FCC to Pass (Fake) Net Neutrality Measure

A measure that some, like Al Franken, are calling "fake net neutrality" is poised for a vote today by the FCC:

Franken Net neutrality — which broadly speaking is an effort to ensure open access to Web sites and online services — is on the agenda of an F.C.C. meeting Tuesday in Washington. The F.C.C.’s chairman, Julius Genachowski, outlined a framework for net neutrality earlier this month, touching off a debate about the role of the government in regulating Internet access.

As it stands now, the order would prohibit the blocking of any Web sites, applications or devices by fixed-line broadband Internet providers like Comcast and EarthLink, essentially forbidding the providers from picking winners and losers on behalf of consumers, F.C.C. officials said Monday.

The F.C.C. officials also said that the order would broaden the government’s enforcement powers over broadband. They spoke only on condition of anonymity ahead of Tuesday’s meeting on the matter. The F.C.C. order has not been made public.

Said Franken:

“Maybe you like Google Maps. Well, tough. If the F.C.C. passes this weak rule, Verizon will be able to cut off access to the Google Maps app on your phone and force you to use their own mapping program, Verizon Navigator, even if it is not as good. And even if they charge money, when Google Maps is free…If corporations are allowed to prioritize content on the Internet, or they are allowed to block applications you access on your iPhone, there is nothing to prevent those same corporations from censoring political speech."


  1. says

    DING DING DING! Al Franken has this right. Even as weak as this measure is, it will be challenged and lost in court, again. The FCC does not have the kind of power to force net neutrality on the big internet providers.

    The best bet is to enact legislation. Sadly, that will never happen with the new congress and a tighter senate.

    However, Netflix is currently entangled in a lawsuit against Comcast over this very issue. This could ultimately be the deciding factor of who wins; corporate interests or the consumer.

  2. mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com says

    what is especially galling about this is

    – the entire FCC board is staffed by dems up through 2012, not 1 repub

    – obama swore and be damned (just like a lot of other broken promises from him) that his administration would fight for net neutrality

    Nader was right. America has only 1 political party, d and r are just 2 wings of the same corporatist big biz party

  3. ratbastard says

    LOL…WHY is anyone surprised? EVERYTHING at a certain level is about $, merging of corporate and public interests [with corporate coming out way ahead] and politicians, professional lobbyist and others rotating back and forth between the public and private sector, feathering their own beds, of course. The wolves write and pass the laws that control the sheep.

  4. anon says

    It is sort of like if companies controlled the highways and you weren’t allowed to visit NYC or Las Vegas, but instead had to settle for Branson. No one owns the Internet.

  5. says

    Instead of criticizing everything everyone does, why not get involved and get something done. Don’t know what to do? Show up at you senators or reps office. They love to have you come in. tell them what you think. Go to the streets. That is what they are really afraid of.

  6. Leonard says


    Apple’s ability to block applications is limited to the official App Store. If you want to realize the full capabilities of your iPhone, iPod, or iPad then jailbreak the bastard and install Cydia. You can then put whatever app on YOUR device (you did buy it!) that you want whether Apple wants to provide access to it or not.

    If Apple could legally block applications to run on any iOS device then jail breaking would be illegal, yet it’s not.

    Either way, that is a separate issue apart from net neutrality.

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