Battle for the Net

According to this scorecard, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has not picked a team in the Net Neutrality fight. This form letter* seems like an attempt to appear like Tom Wheeler is leaning toward the side of goodness and light:

Thank you very much for contacting us about the ongoing Open Internet proceeding. We’re hoping to hear from as many people as possible about this critical issue, and so I’m very glad that we can include your thoughts and opinions.

I’m a strong supporter of the Open Internet, and I will fight to keep the internet open. Thanks again for sharing your views with me.

Tom Wheeler
Federal Communications Commission

While it is reassuring to have independent confirmation that my comment was registered with the FCC, I did notice the use of “Open Internet”, not “Net Neutrality”. Call me cynical, but I’m slightly concerned that Chairman Wheeler’s definition of an “Open Internet” is not the same as our definition of “Net Neutrality”.

*I have a [bad] habit of publishing any correspondence I receive, particularly of the form variety, from government officials that do not pertain to my tax liability.

Author: Josh Witten

5 thoughts on “Battle for the Net”

  1. Elisabeth Hu from NPR shared a story yesterday that all of the comments the FCC received (I assume the FCC sent this reply to all of them; I got the above letter too and am equally skeptical) are useless and don’t have influence because they’re not formal reports put together by a lobbying group or the cable companies themselves…wonder why those carry weight and yet a million comments saying ‘Net Neutrality is a good thing for more people than the narrow ISP’s interests’ is part of why I’m beyond skeptical and outright cynical about the prospects for net neutrality to be maintained. Tom wheeler has made his decision, he’ll side with his friends in the cable industry and probably go back and work for them once his term at the FCC is up. If only we could get Congress to act…oh wait, that’s beyond wishful thinking…

    1. While big doses of cynicism are warranted, we have little choice but to do what we can with what is available. The other option is passive capitulation.

      NPR can be pretty pessimistic about so-called slacktivism. Much of the evidence that these things don’t matter doesn’t take into account mass activity involving organizations that actually follow-up.

      1. Completely agree with that! Doing something rather than nothing; heck, even that Comcast customer service call that went viral the other week probably helps in its own small way. And I replied to Hu’s tweet saying just that; people at the FCC can read and watch TV too and hear the voices that are pro-net neutrality too, even if it’s not in a nice package with charts and graphs that industry provides. It’s ridiculous to think that letters from individuals mean nothing (although again, balanced against tons of money, not sure how it’ll turn out).

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