FCC Head Wants to Bust Open Cable and the Internet (But Without Neutrality Rules)

Illustration for article titled FCC Head Wants to Bust Open Cable and the Internet (But Without Neutrality Rules)

A day before the FCC is expected to slap Comcast's Hellboy-like wrist, FCC Emperor Kevin Martin gave the the NYT his big hairy vision for openness for cable, wireless and the internet: He wants to set a "very high bar on what network operators can do in terms of putting limits on consumers." But that doesn't mean he wants true net neutrality, or even actual rules, saying that "hard and fast rules can...have adverse impact." One thing he unfortunately doesn't take a position on is the disturbing trend of data caps from most of the major ISPs, which are technically net neutral, and satisfy his current mantra of full disclosure (i.e., your ISP can rape you, as long as they tell you first). Om has a pretty dire (but probably correct) take on Martin's position (or lack thereof). We might see some rules over on the cable side to force them to open a bit more, if they don't do it of their own volition though:

"The cable operators won't license a device that integrates Internet video content with their content," he said. "I'm saying that's wrong, and I am trying to get the other commissioners to address it."


He hates the cable industry so, so much, and I kind of love him for it (even if it is a smokescreen). If you care at all about the future of the internet, cable or wireless, read the interview, there's a lot there. [Bits]


Funny, I thought the whole point of capitalism is that companies get to pick the product they are selling, and we get to pick which we are going to buy. I guess that only works when you like the products you have to pick from, otherwise we need government involvement.