anyway, which was disappointing.  Alas, I digress.  Here is the letter I sent him:

“It is imperative for the future success of our country that you form stringent opposition to Sen. John McCain’s proposals against net neutrality. Net neutrality is making the infrastructure neutral, meaning data is data no matter who put it on the wire.

Forcing people (or allowing) payment in return for priority on the national grid is absurd, and will only serve to keep and strengthen the basic oligopoly that stands to weaken and destroy our country.
Separating the infrastructure from the content providers is paramount to quality, affordable prices, and universal access to services. It is time we catch up to the rest of the world on this issue. We have gone from 4th to 15th in broadband penetration due to the policies of the last administration, and cannot afford to slip backwards any longer (even though we are still declining.) Please read the Berkman Broadband Study (Harvard University) here: http://www.fcc.gov/stage/pdf/Berkman_Center_Broadband_Study_13Oct09.pdf which was presented to the FCC for a better understanding of what the government policies across the globe have accomplished as compared to ours here in the United States. It is very well researched and makes it very obvious where Mr. McCain gets his money. They spend less, and their country gets more. The trend is not in our favor, and will only get worse if we keep or strengthen the current policies in place today.

Don’t let us down!

I try to stay informed the best I can on this issue, and hopefully when it comes time to vote, we can see some real change.  Here is the response I received from Congressman Hall:

Thank you for contacting me about “net neutrality.”  I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue.

Over the last decade, the Internet has grown and evolved at a rapid pace. People now shop online for clothes, cars and even groceries. People can buy music and movies and download them immediately. They can also send photos and home movies to friends and family all over the world.  The development of the Internet has revolutionized the way people communicate, innovate, and do business all over the world.

I believe that much of the Internet’s ability to spur innovation and change is rooted in the ability of individuals to enjoy equal access to a wide array of sites and services.  There is significant concern that this principle, known as “net neutrality,” could be undermined by 2005 decisions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)and the U.S. Supreme Court that broadband Internet service is an information service as opposed to a telecommunications service, and therefore not subject to the more stringent regulations that govern telecommunications services.  Specifically, questions have been raised about whether or not telecommunications providers will be able to create a “two-tiered” internet that will allow individuals to connect to provider-owned or favored sites and services more quickly than those run by competitors or small businesses and groups that cannot afford to pay for high-speed preference.

I am concerned that compromising the principle of net neutrality would undermine the fundamental principle of open access that has fueled the growth of the Internet, and could hurt consumer choice, discriminate against sites involved in public discourse or espousing political views, and disadvantage small businesses.

I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as Congress considers this issue. Please feel free to contact my office whenever I might be of assistance to you.

What I am particularly concerned with, is this quote:

“the fundamental principle of open access that has fueled the growth of the Internet, and could hurt consumer choice, discriminate against sites involved in public discourse or espousing political views, and disadvantage small businesses.”

The rest of the world has been putting in place legislation that truly affords open access to the backbone, whereas our legislation has not.

If you managed to read this long-winded post (and maybe even that Harvard study linked up top in my letter), tell me what you think.

How do you feel about net neutrality?

If you care about a free and fast internet…

Berkman Broadband Study
Please visit the above link and read their pdf, a worldwide broadband review for the FCC. It outlines why the infrastructure of the United States is outdated and ultimately fails us as a society.  There aren’t enough providers because the companies who laid out the infrastructure (on our dime) also control who gets to use it, even though we heavily subsidized their implementation as taxpayers.  This Harvard study seeks to inform our government what has worked worldwide to advance other countries telecommunications policies, and why they are “winning” a technology race.

I think the only thing to get the average person in this country to get up and voice their opinion is to be scared about being behind.  If this research doesn’t wake you up and get you to vote for a better future, nothing will. Here’s to hope about getting rid of the terrible oligopolies in the US, and to a brighter future (with faster internet :D .)

Please read this and exercise your voice to the FCC about it.  People who install cable shouldn’t have the final say in who gets to use it, as they are given heavy subsidies and grants to install it.  They should be broken up into separate businesses and made to compete, like everyone else has to do.