FCC Vote Is Today!  What Does It Really Mean?

By Paul Maxwell Report Archives
Cover image for  article: FCC Vote Is Today!  What Does It Really Mean?

Come this Thursday afternoon (December 14) the Federal Confusion Commission will be certain to vote to dismantle Title II regulation of net neutrality.  Before I go on and on about what might, won’t or should happen after the vote, I’d like to call your attention to a leaked video (from some folks just a couple tables away from me) of Federal Confusion Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s keynote at last Wednesday night’s Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) dinner.  Pai ain’t a particularly good joke teller; but he hits a few here (thanks Gizmodo).

The vote this Thursday is a sure thing.  What happens next is also a sure thing: lawsuits!  The FCC is a notoriously regular provider of legal work for the FCBA.

But what happens next right away might be a very big yawn.  Or, a nothingburger!  Or not.  Trade associations with ISP members are holding their breaths, afraid one of their members might, just might, do something rash.  Like -- ching, ching! -- a high-priced fast lane.  Or a slow, politically correct lane.

Which ISP will it be?  One of the big ones?  Pick one: Altice, AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Cox or Verizon Fios?  Or will an edge player volunteer to pay for a fast lane?  Pick one: Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Snap, Square, Twitter or a well-financed start-up looking for an edge?  Or will this lack of rules only last until the next Presidential election?

Long range, The New York Times has a good look at what has happened in the European Union where some ISPs have declared their very own non-neutral fast lanes.

Think it'll happen here? Oh, yeah.

Random Notes

Will Fox and Disney cut a deal?  Probably.  But what might that mean for a restructured Fox?  Will the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Fox Business News, the New York Post and the Fleet Street U.K. group of tabloids all wind up in one company … and will Rupert write all the copy, or just the headlines, or just the make-me-richer politically correct slant?

What will Trump do?  Block it?  Or okay it with a nice slice for himself?

Whatever, change is the new normal.

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