Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality Opposition Continues to Pile Up

May 10, 2014 - Written By Joshua Koh

It seems that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s proposal to modify the Net Neutrality regulations is running into a larger roadblock. More individuals and organizations are voicing their disagreement to the changes and some have taken action to demonstrate their displeasure regarding this matter. The methods in which this is done will be discussed in this article.

The first comes in the form of a letter sent by 10 Democratic senators calling for a public discussion on how Net Neutrality should be governed rather than the proposed throttling by pricing bandwidth to content companies such as Facebook. The second is that as FCC hotline is overwhelmed with complaints to the changes to the Net Neutrality regulations, the hotline now directs any complainant to drop an email to [email protected] This seems to indicate a vast majority of individuals are making themselves heard by letting the FFC know what they think of the changes.

The third is probably one of the most innovative or interesting manner of protesting. Web hosting company, NeoCities has opted to throttle FCC’s internet speed to its websites to 28.8kps, the equivalent of a dialup modem. Normal speed can be restored as long as the FCC pays the yearly subscription of $1000. This is certainly one way to give the FCC a taste of its own medicine. For anyone interested in implementing this idea, NeoCities have been kind enough to upload it to Github.

The fourth is the banding of the various tech companies to express their concerns over this issue. This is both exceedingly rare and demonstrates how seriously these companies are taking this issue and how we as consumers should be equally if not more worried about its implications if it actually does go through. As this would seriously cripple our ability to use the internet quickly in the manner we see fit, thereby limiting the usability of the internet as a whole. Finally, within the FCC itself, four out of five members voting on the proposal are against it. Two Democratic commissioners have expressed their concerns over the changes while the other 2 Republicans do not see the need to implement any rules. This means that FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler might not have the votes to push the plan through.

It seems that Wheeler’s proposal to change the Net Neutrality regulations is coming under fire from both within and without. The question here, is whether the pressure is sufficient enough for FFC to come to its senses and back out of this ludicrous proposal.