The recent Federal Communications Commission decision to “protect” net neutrality was long awaited by activists, but it turned out to be smoke and mirrors, catering largely to service providers such as Comcast and AT&T. What is needed now is a collective movement by all Internet users throughout the world, not just the relative few who have been fighting on our behalf, to stop the demise of Internet freedom before it’s too late.
While the new FCC ruling requires that telecom and telephone companies maintain transparency in their policies, it does little to regulate those policies. Chief among the dangerous practices that it will fail to adequately regulate is the imminent “pay for priority” system desired by a few dominant Internet service providers. The FCC’s impotent ruling comes just as it is about to put its seal of approval on Comcast’s merger with NBC International, one of the world’s largest content providers. The conflict of interest is glaring, yet the FCC seems to have missed it; or just maybe regulators intend their decision as a Band-Aid to try to fix the problem.