Gadgets & Gear

Screwed again: FCC to cut deal with big business

If you use and depend on the Internet, you about to get screwed by the government and big business.

Unfortunately, most Americans are too ignorant to care.

But make no mistake, the FCC’s telegraphed plans to allow so-called Internet fast lanes to be set up by the likes of Comcast so that big buck companies like Netflix, Google, Amazon and Disney can have special access to stream their programing into your homes faster than their competitors who can’t afford to pay, will have a disastrous effect.

It will stifle innovation and end up costing consumers more. After all, you don’t think those huge, filthy rich corporations will pay those special fees, do you? They will pass them along to their customers.

It is the ultimate example of the way-too-cozy relationship between the government regulators (who usually go to work for the companies they regulate) and the big businesses who use their wealth to buy influence.

This whole thing just sickens me.

If you can pay, you can play. That’s the message the FCC has given in suggesting it may be relaxing its position on net neutrality, the notion that everyone, regardless of size or power, should be able to have access to the Internet on more or less an equal footing.

The FCC’s proposed rule changes will be voted on May 15.

There was a story today about how the US is no longer the word’s strongest economy. It’s China.

But that’s not all. The US – the place where the Internet was invented – is no longer the country with the best service. Places like Sweden, Japan and South Korea have Internet speeds 100 times faster than what Americans have. And they pay a fraction of what you and I pay.

wwwWhat’s the big deal? The big deal is the Internet is crucial to a nation’s development.

“What’s at stake is whether the new jobs, new ideas, new services of the 21st century will come from the United States or they’ll come from Stockholm, Seoul, Beijing, where kids are already playing in the virtual sandboxes of these very high capacity networks,” noted Susan Crawford, a legal scholar who has served on President Obama’s science and tech team told the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

So, now the FCC hits that it wants to allow that special fast lane to be set up for the big corporations that can pay for it. If you can’t afford those big fees, tough. The big guys can.

It’s economic discrimination that will hold back the new company that develops the next big Internet thing. Without access to those fast lanes, they’ll be at a huge disadvantage.

There is no net neutrality when only the big guys can play.

The FCC will vote on the new easing of its rules on May 15. They then publish those rules and give the public time to send in their thoughts. But because the public is ignorant, very few do. That’s the way the fat cats set up the system. They know you don’t have a clue.

Does this make you mad? Then get a clue.  Don’t get screwed.



Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.