The party of tax cuts and frugality (the mythical image they’ve constructed), wants all of us to pay more the Internet. Sure it’s a part of the new economy, available to all with no restrictions, but there’s money to be made and new donors to solicit. The stark difference between Democratic attempts to protect your Internet freedoms and Republican attempts to make you pay corporate monopolies more for the privilege has never been clearer. This is freedom?
Democrats: Over the objections of the agency's two Republican commissioners, the FCC voted to begin taking public comments …. includes a proposal by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat, to define broadband access as a telecommunications service subject to "common carrier" obligations to treat all traffic equally.
Democrats: Prevent phone and cable companies from using their control over broadband connections to determine what subscribers can do online.
Democrats: The Open Internet Coalition members include Google, eBay, Amazon.com and online calling service Skype.
Democrats: Adopt "network neutrality" mandates, which would bar broadband providers from favoring or discriminating against traffic traveling over their networks.
Democrats: Rules are necessary to prevent phone and cable companies from blocking or degrading online calling services, Internet video and other applications that compete with their core businesses.
Democrats: Includes a proposal to expand high-speed Internet access by tapping the Universal Service Fund, the federal program that subsidizes phone service in poor and rural areas.
Basically, the Democrats would like to maintain the status quo on Internet access and freedom. Conversely, there’s money to be made by the media monopolies, supported by the Republicans:
Republicans: (Monopolies)AT&T and Verizon Communications. They say it opens the door to onerous and outdated regulations that would discourage them from upgrading their networks.
Republicans: Rep. John Culberson of Texas, has proposed blocking funding for the FCC if it pursues the plan.
Republicans: This grew out of a challenge by Comcast to a 2008 FCC order directing the cable company to stop blocking subscribers from accessing an online file-sharing service used to trade video and other big files.
Republicans: (Monopoly) Comcast and other broadband providers insist they need flexibility to manage their networks and ensure that certain applications don't hog too much bandwidth.
Republicans: They also fear that net neutrality mandates would prevent them from offering premium services on their networks to earn a healthy return on their investments.
The Democratic leaders of the Senate and House Commerce Committees prepare to update the nation's telecommunications laws for the first time in nearly 15 years. If the FCC ultimately adopts Genachowski's plan, it will almost certainly draw legal challenges from phone and cable companies that don't want an end to the current deregulatory approach.
And of course we’ve seen how well deregulation works. Promises of competition and lower prices never quite seem to come about. How about that!