A middle-aged man dreaming of the day when he can stop begging for scraps and write for a living.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tom Wheeler Betrays Us

Tom Wheeler, the latest chairman of the FCC, shocked the Internet by calling for approval for a "fast lane" proposal for the Internet. Effectively, in order to avoid having your site and services downgraded by ISPs you have to pay an additional premium for preferred service. It's the proposal that AT&T suggested back in 2005 which sparked the entire Net Neutrality movement. Remember that you're already paying for your connection to the Internet, and sites like Google, Amazon and Netflix are also paying for their connection to you. This proposal amounts to triple-billing.

Of course, Wheeler's betrayal shouldn't shock anyone who knew who he was. An industry insider and lobbyist, he was always going to be sympathetic to ISP demands and ignore the consumers. So now he's trying to get a vote on new rules giving AT&T everything it wants and the backlash has been so severe that the FCC can't handle all the phone calls they're getting. Instead they're requesting that you email them your complaints instead. So I sent the following email to openinternet@fcc.gov:

I STRONGLY oppose Wheeler's proposal of approving "Fast Lane" internet access in direct violation of open internet standards. This is the proposal that AT&T wanted to implement years ago and sparked the Net Neutrality movement. We do not want an Internet where service runs to the highest bidder. We do not want an Internet where ISPs are allowed to downgrade traffic or decide what we can consume. They have been and must continue to be custodians, not traffic cops.

I am extremely disappointed by this betrayal of our interests and I call for the immediate removal of Wheeler from his position with the FCC.

Denver, CO
I invite everyone to do the same. Email the FCC and make your voice heard.

Update: Wheeler turned around and did the right thing. Consequently, I was wrong about Tom Wheeler. I freely admit it. In fact, I will go so far as to say I'm glad I was wrong about Tom Wheeler. I apologize to him.

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