Michi on Net Neutrality

I have been pretty quiet on the net neutrality issue. This was mainly because I have been so involved with LPFM at the time that I did not have any additional bandwidth (pardon the pun) to address this issue.

I have heard the arguments for NN such as it promotes a "free" and "open" internet.

I have heard the arugments against NN such as it will discourage broadband providers from investing in their networks resulting in "dial-up" speeds as well as those who think that the FCC is going to now "control" the internet equating it to the filtering that some governments like China use. Then you have those who just have issues with an African-American president. Yes, no matter what, we blame Obama.

What will NN mean to me? It will mean that I can develop applications without worrying about having them blocked.

For LPFM stations, it means that Comcast and Verizon can't block your stream in favor of "preferred" providers such as iHeart Radio or Pandora. It also means that those streaming providers can't get priority or a fast lane while slowing down non-preferred traffic.

I have heard the argument that there will be "new taxes" as a result of a Title II service. Title II has no impact on taxes. We are waiting to hear about whether broadband subscribers will be required to participate in the Universal Service Fund which currently funds telecommunications services for low income persons, libraries and schools. I have dealt with Title II services in my past life and unless there is some substantial changes in Lifeline services which there has not been since the mid-80s (remember Commissioner Clybourn's "parachute pants" remark?).

Verizon has already bellyhooed using Morse code to get their message across and I expect that from the broadband giants. These companies are still competitive and by many houses across America, there are at least two choices for broadband services. The broadband providers are going to do what they can to retain their existing customers and win over new ones. I don't see this network decay that the Republican supporters are predicting.

Also promising is the Commission's order preempting state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that were attempting to prevent the establishment and expansion of competing broadband networks.

Again, thank you to all of the organizations that were involved with the fight for NN. Sorry I could not be along for the ride but I had to take care of other pressing business.