Verizon’s ‘Net Neutrality’ battle with U.S. FCC not about free speech

“Verizon and the Federal Communications Commission are poised to re-open a debate on net neutrality, or the ability for Internet service providers to prefer some users over others, in a court battle that could have big implications for media industry upstarts like Netflix, Google Amazon and Pandora,” Antoine Gara writes for TheStreet.

“While Verizon’s court battle with the FCC does have clear freedom of speech implications, in the near-term the biggest issues of the case are likely to be economic. Cable and telecom giants such as Verizon believe they should have a say on how to charge for data after spending billions of dollars to build out high speed nationwide Internet service,” Gara writes. “Verizon is challenging a 2010 Open Internet Order ruling by the FCC, which said that Internet service providers could not block or discriminate against Web traffic, ultimately giving all sites equal access to the Internet. For high users of Internet data such as Netflix, Amazon and traditional broadcast and cable channels, the decision has allowed them to build out streaming video services and dominate Web data usage on most nights.”

Gara writes, “‘[The] case has the potential to open a Pandora’s box of cable and telecom issues, from who pays what to whom for transport to whether it is or isn’t anti-competitive for cable operators to impose usage caps and charge for usage,’ Craig Moffett, co-head of research firm MoffettNathanson wrote in a Sept. 6 note. He expects the FCC will lose, given the precedent set by an appeal filed by cable giant Comcast against its order in 2010… ‘As we’ve argued many times before, Net Neutrality was never really about the high minded principles of non-discrimination and First Amendment censorship. It is about who pays what to whom,’ Moffett wrote.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
U.S. Senate rejects attempt to overturn FCC’s so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – November 10, 2011
Free Press sues U.S. FCC over so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – September 29, 2011
FCC takes steps toward implementing ‘Net Neutrality’ rules – July 1, 2011
Al Franken: Big corporations are ‘hoping to destroy’ the Internet – March 16, 2011
Speaker Boehner rips FCC bid to regulate Internet; likens ‘shocking’ national debt to Sputnik threat – February 28, 2011
House passes amendment to block funds for FCC ‘Net Neutrality’ order – February 17, 2011
Rasmussen: Just 21% of likely U.S. voters want FCC to regulate Internet – December 28, 2010
FCC cites Android ‘openness’ as reason for neutered ‘Net Neutrality’ – December 22, 2010
U.S. FCC approves so-called ‘net-neutrality’ regulations – December 21, 2010
Tim Lee on ‘network neutrality’: Libertarian computer geeks should forge a third way – December 16, 2010
Google and Verizon propose ‘Net Neutrality’ rules, but exempt wireless’ – August 9, 2010
Big win for Comcast as US court rules against FCC on authority to impose ‘Net Neutrality’ – April 6, 2010
Google and Verizon said to be close to deal that may jeopardize ‘net neutrality’ – August 05, 2010
Big win for Comcast as US court rules against FCC on authority to impose ‘Net Neutrality’ – April 06, 2010
Did the FCC’s National Broadband Plan kill ‘Net Neutrality?’ – March 26, 2010
Steve Jobs: Google’s ‘Don’t be evil’ mantra is ‘bullshit’ – February 01, 2010
Will ‘Net Neutrality’ go wireless? Google and the telecommunications industry gird for battle – October 01, 2009
AT&T: Any new ‘net neutrality’ rules should apply to Google Voice, too – September 25, 2009
AT&T calls FCC neutrality plan a ‘Bait and Switch’ – September 22, 2009
Senate Republicans move to block FCC’s proposed ‘net neutrality’ rules – September 22, 2009
Opposing Net Neutrality – August 10, 2006
U.S. Senate committee rejects net neutrality proposal – June 29, 2006
House rejects H.R. 5252 Net neutrality amendment – June 09, 2006
Google posts call to action on ‘net neutrality’ – June 08, 2006
FCC Commissioner backs Net Neutrality – May 30, 2006


  1. This line says it all. “Verizon believe they should have a say on how to charge for data”

    It’s all data -email, video, online gaming, Facebook, FaceTime, etc…

    Data is data. To selectively charge for data is wrong. What did they think their networks would be used for?

  2. Just another excuse to jack up prices for increasingly crappy service to consumers who few (if any) options for choosing one cable/internet provider over another. In short, what Verizon wants is the ability to charge whatever it feels like with having to pay any real attention to consumers, or face any real competition in the marketplace. …And they wonder why people consistently rate them as one of the most hated corporations in the country.

  3. End users of the data networks already pay according to how much bandwidth they consume. To charge web sites for the privilege of passing data to end users that have already paid for it is just plain wrong. How are small operators supposed to compete?

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