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.
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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