The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday approved a “high-level rules of the road” designed to ensure that internet providers grant everyone equal access to the web.
But the 3-2 vote immediately came under attack from both flanks, with Internet-freedom advocates saying the new rules don’t go far enough and critics saying the government should stay out of online business altogether, notes “CNN” (http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/web/12/21/fcc.net.neutrality/index.html). In announcing the proposed rules this month, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said they would require high-speed internet providers to treat all types of web content equally.
Unfortunately, the FCC held most discussions behind closed doors, until this morning’s debate and final approval of the regulations. If you care about this issue — and you really, really should — read Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak’s letter to the FCC (http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/12/steve-wozniak-to-the-fcc-keep-the-internet-free/68294/) on keeping the Internet free.
“We have very few government agencies that the populace views as looking out for them, the people,” he says. “The FCC is one of these agencies that is still wearing a white hat. Not only is current action on Net Neutrality one of the most important times ever for the FCC, it’s probably the most momentous and watched action of any government agency in memorable times in terms of setting our perception of whether the government represents the wealthy powers or the average citizen, of whether the government is good or is bad. This decision is important far beyond the domain of the FCC itself.”