Network (Net) neutrality

Photo by panumas nikhomkhai from Pexels

Network (Net) neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all Internet communications equally and not discriminate or charge differently based on user, content, website, platform, application, type of equipment, or method of communication. The idea seems simple in theory, but most of the issues with net neutrality come from the classification of internet services by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) under the Communications Act of 1934. Should Net Neutrality is should it be classified under Title 2 or Title 1 of the Communications Act of 1934. I have provided a link to the Communications Act of 1934, but have listed below what I believe are key issues with the internet being classified under either Title 1 or 2. Keep in mind that this document is 333 pages, and was authored long before the internet existed.

This topic has become a huge political debate in the United States, with some beleiving that regulation would slow or reduce innovation of the internet and its associated technologies. A copy of the the Communications Act of 1934 in its entirety can be found here: (https://transition.fcc.gov/Reports/1934new.pdf). It is important to note the time period in which this document was authored, because nothing specifically addresses the internet and how it is currently being used today. There are a few key points that that would be applicable. In general, Title I would allow ISP's the ability to operate as they do now with little restrictions imposed. The argument here is to not apply any regualations that could impact their ability to innovate and improve either their technologies, services, or business practices. The opposing side argues that Title II would apply regulations and oversite from the FCC to control the business practices and how they deliver their services.

TITLE I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

This act would apply to all interstate and foreign communication by wire or radio that originate and/or is received within the United States. This would extend to all persons engaged within the United States in such communication or such transmission of energy by radio, and to the licensing and regulating of all radio stations.

The FCC would not have jurisdition with respect to charges, classifications, practices, services, facilities, or regulations for or in connection with intrastate communication service by wire or radio of any carrier. This would allow ISP's any changes they deem necessary to provide users the latest services without permission or interference from the FCC. Providers would then have the ability to bill consumers for applicable fees associated with those enhancements or cost associated with delivering different content types.

The Commission has the authority to waive the certain prohibitions that apply to persons employed by the Commission if they determine that the financial interests of that person which are involved in a particular case are minimal. The waiver authority would not apply to members of the Commission. Waivers would be subject to certain provisions, and would have to be published in the Federal Register with notification to appropriate committees of each House of the Congress

Members of the Commission shall not engage in any other business, vocation, profession,or employment while serving as such members.

TITLE II--COMMON CARRIERS

It would be illegal for an ISP to unreasonably discriminate in charges, practices, classifications, regulations,facilities, or services. This would extend to unreasonable preferences or advantages to any particular person, class of persons, or locality. This directly goes after the tech giants could buy preferential treatment, or force smaller competitors to pay more to compete. The other thing this would do is level the cost that ISP's bill consumers, which means that providers could not charge more for certain services, even if those services cost more to deliver.

Providers would then be required to file with the Commission and print and keep open for public inspection schedules showing all charges, contracts, agreements, or arrangements with other carriers for itself and its connecting carriers for interstate and foreign wire or radio communication.

Providers would be prevented from implementing new lines or extending existing lines, or acquiring or operate other lines or extensions without obtaining a certificate from the FCC. This would also include alternate ways of ISP's providing service (wire, cellular, or satellite).

Unless required by law or with the approval of the customer, a telecommunications carrier that receives or obtains customer proprietary network information will only use, disclose, or permit access to individually identifiable information to provide necessary services to the customer. Disclosure can only occur if written consent is provided by the customer.

There would also be a provision for law enforcement to interception of communications or access to identifying information, and to maintain secure and accurate records of any interception access

States or local governments generally would not be able to prohibit or effect any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service. Exceptions to this would include their ability to be neutral in applying safeguard to protect the safety and rights of the public.




 

Follow Us

Copyright © 2007 - 2019. All Praise Media LLP. All Rights Reserved.