Today, federal regulators revealed a plan to roll back stricter net neutrality rules, giving Internet providers the ability to determine the websites and online services their customers can access. It will be put to a vote at the Federal Communications Commission’s December 14 meeting.
Cornell University engineering professor Stephen Wicker has briefed the U.S. government on cyber security, information technology and privacy concerns, and is the author of “Cellular Convergence and the Death of Privacy”. Wicker says that by repealing net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission empowers a small number of already large firms to control how and at what cost consumers access internet content.
“Today the FCC took another step to constrain a technology, this time by allowing a small number of very large companies to control how consumers access the internet, and to further control what those consumers can see once they are on the internet.
“The Federal Communications Commission has a long history of hampering the development of communication technology. Their lack of foresight with regard to wireless telephony and early cellular technology was almost comical.
“While most consumers have one, possibly two choices for broadband service providers, media giants continue to consolidate. It is not at all clear how these corporations have suffered from government regulation.
“We face a world in which we will have thousands of channels that all provide the same limited programming. As we endure what amounts to forced consumption, the next Google or the next Amazon may starve for lack of internet bandwidth.”