Net neutrality: The world speaks its brains on secret 'open' 'net rules

Not a 'meh' in sight

Comment Look at this photo of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler holding hands and smiling with the two Democrat commissioners who backed his "open internet" regulations, the pair wearing vivid blue outfits. It sums all that was both good and worrying about the decisions today to pass secretive net neutrality rules.

Here, we see a historic debate on internet access in America, a crucial complex technology, jump the tracks and career into a quagmire of politics. Jubilant Dems on one side, the Republican commissioners who voted against the net neutrality rules on the other.

Let's turn to the President to set the record straight:

Today's FCC decision will protect innovation and create a level playing field for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Uh-uh, innovation, business, playing fields, all American traditions. Tell me more.

I ran for office because I believed that nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change...

Ah, jeez. What did we expect? It was Obama who told Wheeler to install net neutrality regulation.

The press will surely rise above this partisan nonsense. Just take a look at Fox News, whose business anchor wrote this: "Of all the government interventions by the Obama administration, the plan released Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet is the worst. Yes, ObamaCare is massive and is clogging one-sixth of the economy. But even before ObamaCare..."

It seems we may need a new version of Godwin's Law but for Obamacare instead of Nazis.

Of course, this is just the Right being sore losers. The other side of the house is far more dignified and won't turn it into a nauseating gloatfest– oh, hang on.

Leading Democratic Senators Praise FCC’s Adoption Of Net Neutrality Rules

Here we go: "Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Al Franken (Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ed Markey (Mass.), and Cory Booker (N.J.) issued a joint comment Thursday following a vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on updated open Internet rules…"

Of course they did. But they won't have claimed some kind of moral victory for all Americans because that would be just…

The Democratic Senators who joined to release today’s comment have been outspoken in their support for a free and open Internet for all Americans. “We join with millions of Americans in celebrating today’s victory for consumers, innovators and entrepreneurs…

We daren't even look in the red corner.

Senior Republicans conceded on Tuesday that the grueling fight with President Obama over the regulation of Internet service appears over, with the president and an army of Internet activists victorious.

Wait, what?

And Republicans on Capitol Hill, who once criticized the plan as 'Obamacare for the Internet,' now say they are unlikely to pass a legislative response that would undo perhaps the biggest policy shift since the Internet became a reality.

“We’re not going to get a signed bill that doesn’t have Democrats’ support,” said Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota and chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. “This is an issue that needs to have bipartisan support.”

Well that's, that's just terrific. Finally Congress is starting to work together on issues for the betterment of all Americans. OK, nope. Here's Thune's official statement after the vote:

Despite the Federal Communication Commission’s partisan action to approve a 317-page power grab over the Internet, the fight to keep the Internet unburdened from regulatory overreach is far from over. As parties line up to challenge this action in court, it will soon be time for Congressional Democrats to review the situation… Only action by Congress can fix the damage and uncertainty this FCC order has inflicted on the Internet.

Ah yeah, that's more like we'd imagined. Right, so what about businesses – do they approve of Thursday's decision?

Here comes the wireless industry's lobbyists, the CTIA:

The FCC’s Net Neutrality decision was disappointing and unnecessary: consumers across the U.S. have – and will always have – access to an open mobile Internet. By ignoring the fundamental differences in wireless networks and disregarding the intense competition throughout the mobile ecosystem…

We'll take that as a no. What about the people who set this whole thing off by suing the FCC. What have you got to say for yourselves, Verizon?

Dot Dash Dash.

What?

Dash Dot Dot Dash.

What the hell are you talking about?

We're making a point about how old the regulations are that the FCC is applying by producing a press release using Morse Code.

Fsck me stiff. You do know that this was all your fault, right? Or are you hoping we wouldn't remember? What's next in my inbox... Ah: LULAC.

Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director, issued the following statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission vote on net neutrality: “Today’s FCC decision to reclassify broadband as a public utility…

Who is LULAC? The League of United Latin American Citizens.

…Today’s FCC decision to reclassify broadband as a public utility will not help low income, Latino and other minority communities in their quest to get online nor will it prevent ISPs from charging consumers for faster speeds.

Well, that's how Latin Americans feel about it. Anyone else?

The FCC Threatens Investment and Innovation with Net Neutrality

And who is saying this?

Hance Haney

You mean Lance?

No, Hance.

And who are you, Hance?

A Discovery Institute Senior Fellow. And I want you to know that 'Today’s party-line vote by the Federal Communications Commission to reverse three decades of bipartisan communications policy threatens to jeopardize investment and innovation in the network by opening the door to the possibility of pervasive regulation.'

Noted. Now is there anyone here WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS SOMETHING ABOUT THE INTERNET?

Hi, yes.

And you are…

Sally Wentworth, Vice President of Global Policy Development at the Internet Society.

So presumably this is the best thing ever, and the FCC and Obama have saved the internet.

Regulatory approaches that could affect the sustainability of the global, open Internet need to take into account the technical reality of how networks are operated and managed.

Sure. Makes sense, but so what?

Allowing the necessary technological flexibility to keep pace with rapid innovation is integral to ensuring the continued growth and success of the Internet.

With you so far, but are the mystery rules great or evil?

We believe we need to be careful that this flexibility is not undermined by the use of a regulatory framework designed to govern the old telecommunications system.

Aha! They're evil!

These are complex issues and working to maintain the benefits of an open Internet presents us all with an ongoing challenge. We look forward to reviewing the full text of the FCC's Order once it's released.

What do mean "once it's released"? This is all done and dusted. We've got net neutrality, baby! The internet is free again! Rejoice! [You may want to look at this. Kieren's had enough net neutrality for today – ed.] ®




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