FCC sides with telcos against consumers on net neutrality

Why help the constituency that can't protect itself?

After weeks of anticipation by those of us who see net neutrality as more of a land-grab by telcos that already wield too much power in too many critical areas of IT, FCC Chair Julius Genachowski has come down firmly on the side of the carriers.

The proposal he released yesterday is based on a bill that already failed the public-scrutiny test, and mirrors closely the preferences of Verizon and Google, though Verizon has announced that, given its druthers, it would like an even more favorable plan that would let it have your druthers, too.

The FTC is still working on a privacy proposal that might make life more difficult for IT by adding ineffective protections that nevertheless require a lot of work to deliver.

The FCC chairman's proposal favors tiered pricing structures that, theoretically, would let companies pay for performance where they want it and take the default speed where they didn't.

In fact, it will allow a relatively small number of big carriers punish SAAS, Cloud and other online-services companies (under the guise of quashing evil file sharers and copyright infringers) who dare to push traffic across their networks, even though both the service providers and their customers pay for the bandwidth used at each end of the pipe.

Smaller companies, that can't afford to pay premiums for network service good enough to support the online applications they want to use, or can't afford the extra bandwidth for the online services they want to provide, won't be able to do either.

Nice work, Mr. Chairman. Way to represent the will and welfare of the American people.

Go kick a puppy, why don't you?

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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