Just getting word that after millions of dollars spent in intense lobbying efforts the FCC and Obama may finally be giving into the big telecom companies in particular AT&T & Comcast…I think this article below from Alternet explains it best, but I will add a couple of things to think about.
One of the strategies used by AT&T was to go to communities of color, find Civil Rights organizations and in my humble opinion and pay for their silence or advocacy. The list ranged from LULAC to the Urban League which filed briefs siding with the FCC. It makes no sense why organizations which have long spoke about not having voice their voices heard and a seat at the table would go along with any sort of policy that strip that away from the average person who found such an opportunity via the Internet.
Was having sponsorship dollars for the next awards banquet payment enough? Or a some computers for an after school program payment enough? We’re talking about intelligent people here. It would be absolutely trifling to sell out for something that low and glaringly obvious…
As organizations they too stand to benefit if their voices go unfiltered. Meaning that perhaps they along with handful of others will be placed free of charge on the soon to be unveiled Internet fast lanes while the rest of us will be left trying to raise money or get position to be on par as we escape the toll lanes and slow lanes these telecoms say they need to have in order to be viable..
The whole scenario reminds of the scenario that mad so many of us rush off to the internet in the first place. No one liked having to go through the one or two anointed media gate keepers to get the word out to the masses. Its kind of like having that one cat on the radio and everyone has to go kiss his/her ass to get they record played or PSA read. The internet freed a lot of that up and made many of those gatekeepers irrelevant. In the age of information and social media its to the advantage of those in power to become gatekeeper and set up a new class of folks who will have unfettered access and serve that purpose.
For those who are still confused let me explain what is soon to come.. Lets say you have a website that houses your blog or music.. You will have the Herculean task of figuring out who is on what system and making sure your website isn’t in the slow lane. I’m sure some of the big telecoms will announce that for X amount of dollars a month you can be assured that your website will load up just as quick as some of the larger/ mainstream sites. So this means I have to figure out who is on AT&T, who is on Comcast, who is Direct TV and 50 other Internet service providers. They may all have a fee to make sure my site or information loads quickly to their customers. Thats what Net Neutrality was preventing from happening.
So those of you who listened to the Glenn Becks of the world just note he was protecting his own ass when speaking out against NN.. It was a way to make sure he was one of a handful of voices to routinely have access to the masses. Same with many of the other folks who were waving the flag for AT&T.. it was all about HNIC.. being the Head Negro in Charge … being the new media gatekeeper.
Indy Artists who enjoyed duking it out with the majors and handing them their hats, you will have the hardest times, because the main gripe that Comcast was making was they wanted to charge those who use a lot of bandwidth, that comes with streaming, downloading etc.. Its easy for a big company like Universal or Sony to cut deals and make sure their product is readily accessible, but what about the small time artist who has good material but no budget..Sad part to all this is no matter how much you pay there will always be an inner circle including companies and individuals that work for these telecoms who will have the fastest of lanes thsu always having a clear advantage over the average person or the small business looking to make a come up. This is what net neutrality was protecting us from.
Below is a list of Civil Rights orgs that submitted files to the FCC saying they wanted to have the internet DEREGULATED. When your shit starts slowing down, your message filtered or censored ,your music hard to access you and more importantly your fees go up, give these esteemed organizations and people a call and ask them how they intend to correct what will go down as a egregious error. Maybe they can let you use their accounts cause I’m certain in exchange for siding with these big telecoms they got a few perks including unfettered and fast lane access.
Here are recent anti-Network Neutrality filings by organizations of color..
There are more and I will post them later..
Urban League Chapter
National Lesbian and Gay Chamber of Commerce
Latino community Foundation in San Francisco
NAACP in California
Texas State Rep. Robert Alonzo
MANA, A National Latino Organization
100 Black Men of South Metro
100 Black Men of Mobile
100 Black Men of Greater Mobile
100 Black Men of Tennessee
100 Black Men of Orlando
Hispanic Interests Coalition of Alabama
SER: Jobs for Progress
NAACP Mar-Saline Branch
Japanese American Citizens League
Organization of Chinese Americans
Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies
Rep. Yvette Clarke
Obama, FCC Poised to Cave to Telecoms and Turn Backs on Net Neutrality
by Daniela Perdomo
Obama, FCC Poised to Cave to Telecoms and Turn Backs on Net Neutrality
Among the young, forward-thinking demographics with whom Obama, the presidential candidate, was incredibly popular were the digital rights crowd. Obama’s campaign platform promised to ensure net neutrality — the principle that all Internet content must be treated equally by internet service providers, where no content is given preferential treatment by ISPs — if he were elected.
Oh, how things change!
Currently, net neutrality finds itself hanging by a thread, and the Obama administration and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appear to be ready to cave to the mighty telecommunications industry, sacrificing a fair Internet for all.
A few weeks ago I wrote about a court ruling which had net neutrality activists in a frenzy. A federal judge ruled that the FCC had overstepped its authority in demanding that Comcast, one of the nation’s largest internet service providers (ISPs) treat all content equally. (Comcast had been throttling, or slowing down, certain content — particularly file-sharing sites.)
From that story:
The FCC, in enforcing net neutrality, was trying to ensure the Internet remains a level playing field, where no sites are on a “fast lane,” and no sites are on a “slow lane.” ISPs like Comcast have argued that controlling certain sites’ load times will prevent high-bandwidth users — like file-sharers — from clogging the web for everyone else. But it’s a slippery slope. (…)
Beyond preventing the FCC from enforcing equal load times for all websites, the court’s ruling could hamper the FCC’s ability to ensure that internet policy providers comply with digital privacy laws. Further, it could adversely impact the White House’s efforts to increase Americans’ access to high-speed Internet networks. Currently the United States lags far behind other developed nations in broadband speed and reach.
Net neutrality activists, however, were hopeful that if the FCC chose to reclassify internet services as as a telecommunications network — like telephones — they’d be able to regulate ISPs. And there was reason to be hopeful this would happen — the FCC chair, Julius Genachowski, is credited as a contributor to Obama’s tech platform, which included net neutrality, greater media diversity, and increased broadband access.
The best part of reclassification is that it only requires a simple-majority vote from the FCC’s board members — and would neatly sidestep all the bureaucratic red tape and telecoms’ big lobbying dollars in Congress.
Sadly though, a Washington Post article today indicates that Genachowski is expected to leave the broadband industry deregulated — as if under-regulation has ever proven itself a good idea. (Hello, recession of 2008?)
Josh Silver, head of Free Press, a media reform non-profit, put out the following statement on what this means: “If Chairman Genachowski fails to re-establish the FCC authority to protect Internet users, he will be allowing companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to slow down, block or censor content at will. They can block any website, any blog post, any tweet, any outreach by a political campaign — and the FCC would be powerless to stop them….If the FCC fails to stand with the public, it will be the end of the Internet as we know it.”
Given that the Internet is either set to replace or already has replaced the telephone as the most important medium of communication, this is a very scary, Orwellian prospect.