Why All the Hype Over Net Neutrality?
Learn what net neutrality is all about and why it's so important.
Though, as of this writing, the official word has yet to come from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency's proposed net neutrality rules are expected to pass when the vote is taken Tuesday.
Wireless Week reported Monday that the commission has the votes to adopt the rules after commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Michael Copps confirmed their support. Though the rules are not as strong as Clyburn would like, the story says that she supports them because they will "protect consumers as they explore, learn and innovate online."
That doesn't mean the rules won't face stiff opposition in Congress, however. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has vowed to use the new Congress to block the rules. According to The Huffington Post, McConnell said:
This would harm investment, stifle innovation and lead to job losses. That's why I, along with several of my colleagues, have urged the FCC chairman to abandon this flawed approach.
And lest anyone think Republicans are the only ones voicing concerns about the issue, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is also speaking out. In his own Huffington Post guest piece, Franken wrote:
[T]he draft Order would effectively permit Internet providers to block lawful content, applications, and devices on mobile Internet connections ... Mobile networks like AT&T and Verizon Wireless would be able to shut off your access to content or applications for any reason. ...
The FCC has never before explicitly allowed discrimination on the Internet-but the draft Order takes a step backwards, merely stating that so-called "paid prioritization" (the creation of a "fast lane" for big corporations who can afford to pay for it) is cause for concern.
He says if the FCC passes the rules, he'll be outraged.