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THE FCC TOOK OVER THE INTERNET TODAY–
FCC Ajit Pai says “net neutrality” is a “solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist.”
FOX News reported:
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday adopted sweeping new regulations sought by President Obama for how Americans use and do business on the Internet, in a party-line vote that is sure to be challenged by the broadband industry.
The commission, following a contentious meeting, voted 3-2 to adopt its so-called net neutrality plan — a proposal that remained secret in the run-up to the final vote.
On its surface, the plan is aimed at barring service providers from creating paid “fast lanes” on the Internet, which consumer advocates and Internet companies worry would edge out cash-strapped startups and smaller Internet-based businesses. Chairman Tom Wheeler said it would ensure an “open, unfettered network.”
But the rules, more broadly, would put the Internet in the same regulatory camp as the telephone by classifying it like a public utility, meaning they’d have to act in the “public interest” when providing a mobile connection to your home or phone.
Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai, who delivered some of the most scathing criticism of the plan Thursday, warned the policy represents a “monumental shift” to “government control of the Internet.”
Further, he accused the FCC of bending to the will of Obama, who last fall came out in favor of such a sweeping regulatory plan.
Pai said the FCC was reversing course from past positions for one reason: “President Obama told us to do so.”
Dallas Mavericks owner and investor Mark Cuban predicted that proposed FCC Internet regulations will end up impacting TV and “your TV as you know it is over” on Thursday’s “Squawk Alley” on CNBC.
Cuban began by predicting “the courts will rule the Internet for the next however many years.” He then explained, “let’s just take it all the way through its logical conclusion. All bits are bits, all bits are equal. If all bits are equal, then let’s look at what a stream bit is an example. So when Henry and I do an interview, and it’s streamed lived on the Internet, there’s a camera, it goes through an encoder, it sends it out via server or some manner to the Internet, you click on Business Insider and you watch the stream, right? Now, let’s look at CNBC on Comcast. There’s cameras right in front of you, they go through a switcher, they go through an encoder, it’s put through a server, it goes to Comcast, and it’s streamed in a managed service environment to television. It’s the exact same thing. And if it’s the exact same thing technologically and all bits are equal, then why shouldn’t CNBC and all TV networks that are delivered on cable, and Telco, and fiber like Verizon, why shouldn’t they be part of the open Internet as well? And if they are and all bits are equal, now, let’s take it one step further. It’s the purview of the FCC now. The FCC, right? So, the FCC now has to apply their same standards to content, don’t they, that they do to television content because that’s where it is and there’s going to be certain citizens who think ‘well now, since all content is delivered over the Internet because all bits are bits, and it’s a fair, and open, and equal Internet — decency standards.’ And remember the FCC is the same agency that fought Nipplegate for eight years over a wardrobe malfunction.”
He added, “your TV as you know it is over.”
Cuban further said that due to court and regulatory battles that will ensue if the proposed regulations are adopted, innovation online will be halted, declaring “if you love the Internet the way you know it today, this is what you’re going to have for a long time. But, if you’re like me, and you think the best is yet to come, then you don’t the FCC involved because of all the uncertainty.”
Cuban also commented on the transparency regarding of the FCC’s regulation process, sarcastically remarking “lots of transparency, right? Yeah, Lots of transparency.” And “that’s the FCC, that’s the Department of Internet that we’re going to get, no transparency.”