Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Net Neutrality Isn't Dead, Because Religion Isn't "Dead"

Some think the network neutrality rules promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission are "dead." That actually is not true.

Whether one believes it is a good idea or not, the U.S. Congress gave the FCC (and also state public utility commissions) broad powers to regulate Internet access in the name of encouraging broadband deployment. 

If the FCC can reintroduce net neutrality rules on the ground that they  “encourage the deployment … of advanced telecommunications services,” as the Telecommunications Act permits, then the rules could be reinstituted.

That not so fine point is just one overlooked fact surrounding the whole debate. The other mostly overlooked fact is that even the old rules had little if anything to do with "blocking" lawful content. The FCC has made abundantly clear all lawful content is permitted. 

The issue at hand for network neutrality is whether any quality of service mechanisms are possible, or whether the only form of Internet access is "best effort."

And that is the problem: network neutrality for some people seems to be a religious issue, not a matter of policy 

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