Net neutrality and the fight to save democracy

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Will the internet remain open and free? Or will there be "fast lanes" and "slow lanes" for rich and powerful companies?

Today, the FCC closes the current phase of public comments, though another round of "comments on the comments" will soon open.

Yesterday, Senator Ron Wyden weighed in:

“It is impossible to permit pay-to-play discrimination without disadvantaging everyone who does not pay. Paid prioritization is destined to result in an Internet that tilts in favor of well-established and deep-pocketed players. And it is destined to create a set of disincentives for improving the technology for the benefit of all,” Wyden said.

“The answer is to preserve an open Internet by classifying today’s Internet as what it is -- a telecommunications service. This does not mean over-regulating the Internet. It means using a scalpel to deal with a specific market failure that threatens the public interest. I have always been a vocal advocate for applying a light touch to Internet regulation.”

We've already seen what happens to the public interest when broadcasting companies (Clear Channel, ahem) use their market power to squash progressive talk radio. If we allow the internet to become a place where the big corporations run roughshod over startups, small businesses, and bloggers, well, it just won't be the same internet.

And consumers and democracy will be the losers. Keep up the fight, Senator Wyden. A decision is expected by the end of the year.

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