POLITICO reports that the FCC commissioners have approved a controversial new plan that eviscerates the principle of net neutrality for websites and internet service providers. Net neutrality is the long-honored belief that the internet should not have a “fast lane,” that is to say that service providers should not be able to slow down service for a specific person or website. To premise is actually quite simple, as a completely deregulated internet would surely cause fasting internet for those who could pay more. This would obviously stifle innovation and hamper one of the best things of the internet: its inherent equality.
Like so many other items, when President Obama was first running for office, he was a vociferous supporter of net neutrality. Now that he is in office, of course, this sentiment has been defenestrated, so to speak. The FCC is guided by five commissioners, all of which were nominated by Obama. Of those, three are partisan Democrats and two are Republicans. The final vote in favor of the new rules gutting net neutrality was 3-2, you guessed it, along partisan lines. However, Republican opposition was due far more to a proposal to classifying broadband services as a utility, which has great implications for the overarching regulations.
Many prominent Democratic senators, including Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Senate Judiciary Chairman and President Pro Tempore of the upper chamber, have voiced support for net neutrality. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) is another big defender of net neutrality. However, my biggest shock comes to see who is leading the Republican charge on this issue.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), as reported by the Washington Examiner, is too a proponent of net neutrality. In fact, the article even notes that he is planning introducing a bill that would categorically prohibit the FCC from meddling with net neutrality.
I have to hand it to Ted Cruz, he is spot on regarding this issue. And while the Republican commissioners may not necessarily be all that inclined with this issue as much as they are with the utility issue, I wholeheartedly support their basic position. As the old adage goes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
I have to say that the broken promises from the Obama administration do not even phase me anymore. I had dinner with an old friend from High School this evening, and the phrase “I regret voting for him” was uttered (Hint: It wasn’t me). We can clamor over the idea of why young people do not get energized to vote for the Democratic Party with broad platitudes, but this concrete example is the best reason I have seen thus far.