As the war over net neutrality
rages on, the Internet Association fired off the latest volley by supplicating the FCC
with concerns and a mandate to take decisive action
on the issue. The IA’s voice is bolstered by a chorus of major tech companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Google
, Yahoo!, and more.
“Segregation of the Internet into fast lanes and slow lanes will distort the market, discourage innovation and harm Internet users. The FCC must act to create strong, enforceable net neutrality rules and apply them equally to both wireless and wireline providers,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of The Internet Association, in a blog post.
The IA posits three tenets to net neutrality that it wants the FCC to enact. They are as follows:
1. Internet Users Should Get What They Want, When They Want It
2. Internet Users Should Get What They Pay For
3. All Networks Should Have Equal Protection
To the first point, although it sounds perhaps a bit childish, what the group really means by it is that Internet users shouldn’t have to worry about censorship or discrimination, and they shouldn’t be affected by anticompetitive behavior, either.
The second point covers the issue of so-called “fast lanes” which the IA is explicitly against, and the third is about ensuring that the rules of the Internet apply equally across all wireless and wired networks and that the Internet remains open and decentralized.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
These comments are a good show of force to the FCC, but one wonders what good it will do. Instead of taking a stand one way or the other, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
seems to be a true politician and is striking a posture of compromise between those advocating net neutrality and companies with an interest in exerting more control over the Internet.
Compromise is often the best means of resolving contentious situations, but this is not one of times. Internet access is key to growth, education, communication, commerce, and more, and it must be protected.