Earlier this week, President Obama came out in support of Net Neutrality. But just hours after his announcement, the Federal Communications Commission’s Democratic chairman Tom Wheeler told a group of executives that “he was moving in a different direction,” the Washington Post reported.
In a meeting with officials from such major Internet players like Google, Yahoo, and Etsy, Wheeler said that his approach would be “more nuanced,” delivering some of what the president wanted while also addressing “the concerns of the companies that provide Internet access to millions of Americans, such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and AT&T.”
“What you want is what everyone wants: an open Internet that doesn’t affect your business,” said Wheeler in the meeting. “What I’ve got to figure out is how to split the baby.”
Despite having been an ally to the Obama camp in the past, Wheeler, a former lobbyist for cable companies and Internet service providers, told those in attendance that the FCC does not answer to the president or his administration.
“I am an independent agency,” Wheeler repeatedly said.
Getting rid of Net Neutrality and allowing ISPs to charge companies for faster content delivery to its users ONLY benefits the ISPs. It will likely lead to an increase in prices for services such as Netflix or Hulu, and will drive smaller competitors who can’t afford to pay the ransom the ISPs demand out of the market.
This is a prime example of the revolving door between private industry and government. Of course Wheeler still has friends in the telecom industry, and they are no doubt pressuring him to destroy Net Neutrality. They stand to make millions and millions of dollars, and Net Neutrality, which has 99 percent support according to comments sent to the FCC on the topic, would take that opportunity away from them.
Again, it appears that the government is leaning towards policies that benefit corporations over people. Earlier Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) sent an idiotic tweet calling Net Neutrality the “Obamacare of the Internet.” In reality, killing Net Neutrality would be more like the Citizens United of the Internet: big corporations get the most while silencing the little guys.