Make Internetaccess Uniform

January 19, 2018 GMT

Soon after the Federal Communications Commission decided to turn over control of the internet to a handful of huge corporations for their own profits, several state governments acted to preserve their residents’ open access. In December the FCC voted to overturn its 2015 rules that had guaranteed what is known as net neutrality. Those rules had ensured equal access to the internet for all users. The new rules will enable big internet service providers to manipulate access, speed and content according to their own business priorities. A group of 22 attorneys general, including Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania and led by Eric Schneiderman of New York, sued in federal court Wednesday to overturn the FCC decision. The others represent California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia. Regulatory quagmire develops Meanwhile, several state legislatures have taken up measures to maintain net neutrality under their states’ regulatory regimes, raising the prospect of up to 50 different regulatory regimes for internet issues. Congress should ensure that there is a uniform national standard that guarantees net neutrality. To that end, Senate Democrats have introduced a resolution that would reject the FCC action and prevent deregulation of the Internet for 10 years. It has enough support, 50 committed senators, to force a floor vote and is just one vote short of passage. Equal access to the internet, the most important telecommunications medium of the era, is a fundamental matter of social and economic justice. It should not be at the discretion of private entities.