Giving the cable companies more power and control–and hence wealth–was precisely the point of Michael Powell's reclassification of broadband Internet as an "information service."
New York Times reporter David Carr (12/19/11) takes a look at comedian Louis C.K.'s recent decision to webcast his own comedy special: A scabrous and successful champion of the everyman, Louis C. K. decided last week to go direct with his fans: no cable special, no middleman, just a simple download for $5 on his website to see his comedy show Louis C. K.: Live at the Beacon Theater. The show could be viewed as the consumer wished, with no rights protection or expensive subscription. A buy-it-and-watch-it proposition, no cable company involved. He was also, of course, enabling people to […]
I was struck by this December 30 headline at the Huffington Post: "Only 21 Percent Of U.S. Voters Support Net Neutrality." Really? Well it turns out the poll was conducted by Scott Rasmussen, whose polling has made him afavorite at Fox News Channel. The real story here is that the poll question was clearly cooked up to achieve the desired outcome. As Amy Lee noted near the bottom of the piece, Rasmussen asked this question:"Should the Federal Communications Commission regulate the Internet like it does radio and television?" But the FCC's proposed net neutrality rules do not at all resemble […]
The lead of the New York Times story today (12/2/10) on the FCC's new internet plan: The plan from the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to ensure an open and neutral Internet drew mixed reviews on Wednesday from consumer advocates and Internet service providers, presenting the agency with an uncertain way forward as it considers new broadband regulation. Of course, there are many who think the plan most assuredlydoes not "ensure an open and neutral Internet"–leading to some decidedly unmixed reviews. See the response from Free Press president Josh Silver, for instance: "FCC Chairman Announces Fake Net Neutrality Proposal." […]
Free Press's newest release (7/31/09) touts some fresh congressional legislation that "Would Protect Net Neutrality Once and for All." According to the media reform activists, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 "would protect Network Neutrality under the Communications Act, safeguarding the future of the open Internet and protecting Internet users from discrimination online." Policy director Ben Scott explains how the future of the Internet as we know it depends on maintaining freedom and openness online. This crucial legislation will help to ensure that the public–not big phone and cable companies–controls the fate of the Internet. The rules that govern […]
Free Press Campaign Director Tim Karr (SaveTheInternet.com, 4/16/09) is celebrating Time Warner Cable having "shelved its plan to impose excessive Internet fees against those who use the Web for more than email and basic surfing." Karr details how Time Warner Cable had been testing new Internet use penalties on people in Beaumont, Texas, and planned later this year to launch trials in Rochester, N.Y.; Austin and San Antonio, Texas; and Greensboro, N.C. If successful, Time Warner Cable execs planned to impose this cost structure upon the companyÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢s 8.4 million broadband subscribers in 32 states…. The scheme would have forced consumers […]
The media activist group Free Press has a new release (3/19/09) warning of the latest threat to free speech online: "a technology known as Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) that offers Internet service providers unprecedented control over Internet content." DPI, says Free Press, "could spell disaster for the free market online," AKA Net Neutrality. According to Free Press, DPI is designed to "monitor, control and ultimately charge subscribers for every use of an Internet connection," because it "'enables service providers to project potential revenues and profits from setting up a tiered service infrastructure' and allows providers to 'reduce the performance of […]
Free Press has some good news (2/17/09) about the "$7.2 billion to expand broadband access" contained in President Obama's new American Reinvestment and Recovery Act: The law attaches open Internet conditions to broadband funds and directs the Federal Communications Commission to produce a national broadband plan. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will distribute the majority of the funds, $4.35 billion, through a temporary grant program. NTIA broadband projects must be completed within two years of the award, provide the greatest broadband speed possible, and adhere to Internet nondiscrimination and openness principles established by the FCC. The law also funds […]