The net neutrality battle has been lost. Now we can win the war

Marvin Ammori writes: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals just issued its long-awaited decision striking down the FCC’s network neutrality rule. This is the second time in four years that this court struck down the FCC’s attempt to adopt a network neutrality rule. It is now legal for AT&T or Verizon to block Slate, your blog, or any other site.

Even though the Internet touches every part of our lives, one person is to blame for potentially destroying its potential for innovation and freedom of expression: former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

The court loss was even more emphatic and disastrous than anyone expected. But this defeat comes with a silver lining: It may force the new FCC chairman to act.

“Network neutrality” is sometimes called “Internet freedom” or “Internet openness” and is a legal principle that would forbid cable and phone companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast from blocking some websites or providing special priority to others. It would forbid Comcast from blocking Facebook or Bing. It would forbid Verizon from, say, charging the Huffington Post for special service to load more quickly than Slate.

Without network neutrality, cable and phone companies could stifle innovation. Imagine if, years ago, MySpace or AltaVista had cut deals with cable companies to block Facebook and Google. Without network neutrality, telecom and cable companies could also stifle free expression. They’d have the legal right to block articles like this one. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “The net neutrality battle has been lost. Now we can win the war

  1. pabelmont

    If we’d scream if China or USSR (Russia now) did it , we should scream LOUDER if USA does it or if corporations do it.

    Network access (DSL, FiOS, telephone) SHOULD BE REGULATED AS A PUBLIC UTILITY and not subject to either political or economic interference by the providers.

    A 1-cent tax for emails would be fine if enacted by law (like the cost of postage stamps) but not if enacted unilaterally by internet-gateway-access-providers.

  2. Paul Woodward

    On this idea of taxing email, it would be worth considering reviving what was the original practice with postage: the cost is paid by the recipient.

    That would mean the instant death of spam! And it would turn subject-line writing into a fine art.

Comments are closed.