Net Neutrality a win or loss for open Internet and First Amendment? | Pressing Issues | Gina Channell Wilcox | |

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By Gina Channell Wilcox

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About this blog: I am President of Embarcadero Media's East Bay Division and the publisher of the Pleasanton Weekly, Dublin TriValley Views, San Ramon Express and Danville Express. As a 25-plus-year veteran of the media industry, I have experience...  (More)

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Net Neutrality a win or loss for open Internet and First Amendment?

Uploaded: Mar 1, 2015
Last week the FCC approved "Net Neutrality" and reclassified the Internet as a utility subject to regulations.

According to its website, "The FCC is focused on ensuring that every American has access to open and robust high-speed Internet service - also known as broadband."

Basic points to the decision are that ISPs must be transparent to their users, not block legal content or applications, and not favor some "lawful content" over other "lawful content. This last point basically forbids ISPs from creating "pay-for-preference fast lanes" in exchange for compensation or for its affiliates.

In my opinion, this is a win for the innovators and small businesses because, in theory, everyone is playing on a level field. We all want fair treatment and an open Internet.

However, I am a cynic at heart and I am concerned about what constitutes "lawful" and "unlawful" content and who decides. From what I've read it sounds like the ISP decides. Can an ISP decide to block, or be coerced into blocking, a website like ours?

I'm curious to hear your views on what I consider a monumental decision.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 1, 2015 at 8:05 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.


Like so many other rules, regs and laws from the current administration (think ACA), how can anyone comment on Net Neutrality unless the FCC actually releases the documents?

The Devil is in the details. Everything else is just public relations.


Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 2, 2015 at 9:19 am

Al Jazeera America has a good article on winners and losers, here: Web Link They say the jury's out on whether this will be a victory for internet users, but I think it's a win. Equivalent access to something absolutely fundamental to our future, as the web is, seems like a very important small-d democratic concept.

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