If this post seems late, it’s because I sat on the story for nearly a week, watching certain websites for reactions.
With that, here’s what GOP FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai had to say about the Commission’s plan for net neutrality:
“President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” Pai said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.”
In his initial cursory overview of the plan, the commissioner said it would hinder broadband investment, slow network speed and expansion, limit outgrowth to rural areas of the country and reduce Internet service provider (ISP) competition.
“The plan saddles small, independent businesses and entrepreneurs with heavy-handed regulations that will push them out of the market,” Pai said. “As a result, Americans will have fewer broadband choices. This is no accident. Title II was designed to regulate a monopoly. If we impose that model on a vibrant broadband marketplace, a highly regulated monopoly is what we’ll get.”
You might dismiss Pai’s statement because he’s a partisan. On the other hand, the tech sites I frequent, which are mostly in favor of net neutrality, have mostly been silent about this particular proposal. I’m thinking especially now of Daring Fireball’s John Gruber (whom I respect deeply on most tech subjects), whose support of Net Neutrality borders on holier-than-thou, but who hasn’t written a single word about what the FCC has up its sleeve.
Maybe the deafening silence is because we haven’t actually seen the proposal yet — but certainly we know enough to say something by now. So my gut feeling is that nobody actually likes this thing, everybody knows just how bad it will be, but few are willing to cross Dear Leader.
I hope I’m wrong, but we’ll see what happens — or doesn’t happen — after the FCC goes public.