Inside the beltway: Opponents, supporters tell FCC all about Title II
There is almost an ironic element to "net neutrality," the blanket term around whether or not--and how much--to regulate the Internet. It has to be one of the more hotly debated topics in D.C. these days and, from what can be seen on the surface, no one is neutral.
The dichotomy is no more evident than in the nation's second most politically active town, Hollywood, where writers are at loggerheads with directors, screen actors and the Motion Picture Association of America. The writers want something to happen with some sort of FCC regulatory oversight of the Internet; the others issued a statement that they have "grave concerns" about the FCC getting involved with classifying the Internet as a phone service.
Verizon (NYSE: VZ), a company that knows a little about phone service and regulation, told the FCC that reclassification would cause "widespread harm to the Internet ecosystem." Americans for Tax Reform, the National Taxpayers Union and the Center for Individual Liberty, among other government critics comprising the Internet Freedom Coalition agreed, calling any sort of reclassification a "potentially disastrous" move.
On the other side--and this thing keeps revolving around--Free Press called for "sensible" and "limited" regulation and told the FCC it should stand up to the "cynical, money-driven political response."
Perhaps, though, there is a semi-neutral voice among all the vitriol. The San Francisco Chronicle's Larry Downes has concluded that net neutrality is "not a political problem. It's a technical problem. And there's every hope that Silicon Valley can solve it without the meddling of lawyers, lobbyists and bureaucrats."
See above for the chances of that happening.
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