FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is Pushing for Net Neutrality, Bravo!
Update: The FCC lost the battle for net neutrality, so it seems the war must be fought by vocal customers. The court shot down the FCC’s attempt to regulate Comcast. It was defended by Michael Powell, a former FCC chairman and currently co-chairman alongside Comcast and Verizon over at Broadband for America.
“Well before the presidential election and the FCC’s new commitment to draft net neutrality rules, the broadband provider community had committed themselves to open Internet principles and were running their business consistent with their consumers’ wishes for access to content and applications of their choosing, as well as the freedom to connect Internet devices to their connections,” Powell wrote.
On the table at the Federal Communications Commission is a proposal that will enact strict rules which will prohibit Internet Service Providers, such as Comcast and Time Warner, from blocking certain types of web traffic.
If this proposal passes, the companies will no longer get to choose which content or applications get top billing for the highest bandwidth. This is a very good thing.
Hulu is an Example
The Internet has been a great enabler of innovation and has helped countless businesses expand and achieve great economic growth. However, when one of these innovators are burgeoning on success, sometimes their product or service may rest in conflict with the ISP’s business model.
Think about hulu.com, which allows people to watch tons of on demand TV shows that they previously had to wait for the cable company to deliver. That cable company is also an ISP can then strike back by throttling down the bandwidth available to hulu.com traffic, thereby lowering the value proposition of the streaming video service.
This sounds like the ISP’s actions are also hurting their bottom line since the consumer or content provider would simply move to an ISP that doesn’t throttle their service. Which might be the case if there actually existed competition in this service sector. I live in a large city and Time Warner is my only option.
The large ISP’s will not be challenged by new offerings or advancements as they have the coffers to swallow up most anything that comes along and what they can’t they’ll lobby for new regulations that will put an end to any competition.