Daily Kos, 5 May 2014
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has been reacting to the backlash against his proposal to gut net neutrality with a lot of excuses for why he’s ready to give the internet away to the big service providers, despite the fact that President Obama—the guy who nominated him for this job—has been a proponent of net neutrality since 2006. Wheeler speaks as though he doesn’t have any other options than giving this big gift to the industry, but that’s not true.
For example, there’s this fix proposed by Mozilla, which the company has filed with the FCC.
Instead of thinking of an Internet service as a connection between a broadband provider and a subscriber, the agency needs to recognize that there is also a third party involved in the relationship, it said in a blog post. Subscribers are using that Internet service to connect to Websites, apps, and content providers.Mozilla is proposing the FCC create a new definition for these relationships by calling them “remote delivery services.” And as such, it says it should be regulated like a Title II communication service under the Communications Act.
“Our petition asks the FCC to adopt a modern understanding of the Internet in a way to reach Title II directly and quickly,” said Chris Riley, senior policy engineer at Mozilla.”This will also ensure that the FCC can adopt meaningful Net neutrality rules with no blocking and no paid prioritization that will stand up in court.”
Mozilla believes that this is a more direct route for the FCC to justify what it needs to do to keep net neutrality—reclassify broadband essentially as a utility that can be directly regulated like other “common carriers” like phone companies. The FCC has the clear legal authority to reclassify internet service providers, although right now it appears not to have the political will. The big broadband providers, such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, wouldn’t like it a bit and for right now, that’s who has the FCC’s collective ear.
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