The FCC, through Gigi Shon, who works for the office of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, took questions on Twitter yesterday ahead of the organization’s vote of its new proposed regulations regarding the internet.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn this, but it turns out that internet users are a little defensive of the internet.
#FCCNetNeutrality if you get rud of net neutrality you get rid of future innovation
— MPLSVagabond (@K3ithTurb0) May 13, 2014
Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont and a long time supporter of internet freedom, had one of the more popular responses:
He wasn’t the only politician to tweet at Shon. Anna G. Eshoo, who represents California’s 18th District, also weighed in with a question, and the chairman himself came out of the woodwork to respond
— Tom Wheeler (@TomWheelerFCC) May 13, 2014
Title II refers to a section of the Telecommunications Act that allows the FCC to regulate telecommunications and cellular companies. The internet currently falls under Title I classification, which doesn’t allow for as much regulation.
Perhaps the biggest endorsement, internet recognizability-wise, of Net Neutrality came from Reddit co-founder and internet defender Alexis Ohanian
— Alexis Ohanian 7️⃣7️⃣6️⃣ (@alexisohanian) May 13, 2014
Ohanian also did his own Reddit AMA with Senator Ron Wyden, a staunch defender of Net Neutrality.
The internet was regulated under net neutrality laws for most of its existence until a D.C. District Court shot it down back in January of this year. Net neutrality requires that ISPs treat all information on the internet as equal, preventing the ISPs from slowing down or speeding up content depending on that company’s relationship with the ISP.
Title II was something mentioned often by Twitter users and something both Shon and Chairman Wheeler stated was still under consideration. The broadband companies that stand the most to gain by striking down net neutrality rules recently wrote a letter to congress asking it to prevent the use of title II to regulate the internet. They say the broadband market is “too competitive” to require the regulation.
The internet is currently unregulated, a situation some say forced Netflix into coming to an agreement with some of the larger ISPs in the nation. The proposed rules, which will be voted on tomorrow, would allow ISPs to sell better access but not slow down companies it doesn’t have an agreement with. Critics say that by giving certain companies faster access, the proposed law effectively does the same thing as installing a so-called “slow lane.”
[Photo Credit: Steve Rhodes]