Protests FCC's 'Waffling' on Net Neutrality

Lora Bentley is tired of waiting. Tired of waiting and sick of watching the Federal Communications Commission waffle on the net neutrality rules. That's why supporters served a waffle breakfast to FCC members Thursday morning.


The group was trying to make a point, according to Free Press managing director Craig Aaron, whose organization is leading the campaign. In an e-mail, Aaron told Broadcasting & Cable:

The longer the FCC ponders the politics of net neutrality, the longer the public is left unprotected. The public can't afford to wait much longer for the FCC to stop waffling and move forward on enacting real net neutrality rules to ensure that the Internet remains open for everyone.

The protest comes as a result of the agency's decision yet again to table further action while the public comments on whether net neutrality rules should apply to wireless services, and whether special services that are delivered via wired broadband connections should be subject to the same rules as well. Those particular issues came to the forefront when Google and Verizon took it upon themselves to propose their own framework for net neutrality regulation, which oh-so-conveniently did not include wireless or specialized content delivered via broadband.


Critics, of course, don't like that plan because it leaves room for Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and others to create tiered services where customers pay more for certain types of content. Media Access Project, among others, has consistently urged the FCC to classify wireless and wireline broadband as telecommunications services and championed low-cost universal access. The broadband and wireless providers, on the other hand, argue that restrictions on price structure will stifle innovation and market competition.


The differences between the two sides are ideological - such that no amount of negotiation and compromise will result in a solution that will make both sides happy. (Hence the FCC's unsuccessful attempts at such compromise.) That's why the FCC just needs to bite the bullet and make a decision.

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