Net Neutrality — Again…Still…
It's the battle that won’t die. If you spend much time online, you’re probably familiar with the term Net Neutrality. This is the idea that telecom companies have absolutely NO right to give preferential treatment to certain Internet customers — a Fast Lane for their highest-paying premium clients and the Slow Lane for the riffraff.
Since there are literally billions of people using the Internet, this seems like a no-brainer. And the good news is, only a few people actually think it’s a bright idea to allow a few telecom executives to play God with the world’s Internet traffic.
The bad news is: these few people are Republican
The funniest (but not ha ha) part of yesterday’s debate was FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s argument for why Net Neutrality is unnecessary. He said the FCC has the authority to crack down on telecom companies that try to give preferential treatment to one customer over another; and he promised that the FCC will assert that authority as needed. “Trust me” (picture Jack Nicholson’s shit-eating grin).
Kevin Martin thinks we need MORE media consolidation: there are too many small news organizations out there, sharing the pie; it would be so much nicer if two or three mega-monoliths were in control of everything. And this is the person who wants to be the one and only referee — the Decider — whenever there’s a dispute between a telecom company and its customers.
To make everything even murkier, the telecom companies are insisting that the FCC does NOT have the authority to prevent a broadband provider from relegating certain customers to the Slow Lane. Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds like the exact reason that we NEED a law to enforce Net Neutrality.
Think about it: would you rather have a clearly-written law prohibiting murder? Or would you feel perfectly secure if your local police chief said “don’t worry, I have complete authority to protect you and your loved ones. If you think you or a family member is in mortal danger, just give me a call. Ahem — now, uh, you HAVE made a contribution to the Policemen’s Charity Fund now, haven’t you?”
Also in the Funny But Not Ha Ha department: Republicans. When it comes to invading other countries, spying on millions of Americans, bailing out large corporations every time a bad decision was made, regulating everyone’s private life — they’ve never met a big expansive government program they didn’t like. But when it comes to preventing a consortium of mega-corporations from squashing their customers — “Government regulation??? [gasp] oh dear.”
And now: Ted Stevens. He’s probably in the twilight of his senate career — he’s old enough to make John McCain look like a tireless 2-year-old running around the house — but he won’t fade away any time soon. He’s already segueing into his second career as a rapper. He’s channeled his ideas about Net Neutrality — he’s agin’ it — into a kickass techno-rap video.
Check it out: the badass 2 Live Ted-Z. Betcha can’t sit still for this one.
cross-posted at Bring It On!