FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s dream of an internet unshackled from net neutrality regulations is coming true because as of now the Open Internet Order is no longer in effect, opening the door for internet service providers to control access to online content in the United States as they see fit.
Check out this Intelligence Squared debate on Net Neutrality. I love the Intelligence Squared show, which I listen to on KQED in the Bay Area. This episode hasn’t aired yet, but the video format is up on YouTube now. It features former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker arguing for the motion “Preserve Net Neutrality.” Arguing against the motion is Michael Katz, former Chief Economist of the FCC and Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason magazine. Here’s the interesting thing, but warning, because it contains spoilers. Those arguing against the motion—i.e. arguing to end Net Neutrality—won the debate. What that means is they shifted more opinions in the audience, who voted before and after the debate. But, those arguing to preserve Net Neutrality carried majority support before and after the debate. If you’ve been wanting to hear reasoned arguments on this topic, this is something you’ll want to watch or listen to. Mind you, those arguing against the motion are just plain wrong, but it’s a great discussion.
Outgoing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made a plea for the incoming administration to protect Net Neutrality. Bryan and Jeff discuss whether that plea is likely to fall on deaf ears [spoiler: yes, it will]. They also discuss the implications of the Cellebrite hack, and the fact that Apple released two product updates this week.
Once Donald Trump takes the presidential oath on January 20th Federal Communication Commission chairman Tom Wheeler is out of a job, and the prospect of maintaining Net Neutrality may leave with him. Mr. Wheeler has been a strong proponent of an open internet so he’s making a final plea to Republican lawmakers to back down on their plan to strip away FCC regulations preventing ISPs from blocking network data from competitors.