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The FCC Will Vote YES To Title II "Net Neutraltiy" On 2/26/2015
2 february 2015


Easy now, boys .  .  .  there are no Fast Lanes. (Image copyright Warner Bros)

If you invest in tech companies, or have anything to do with mobile or straight online specifically, and you are not hip to the machinations blurbling beneath the surface in Washington conference rooms, elevators, and behind closed doors in general as regards the upcoming conference vote at the FCC regarding how the internet is going to be regulated, it's time for you to seriously hunker down into a crash course.

The vote will affect the entire entity of the web and its data delivery, and how the companies that deliver everything from Netflix videos to the smallest, most meaningless smiley face text message are going to be regulated from now on. President Obama wants to classify the web as a telecommunications service, not as an information delivery service; this will see it subject to the same regulation vehicles for customer equity as a utility--a necessity like electric power, phone service, gas--although the promise from advocates is to use a "light touch" when regulating data delivery companies.

The key term in all of this is "Net Neutrality." The idea behind it is simple: via these new regulatory classifications, the web must and will remain a democracy, with your Neflix movie just as important for delivery by your service provider as some private company paying a few extra shekels to carriers for their stock ticker and internal data delivery to leave you in the dust. The idea is that all data deliveries at base general level remain equal, and that--like the flow of electricity to your house, or the signal to your phone--you receive satisfactorily equal service versus some rich guy around the corner who wants his data deliveries to be first by greasing the wheels. Poor people get the same phone signal in the projects that wealthy people do on Park Avenue; they get the same electric circuit from the utility company.  .  .  we should all get the same good service within the level of subscription that we order, with no "fast lanes" for the deep pocketed who want natural priority.

Tom Wheeler, the FCC Chairman at the center of this whole affair, is a bit of a wild card: although he was a major campaign contributor to Barack Obama, he also was a lobbyist for the Cable industry--so his loyalties are not entirely predictable.

Major online content companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Netflix are in favor of the change--it would insure that their content is delivered with parity vis a vis the rest of the web and they would never get left in the dust; data deliverers like ATT, Comcast and the cable companies are not in favor (along with Republicans, who favor neutrality without Title II) as they could benefit from charging for Fast Lanes.

We shall know definitively on February 26th after the vote.

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The FCC Will Vote YES To Title II "Net Neutraltiy" On 2/26/2015

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