Internet Service Providers and their allies sometimes act as though net neutrality advocates are picking on them for no good reason, as though we selected their industry out of a hat. But the internet access market is unique in several ways, which is precisely what justifies treating them as common carriers, who are obligated to offer a nondiscriminatory service on reasonable terms. Since net neutrality, which was thought to be a settled issue, has become unsettled again, it’s time to review some of the features of the broadband market that show why net neutrality rules are essential.
The Ninth South School of Internet Governance (SSIG) took place at Fundação Getúlio Vargas in Rio de Janeiro during the first week of April 2017. Directed by Olga Cavalli and Adrian Carballo, SSIG aims to strengthen the representation of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region where Internet Governance (IG) is discussed and defined; it is also a goal of SSIG to create a space for education of a new generation of professionals that participate actively in the IG.
The Federal Communications Commission has been on a bit of a crusade under Chairman Ajit Pai’s leadership so far, taking any steps they can to reverse or undermine Wheeler-era accomplishments, no matter the pushback. While he’s had some success (and is poised to take yet another stab at limiting broadband competition this morning), there’s another item on today’s agenda. Wrapped (somewhat deceptively) in language justifying deregulation with promises of infrastructure deployment, and lumped in with other valuable proposals, is an effort to gut important consumer protections implemented to ensure a smooth path through arguably the largest digital infrastructure project on the horizon: the tech transitions.
This video draws attention to the growing list of giveaways by Congress and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai to large cable and telecommunications companies that act as local broadband monopolies.
Last week, the European Parliament (EP) passed a resolution manifesting concern over the EU-US Privacy Shield, a legal scheme that allows American companies to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States. In a nutshell, the EP is worried that the U.S. government doesn’t take privacy protection seriously, and the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) make explicit reference to, among other things, the Trump administration’s undoing of the Federal Communication Commission’s broadband privacy rules.