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Copps: FCC Should Classify ISPs as Common Carriers
by Karl Bode 09:25AM Monday Jan 27 2014 Tipped by newview See Profile
Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, one of the few FCC commissioners who it seems didn't jump directly to lobbying for broadband ISPs, argues in a new blog post (via Ars Technica) that the FCC should rule that ISPs are common carriers. Anything less, Copps argues, will result in a future of "toll-booths, gatekeepers and preferential carriage" where ISPs do as they will and the FCC lacks the full authority to protect consumers from bad ideas deployed repercussion-free in the nation's minimally-competitive broadband markets.

The problem? The immense lobbying power of the nation's broadband providers, who'll fight such an effort tooth and nail; though Copps doesn't feel there's any other real alternative:
Saying that the solution is simple is not the same as saying it is easy. No matter what course the Commission chooses, powerful forces will contest it. If the Commission, instead of reclassifying broadband as what it is, attempts some new and novel reading of the statute, it is just inviting more years of detour and delay. And every month of delay only gives the big telephone and cable companies more time and opportunity to make the Internet…theirs.
What's the over under on former cable and wireless industry lobbyist turned new FCC boss Tom Wheeler making such a bold choice that upsets the industry?

58 comments .. click to read

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united state

2 recommendations

reply to TBBroadband

Re: Courts would shoot down common carrier for ISPs

I'd rather not have a monopoly, but if we have to have one, I'd rather it be a regulated monopoly (like the power companies), as opposed to a deregulated monopoly (like the telcos).

With power companies, at least you hear about cities retaliating and fining them for subpar service. They can't do that with telco companies.

Avon, OH
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit

2 recommendations

White House Petition

They have a White House Petition trying to Classify ISPs as Common Carrier. Feel free to do your part and sign the petition below:

» ··· 5CWS1M4P


Fremont, OH

3 recommendations

reply to Camaro

Re: Courts would shoot down common carrier for ISPs

The thing is once they are regulated the ISPs will all start charging compliance fees and every other tax that phone companies charge for services. This will NOT save money in the end but raise rates by taxes/fees. Regulation is NOT always the answer, and the FCC had their chance before but they decided that the Internet was an information service.


Carlsbad, NM

2 recommendations

You know it's the right move when...

It crushes the fantasy of the ISPs who dream of making the internet more expensive for their customers.

You know you've done enough when the content companies want to split ways with their ISP halves. It means they don't fear being controlled by other ISPs and that they no longer see a way to benefit from being combined with their service provider business.