It’s not too late to send a comment to the FCC regarding its moves toward creating a “fast lane” on the Internet — thereby handing control over innovation and speech to a tiny group of corporations that have amply demonstrated their intention to abuse it. I discussed much of this in my new Guardian column this week.
And here’s what I sent to the FCC separately:
Please reclassify ISPs as common carriers under Title II, with an exemption for small wireless providers.
It is unconscionable for the FCC to permit the monopoly/oligopoly ISPs — specifically the cable and phone companies (the latter via newer fiber deployment) — to decide what bits of information reach end users’ devices in what order and at what speed, or even whether the information reaches them at all. The ISPs insist they will not abuse this power, but there is no record of monopoly/oligopoly businesses NOT abusing power.
It is even more unconscionable that the telecom companies take this position even though they were built initially on the backs of helpless customers who had no alternative to the carriers’ government-granted monopolies.
In addition to Title II reclassification, the FCC should pre-empt all state and local laws forbidding ISP or other telecommunications competition from the public sector. The carriers’ successful lobbying to prevent this kind of service is testament to their anti-competitive motives.
The future of American innovation and free speech could well depend on your decision. Please make the right one.