While a broader, formalized public comment period should occur later this year, consumers can already share their thoughts on the FCC's plan to kill net neutrality and gut oversight of large ISPs like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.
Why Commenting Matters
Sure, FCC Commissioners Mike O'Rielly and Ajit Pai likely have every intention of trying to ignore your input on the proceeding. But to reverse the FCC's Title II classification of ISPs and gut the rules, the pair need to be able to prove to a court that the broadband market has changed substantially enough (since the last net neutrality court case) to warrant a full reversal and all the complication that entails. That task is made monumentally harder if we can generate enough documented public and industry resistance to the plan.
That said, net neutrality advocates also need to understand that this may all be a theatrical game of good cop, bad cop.
Pai likely knows he's on shaky legal ground, so he may be threatening to kill net neutrality as part of a stage play. His saber rattling may be followed by a GOP "compromise" proposal to craft a new net neutrality law. This law, likely appearing this summer, will be proposed as a solution that "finally puts the debate to bed," but will likely be ghost written by ISP lobbyists and lawyers to ensure the proposal has no real teeth. The end result would be net neutrality "protections" in name only, and the press (based on my experience with similar past efforts) won't be quick to explain this.
Either way, public input during this round of the net neutrality fight is going to be integral in driving Pai back on his heels. Former industry allies like Google and Netflix are slowly backing away from the debate as they grow larger (and more interested in turf protection). That means the onus is going to be consumers, startups, and smaller businesses to make their concerns heard, and sitting on your hands guarantees failure.
I encourage everyone to post their own comments on this topic.
Support it or Don't support it either way is fine.
Just get involved, don't be milk toast by complaining about it and don't voice your opinion and thoughts. It becomes part of the permanent record!
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