Pros and Cons of Net Neutrality in Two Lists

What's at stake as the FCC backs away from an ambitious initiative

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Net neutrality advocates are licking their wounds following reports that the FCC will likely leave broadband services deregulated. Activists had hoped the Obama administration would prohibit Internet service providers from charging individuals by how much bandwidth they consume. Yet as the Washington Post reports, FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski will likely keep in place the "current regulatory famework." Does this threaten freedom and openness on the Internet as net neutrality activists claim? How would net neutrality impact future investments in broadband? Here are two opposing views on the issue.

  • Comcast, AT&T and Verizon Will Ruin the Internet, writes Marvin Amori at The Huffington Post. He lists 10 ways Internet providers could exploit consumers. Here are five:
(1) Block your tweets, if you criticize Comcast's service or its merger, especially if you use the #ComcastSucks hashtag.


(3) Force every candidate for election to register their campaign-donations webpage and abide by the same weird rules that apply to donations by text message.


(7) Block all peer to peer technologies, even those used for software developers to share software, distribute patches (world of warcraft), distribute open source software (Linux). In fact, Comcast has shown it would love to do this.

(8) Block Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, (and its emails), because of an "exclusive" deal with other blogs. Or alternatively, block because of a deal with NBC and MSNBC.

(9) Monitor everything you do online and sell it to advertisers, something else that some phone and cable have done, with the help of a shady spyware company.

  • Keeping Broadband Deregulated Is Good for Everyone, writes Scott Cleland, an industry analyst who consults Fortune 500 companies and writes about policy at the Precursor Blog. He gives eight reasons that deregulation is in the public's interest. Here are four:

1) Respects the rule of law, Congress' Constitutional authority to set interstate communications policy, the Constitution's protections, and court precedent.
2) Encourages private investment and innovation.
5) Continues Congress' bipartisan Internet policy in law to keep the "competitive free market... Internet... unfettered by Federal... regulation."
7) Encourages public-private cooperation to get broadband to all Americans fastest under the FCC's National Broadband Plan.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.