from the Get-Fired-Up! dept.
On Thursday, May 15, hundreds will rally outside the Federal Communications Commission's headquarters in Washington, D.C., to protest Chairman Wheeler's proposal that has the potential to stop the flow of a free and open Internet. On this same day, thousands of activists, organizations and companies will take action online to save the Internet.
The press release specifies that there are activities slated to begin prior to the FCC's May 15 meeting and following adjournment of the subsequent press conference.
The FCC today (May 15) voted 3 to 2 to proceed with a dual-tier internet, where big media providers can (must) pay big carriers to stream content faster.
The rules proposed would prevent carriers from blocking or slowing down "certain websites", and non-paid content must be provided at the same rate the subscriber paid for, or at least not arbitrarily slowed down or blocked.
After weeks of public outcry over the proposal, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the agency would not allow for unfair, or "commercially unreasonable" business practices. He wouldn't accept, for instance, practices that leave a consumer with slower downloads of some Web sites than what the consumer paid for from their Internet service provider.
Micheal Weinberg, of Public Knowledge countered, saying "the new rules "would create a two-tier Internet where 'commercially reasonable' discrimination is allowed on any connections that exceed an unknown 'minimum level of access' defined by the FCC".
In spite of the outcry around the nation and demonstrations at FCC headquarters calls to action here on SN, the 3-2 split decision fell along party lines with the two Republicans on the five-member commission objecting to the changes on the grounds that it amounted to overregulation.
To me, the standard of "commercially (un)reasonable" seems like a loop hole large enough to allow any speed reductions the carriers want to impose, as long as they can make more money or by imposing them.