Net Neutrality

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal today.  In my opinion, Internet service providers and backbone providers should be “common carriers”.  They should not be allowed to charge different rates for different bits, and they shouldn’t be allowed to even look at the traffic other than for routing.  Today I was so offended by the disingenuousness and misrepresentation of L. Gordon Crovitz’ op-ed that I felt compelled to respond:

Timothy Lemmer
Letters Editor
Wall Street Journal

Regarding “The Great Internet Power Grab” by L. Gordon Crovitz, Feb. 8, 2015.  Mr Crovitz is misinformed or disingenuous.

The FCC proposes to reclassify broadband Internet access services – consumer access to the net – as a telecommunications service rather than as an information service.  The FCC does not propose to regulate content providers or startups providing innovative services, or end users of any sort.

Mr. Crovitz proposes we should be so afraid of unlikely future abuses by regulators that we should not move to stem current and actual abuses by the cable and telephone industries that provide the majority of internet access.

  • Verizon spies on customer communications to install tracking cookies (1)
    Comcast demands payments from content provider Netflix merely to get access to customers (2)
  • ATT blocks customers who attempt to encrypt their own email (3)
  • These are actual abuses by companies exploiting their near monopoly positions to damage competition, harm innovation, and endanger customer privacy.

It would be great if Congress would get its act together to promote innovation and forbid discrimination.  Until then, the FCC appears to be doing its best to protect the public from the telecom companies who are the current unaccountable gatekeepers of the net.

Lawrence Stewart
Wayland, MA



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