FCC Chairman Proposes New Net Neutrality Rules
Though the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals recently struck down the FCC's net neutrality rules, it did so because it did not believe that the commission had the authority to craft such rules.
Why does the new plan sound a lot like the one that just lost in court to Verizon? Why should people care about this?
People should care because until we had this open internet it was very hard to access information or actively participate in shaping policy and our own outcomes. People have been using the internet to shape their own stories and history and that is why we should all care. That addresses the last question now back to the first of why the new plan sounds old.
Chairman Wheeler, once the CEO for telecom and cable lobbyist, sounds nice on the surface, but his reluctance to reclassify our internet for what it is, the common carrier of our communication system, shows his loyalties to his old bosses, the cable and telecoms. His "new plan" also still leaves the wireless services on the earlier, ill planned honor system for neutrality protection. The growing internet service is among the wireless and all internet users need to be protected. The honor system is not the way to regulate. Wireless is the only communication access a growing number use.
Self-regulation is ridiculous in industry that by the very nature of its competiveness seeks self-serving interest first. Two chairman ago we had Michael Powell who created this mess. Past FCC chairman, Powell, now has Wheeler's old job as CEO of telecom and cable lobbyist and Wheeler who now has Powell's old job as Chairman of the FCC. It appears he has most likely left the high paying CEO payroll to become a public servant to serve his old, higher paying, lords and masters and himself, not the public..
Why do we allow these people to have conflict of interest without seeking prosecution and charges? Why did both sides of the isle willingly confirm Wheeler? Could it have anything to do with the huge sums these industries donate or to the fact the communication and media industry can squash politicians like bugs if they don't do as they are told? Could it be also because American Citizens are not active participants in the policy making processes and often kept as far I the dark as the media can keep them. Are citizens too well entertained by these same industries to bother to stand up to corruptions of all types? Three out of five of the current FCC regulators have past, close connections and incomes from the industries they seek to regulate and that includes Wheeler, the Chairman of the FCC. Others like Powell and even more, leave public servant roles to be rewarded with jobs within the industry they regulated or they more likely helped to de-regulate or confirmed and approved mergers that brought their future employer wealth. That is not legal conduct so why do we allow it to happen unpunished?
We do not need to weaken the power of our regulators. We need regulators that actually have a track record of strong, uncorrupted, public service to oversee the conduct of our industries they are employed to regulate. We should not only avoid, but also punish regulators or elected officials when conflict of interest occurs as a result of putting people in regulatory roles that have proven loyalties to the industries through incomes and perhaps in the case of congress, received donations that cause a conflict of interest. Conflict of interest dealings ARE illegal. These are not clumsy, wayward children, but grown people employed to oversee conduct of industry on behalf of the people of our nation. They are not there to serve the industries they regulate. They know what they are doing and should be penalized personally when they succumb to conflict of interest conduct.