Net Neutrality Back On The Table… In A Reasonable Way?
from the could-it-be? dept
Just a week ago, it looked like the telcos were going to get everything they wished for, when a new telecom bill showed up, with all the previously discussed language on net neutrality missing. On Monday, even former FCC chair Michael Powell told net neutrality supporters to give up on that lost cause, suggesting (bizarrely) that the government couldn’t do anything because it’s “broke.” However, it appears that the loud protests, many of which came from big tech companies, have made some politicians realize that there are other corporate donors out there besides the telcos. Rep. Joe Barton, who just last week said there was no need for net neutrality seems to have changed his tune, now saying that a new version of the bill will have some net neutrality provisions included. Basically, the bill punts the issue to the FCC, but gives them the ability to deal with net neutrality complaints — even (surprisingly) demanding that they respond to such complaints within 90 days. Another amendment being considered would basically require fairness in any tiers the telcos put together. In other words, if they offer a high speed/high QoS tier for their own voice or video offering, they would have to offer that same tier to other voice and video services. While there’s still plenty of time to have this mucked up, this may be a reasonable compromise at this point. Even recognizing that Kevin Martin’s FCC has been known to give the telcos everything they want, giving the FCC the power to deal with any violations makes a lot more sense than trying to write all potential issues into the law (which would most likely be disastrous).