Editor in Chief
- Dec 30, 2010
- Reaction score
- Austin, TX
Net Neutrality is one of the big stories which has dominated the news media from across the Internet, to regular TV news, to even late night HBO television. This is especially true of the FCC's new proposal to create a two-tiered Internet fast lane system.
It's amazing how much of a public outcry there has been regarding this issue. Earlier this year, the FCC even implemented a way for the general public to weigh in on the topic by creating a web landing page where the public can comment. The FCC planned to keep that comment site available for 120 days, but they actually extended the deadline because they have received so much feedback about their proposed changes to the concept of Net Neutrality.
In fact, some of you might have seen the British American Citizen Comedian John Oliver's show regarding the subject in which he called on internet commenters to deluge the FCC with all of their rage. Apparently his show got people's attention, because the day after his "call to action," the FCC website was so overwhelmed with traffic it crashed. (You can check out the video on YouTube here, but be forewarned, it has some R-Rated language, if that matters to you.) Despite his salty language, Oliver's explanation of the situation is very illuminating as it succinctly explains the issue.
The fact that it is even showing up on shows like this just goes to show the massive importance of this topic. Because of this, we thought it would be worthwhile to post a quick tutorial on the full process for commenting on the FCC website. This way, you too can weigh in and let the FCC know how dumb you think their Internet fast lane idea is. For simplicity's sake, we are going to borrow Gizmodo's excellent "How to" reference that they have been posting regularly. Here's a quote from them,
Step one: Visit FCC.gov/comments and find the proceeding with the title "Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet." It should be the one on top and should also have over 20,000 filings in the last 30 days.
Step Two: Click the proceeding number "14-28." You can also try to click this direct link, though it might not work every time. This will take you to the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System. It looks a little janky, but hey, the government built it.
Step Three: Fill out the form. Write about your feelings. Express your concerns. Air your grievances. Provide your real name and address. Hope for the best.
Step Four: Click "Continue" and make sure you like what you wrote. If you don't you can modify your comment. If you do, click "Confirm." ~ Gizmodo
For the sake of full disclosure, I commented at the FCC website fully siding with the idea that Net Neutrality needs to exist. It needs to be left alone and in the same state which it existed since the beginning of the web. The Internet fast lane idea is monumentally stupid and basically amounts to giving the cable companies exactly what they want. As an OP-Ed, I have included my own FCC comment in a quote below,
Net Neutrality needs to be preserved. The FCC's current plan of offering a two-tiered Internet is the opposite of an open and competitive system. If the open Internet, fostered by true Net Neutrality, is not enforced as it has existed since the Internet began, then the FCC will have failed in its duties to protect consumers and protect competition in the marketplace.
This will create an open door for other countries to surpass the U.S. in creating innovative ideas, because they will have an Internet that promotes the free-flowing exchange of ideas, while ours will be held hostage by our cable companies. We will see our businesses outpaced as we waste time, money, energy and ideas being squeezed by the cable companies who only want to control the data flow to increase their already exorbitant profits.
There is nothing wrong with a company wanting to have high profits and offer excellent shareholder value, but we must remain vigilant to the fact that smaller companies and startups have a level playing field on an open Internet protected by Net Neutrality. If we take that away from them, then we allow the larger companies to cannibalize smaller ones which will shatter what makes America great to begin with.
Finally, if you take a step back and evaluate the ultimate direction of Internet technology, it's easy to see that the evolution of broadband will outpace the need for throttling, data caps, or any capitalization on the data flow itself.
A prime example is Google's Gigabit ethernet. The speeds of this service far exceed the capacity of consumers to actually impact the network at all. This shows that the cable companies' claim of having their network slowed down by heavy users is not only fallacious, it is an outright lie.
As broadband technology continues to evolve it will make all of these arguments moot. Do we really want to create a system that allows the cable companies to charge us for how much of that data flow we use when the internet pipeline will be so large our combined usage will barely impact it?
Internet service has always been a "connection to the pipe," not a metered system for the Internet companies to control how much and what we consume from that pipe. Please look at the bigger picture.
~ David Storm, Editor in Chief of DroidForums
The time is fast approaching when the FCC comment section will be gone. Please take the time to share your ideas with the FCC on this important topic.