March 24, 2015 — And you thought net neutrality was becoming old news. Well, that is not the case. FCC Comm. Ajit Pai recently put out a press release that basically threatened new taxes. Hmmm…isn’t that line pretty old already?
It seems like more and more “right wingers” are coming out with that same old rhetoric – new taxes, more regulation, bureaucratic bumbling, etc. Although to be fair, I was kind of surprised at what the Internet Society had to say. From the Internet Society: “We are concerned with the FCC’s decision to base new rules for the modern Internet on decades-old telephone regulations designed for a very different technological era.” Now that is a smart statement because it has a valid point. Even I can see that if this is going to work, the regs will have to fine tune on how the Internet is managed by the feds.
Another rather colorful individual, John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation says that, “Title II is for setting up monopolies, not tearing them apart. We need competition, not regulation. We need engineers not lawyers.” Interesting statement from a former Grateful Dead Lyricist and Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. But his perspective is one typical of a free-spirited musical type with one foot in the cyber future, the other in libertarianism. I can respect his opinion better than that of such individuals as Scott McNealy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and chairman of Wayin, who make another substance-less statement, “This is another process for government officials, elected officials, to create unneeded controversy so that they can get both sides of the argument to donate a heck of a lot of money to keep themselves in power, and continue to drive the regulation economy.” Paranoia anyone?
In reality, most of this revolves around the same rhetoric because we are heading into an election year, and with the Republican caucuses heating up in Iowa, net neutrality is sure to be manipulated by this party to be the incarnate of evil for the masses.
Weigh in with me on this one…
Ernest Worthman is the editor of Small Cell Magazine.