The power of the telcos has once again forced the US to back down on a key piece of Internet legislation.
The Washington Post said that it is starting to look like that will not happen.
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, has indicated he wants to keep broadband services deregulated. This is a total capitulation to the big telcos who want to set up a two tiered internet and screw as much cash as possible from US punters.
Part of the problem is a recent court case which decided that as the law stands the FCC does not have the authority to police telcos who throttle clients bandwidth in the interests of making an extra buck charging those who want the service as advertised.
In a sane democracy it would require a quick law change and the government’s promise on keeping the net neutral would be safe. However, the US does not work like that. With the sort of money that the telcos plough into lobbying it is unlikely that such a law would be fast tracked through the political system.
Telco arguments is that such regulation interferes with free business something which is too close to “socialism” for the tastes of Americans. Since being branded a “liberal” in the US is close to being called a child molester, bringing in legislation that interferes with business is like requiring everyone over the age of 16 to be a practising Satanist who prefers to have sex with puppies.
As governments have failed to stand up to the big content industry in their bizarre crusade against piracy, so it seems that net neutrality is going to be consigned to the dustbin along with other dangerous “liberal” ideas.
Genachowski has not made a final decision but has indicated in recent discussions that he is leaning toward keeping in place the current regulatory framework for broadband services but making some changes that would still bolster the FCC’s chances of overseeing some broadband policies.
In short everything gets watered down and that the FCC removes itself from taking on the big telcos.
Talk is that Genachowski the current regulatory framework would lead to constant legal challenges to the FCC’s authority every time it attempted to pursue a broadband policy.