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FCC Considering a Break With Obama's Thinking on Net Neutrality

Illustration for article titled FCC Considering a Break With Obamas Thinking on Net Neutrality

On Monday, Barack Obama finally stood up for the internet—but the head of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, is said to be 'frustrated' with the President's plan. And that means it may well break with Obama's thinking.

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The Washington Post reports that Wheeler, talking to officials from Google, Yahoo and Etsy at the meeting were this news was announced Monday, appeared "visibly frustrated." Four sources claim that he was heard to say:

"What you want is what everyone wants: an open Internet that doesn't affect your business. What I've got to figure out is how to split the baby."

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He went on to say that he favored a more "nuanced" solution than that laid out by Obama, repeating several times that "I am an independent agency." Ignoring the small dose of megalomania creeping in there, the message is clear: this FCC chairman ain't taking no orders.

Indeed, Obama admitted Monday that the FCC is an independent agency, explaining that "ultimately this decision is theirs alone." Despite the President's best efforts, then, we're really not any closer to knowing how net neutrality governance will fall. [Washington Post]

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DISCUSSION

"What you want is what everyone wants: an open Internet that doesn't affect your business. What I've got to figure out is how to split the baby."

Business comes first.

The interesting thing about Net Neutrality is, for the most part, it is exactly how the internet is designed to work, how it has always worked, and how it mostly still works, today (with any exceptions causing chaos, backlash, and less than appealing consumer response). How dare we lay down a set of rules that we should keep it as such, now that we are under the threat of the internet's backbone being re-shaped in a way that allows businesses and ISPs to extort certain users and businesses who want to get in touch with one-another.

Not only is Net Neutrality a textbook "Conservative" idea to keep things simple and the way they are with the HIGHEST amount of personal freedoms possible, Net Neutrality is GOOD for business. With the exception to the ISPs, who are the only ones who will benefit from Internet re-shaping and "fast-lanes" (remind you of banks controlling interest rates???), It levels the playing field for business. ISPs can't use their power to influence user access and user satisfaction for businesses who can and can't afford to pay the expressway toll. Since Hulu is a Comcast affiliated company, and Comcast is the largest ISP in the nation, of course it's in their interest to throttle, QoS, and otherwise wreak havoc on Netflix's streaming service.

Imagine owning all the roads, all the police, and, oh BTW, I also own Fedex, so I reshape all of the road laws to make sure all Fedex trucks get Ambulance priority. Hmm, but for some reason UPS, DHL and USPS can't compete with those delivery times.

The single worst thing about our political system is that people are now taking sides. THEY'RE TAKING SIDES ON NET NEUTRALITY, that's like debating whether or not we should breathe air. What's polarizing about the issue? If it comes out of the mouth of a Democrat, Conservatives and Businesses have to find a reason to hate it? You know what, screw it. Let's let big businesses weigh in on the subject, as they will ultimately load the pockets of the politicians who will decide on the future of our society. If Businesses want the Internet to be a series of high and low priority roadways and toll roads, they get what they deserve. They will ultimately be the ones who have to pay the tolls to reach their customers.

Remember the Comcast/Netflix shakedown? I'm sure Google, Bing, Apple, Amazon, etc will LOVE being hung by their feet and shaken until money falls out of their pockets.