Saturday, February 21, 2015

Net Neutrality

What is "Net Neutrality?"

Before I begin, I would like everyone who doesn't fully understand what "Net Neutrality" actually is, to please watch the video below:

<a href="">NY Times Video</a>

[ Ref: ]

That being understood, your internet connection is currently totally controlled by the Internet Service Providers like TWC, ATT, Verizon, Comcast and etc. They really do have the power to control every aspect of your internet connection, from your connection speed, to being able to block out certain websites, domains, and IP address. This also includes your internet browsing history, and online activity which can be used against you in court. This means it's up to you to learn about, and practice safe conduct online!

That much power in the hands of the "movers of the packets", and the "keepers of the bandwidth" sounds almost scary, doesn't it? In fact, in order to run the network you are subscribed to, they have to control the network traffic to make it work all work. There is no way around it.

To protect our rights, and be able to set standards for everyone to be truly "net neutral", there becomes the need to have rules set up be make sure everyone plays fair. Agreed?

As President Obama points out in the video below, Net Neutrality is protected under Title II, of the Telecommunications act of 1996.

[ Ref: and ]

This is all well and good, and since there is no monopoly of the almighty bandwidth by any one giant corporate entity, you always have the right to vote with your dollar, and switch ISPs. This forces the ISPs who don't want to lose their customers to be competitive and honest, and it also keeps prices down for the end user (that's us!). This is how business is supposed to work in the USA, right?

At this point I would like to steal a line from the late Paul Harvey, and say:

"And now... the rest of the story."

Tom Wheeler

"Thomas Edgar Wheeler (born April 5, 1946; Redlands, California) is the current Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in November 2013. Prior to working at the FCC, Wheeler worked as a venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry, with positions including President of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA)."

[ quoted from: ]

At face value one could say that Mr. Wheeler has all the experience needed to lead the FCC, because he understands the infrastructure and how business is done from his telecom experience. The problem comes with if he and the federal government takes more control over the internet, and decided to start imposing federal Taxation. This would shift the power to the FCC over more issues than just Net Neutrality, and may take away the competitive edge for the existing telecom companies. In other words, Mr. Wheeler would know just how to take over the internet, and put it under total control of the FCC. And if he is still a venture capitalist, this would be a major conflict of interest and highly illegal.

According to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson

"We have now, under the president's urging with the FCC, moved from pursuing a free and open Internet to regulating the Internet end to end."

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"Ajit Pai, one of two Republican Commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), inferred in a tweet that President Barack Obama’s secret, 332-page “Net Neutrality” document is a scheme for federal micro-managing of the Internet to extract billions in new taxes from consumers and again enforce progressives’ idea of honest, equitable, and balanced content fairness."
[ Ref: ]

In conclusion, this reporter believes that Net Neutrality is a very important thing to maintain, but not if it puts the Federal Government in total control. We are net neutral as it is now, and we are currently regulated under a telecommunications act originally from 1934 by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and reclassified in 1996 by Bill Clinton. Internet technology has changed quite a lot since 1996, and another reclassification may be in order. But I never like when the Government keeps all the fine print a secret from the public when they pass new laws.

I am going to pass on supporting the reclassification, until we know what is actually in the mysterious 332 secret pages! Total Federal Government Control is the opposite of "Net Neutral"!

Jeff Bechter ~ February 25, 2015

All reprinting rights hereby granted, in the interest of informing the public.