Cos (cos) wrote,

Net Neutrality comment I submitted

The FCC is taking comments about its proposed new policy for net neutrality. Here's what I submitted:

    I've complained to my city government about our broadband Internet service provider only to hear their frustration about their inability to get another option for us. Once one company has installed the infrastructure, it's very hard to entice another to come in. I look longingly at neighboring towns that have two options for high speed Internet at home. Two options is what we aspire to and cannot achieve. *Two!*

    Whatever goals the FCC had in mind when you chose the contrived policy of treating last-mile high speed Internet companies as "information services", those goals have failed. They've failed so completely, so deeply, so fully, as to make Donald Trump's presidential campaign look bright and hopeful in comparison.

    High speed Internet to the home is a utility, and in the US, it is a monopoly. Regulate it like the utility and monopoly that it is. Start by taking the obvious and natural step of classifying these providers as "telcommunications" providers, which is what they clearly are, and as common carriers, which is what they should be but have been able to avoid acting as so far.

What I'm alluding to in the last paragraph is the idea that the FCC should classify cable Internet and similar home Internet providers as "telecommunications", similar to phone companies. This would require them to allow other companies to offer service over their wires. Other countries, such as the UK, already do this, and the result is that you have a much broader choice of high speed home Internet companies, and real competition between them.

In the US, the FCC decided a long time ago to treat cable Internet and similar as "information services", the idea being that there would be a variety of companies offering high speed Internet to the home though other means, like large wi-fi networks, satellite, fiber, and new things yet to be invented. So there was no need to declare the one company that laid wires to your house a "common carrier". Clearly that plan went well :) That's what I'm alluding to in my second paragraph.

Over 128,000 comments have been submitted to the FCC on this already! You can give them your comments - click on "14-28 Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet". You don't need to make long or detailed comments. Plenty of people are submitting very simple requests like "protect the open Internet" or "reclassify Internet providers as common carriers" or "make sure Internet providers treat traffic from everyone equally and fairly".

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