President Obama is demanding that the FCC reclassify the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. He wants rules to ensure “that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online."
Elise Hu of NPR’s All Tech Considered reports that the president sees reclassification of the internet as the best way to achieve the objectives of an open Internet: No throttling of some content and speeding up others, no paid prioritization — customers getting stuck in a "slow lane" because the sites they are visiting didn't pay a fee — and no blocking content. According to Hu, big ISPs — Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner — and their trade associations and lobbyists argue that the Title II option would lead to suffocating regulation that would give them no incentive to invest millions in developing new technologies and maintaining or improving the current network connecting Americans to the Internet.
The FCC recently floated a “hybrid" plan, which proponents of net neutrality oppose because, they say, it would still allow Internet service providers to make deals with content providers for special access. In the meantime, Senator Ted Cruz compares net neutrality to Obamacare, arguing in a Washington Post op-ed that "government-regulated utilities invariably destroy innovation and freedom” and that “If the federal government seizes the power to regulate Internet pricing and goods and services, the regulations will never end."
We’ll see what you think on Tuesday’s AU. Our guests will include Jonathan Choate from SD7 Technology Group in Logan; Jason Williams, small business and online marketing strategy consultant and owner of FOZ Technology Solutions, Inc.; and Joshua Steimle, who lives in Hong Kong where he’s opening a branch office of his online marketing firm MWI, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City. His article from May 2014 in Forbes is titled “Am I the Only Techie Against Net Neutrality?”