You may have heard about “net neutrality” in the news lately, but what is it and why does it matter to you? In simple terms, net neutrality is a set of rules to ensure that all data on the Internet is treated equally. These rules promote a free and open Internet, which supports high levels of innovation and competition and makes it difficult for a few large companies to control its content. At Blue Rooster Telecom, we believe in the principle of net neutrality and want you to know about simple steps you can take to ensure that a free and open Internet is part of our future.
In May, the Federal Communications Commission opened a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the net neutrality rules that were struck down by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in January. The NPRM proposes to follow this roadmap laid out by the court:
- Bolster the existing “transparency rule,” which survived judicial review.
- Reinstate the prior no-blocking rule.
- Replace the prior nondiscrimination rule with a more flexible “commercially reasonable” standard borrowed from the Commission’s data roaming order.
Particularly significant is the FCC’s proposal to impose much more comprehensive disclosure obligations on broadband Internet access providers under the transparency rule. Perhaps more important, however, is that the agency signaled its willingness to consider classifying broadband Internet providers as regulated Title II “common carriers,” as opposed to the unregulated “information services providers” that such entities are treated as today.
Blue Rooster Telecom believes that a strong set of rules to keep the Internet free and open for competition and innovation are good for our country and our world. We believe rules like this are important to make sure that young Internet companies are free to grow into the next Google or Netflix. Innovative new companies will drive growth in our economy, which benefits all of us.
It’s important to know that the FCC has not yet made a decision on net neutrality rules, and is now accepting comments from the public. The content and volume of the comments are an important part of the decision-making process for the FCC commissioners. You can click here to be directed to the exact spot on the FCC web site to enter your comments (Note: fill in Proceeding Number 14-28).
At Blue Rooster Telecom, we like to include fun in everything we do, so you can click here to view John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” segment on the subject of net neutrality. It’s entertaining and informative and generated so many comments to the FCC that their website overloaded and crashed.
Net neutrality is the free speech issue of our time. Please educate yourself about it and join the comment process to ensure a free and open Internet for our future.