Friday, May 30, 2014

Congressional Letter - Net Neutrality

I am concerned that the FCC is destroying the Internet in America by ending net neutrality.  The Internet should be tightly regulated as a common carrier, as AT&T (“Ma Bell”) was 50 years ago.  The telephone system then only carried voice; the Internet is much more important since it carries data, music, and video as well as voice.  Nobody watches television broadcast over the airwaves anymore, but the broadcast spectrum is regulated as if it were much more important than the Internet.

Michael Powell decided that the Internet should not be regulated as a common carried when he was the chair of the FCC.  He later went on to reap his financial payoff by becoming president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, where he has continued to argue against regulating the internet as a public utility.

Currently the FCC is proposing an Internet “fast lane” for companies like Netflix, while arguing that this does not violate “net neutrality” because it does not create a “slow lane,” but if there is a fast lane, everybody else is in the slow lane.

Congress can remedy this situation and overrule the FCC by passing legislation strictly regulating the Internet as a public utility or common carrier.  I hope that you will do so.  The recent proposed mergers of Comcast and Time Warner cable and of AT&T and DirecTV show that this field is becoming a monopoly.  Government regulation becomes more important as competition decreases.

Already many countries outrank the US in Internet availability and speed.  I hope that you will take action to prevent American monopolies from destroying this important resource.

No comments: