July 18 – Net Neutrality FCC Deadline For Comments Extended

The deadline for the first round of comments to the FCC on the subject of Net Neutrality has been extended to Friday, July 18.

According to John Oliver, the only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are “featuring Sting.” He went on to explain that Net Neutrality is “actually hugely important.

This short video explains why. To paraphrase Colombia Law Professor Tim Wu:

Imagine an electrical network that wasn’t neutral. You’d buy a new toaster, you’d come home, plug it in and discover that because the grid owner had made a deal with the other toaster manufacturers, your new toaster wouldn’t work.

If you believe in a land of opportunity, then you believe in the open internet. Most Democrats believe that broadband networks should be treated as a utility, a common carrier, and the FCC should simply reclassify them as such.

Some argue that reclassification introduces an unnecessary burden of regulation on the carriers, and that we’d be better off without it, but as Cory Doctorow outlines in the video “If you’re going to take a public subsidy, you can’t draw the line at delivering public benefit.”

If politicians think we trust the present Congress to draft new, meaningful, lightweight regulation in place of reclassification then I have a (network) bridge to sell them.

Regular voters of every political persuasion know the carriers’ arguments stink. We all know the answer to the question Lawrence Lessig asks, “If Verizon had controlled the Internet, would Skype have been allowed?”

Please post a comment to the FCC today to add your voice to this important question. We know that “the whole politics changes when people show up”. Today the Internet helps us to do this. Tomorrow, ?

Just send an email with your comments to: openinternet@fcc.gov or Tweet @TomWheelerFCC

John Loughlin
Chair Communications Committee, Point Loma Democratic Club
and card-carrying member of the ACLU.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Point Loma Democratic Club of which he is a member.

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