Danger Will Robinson. Your Internet Freedom is at risk!
On December 21st, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission officially adopted controversial new Net neutrality rules, but the fight is far from over as the FCC's authority to create and enforce these regulations may still be in question.
Up to this point in time, the Internet in the free world has not been restricted in any meaningful way by government rules and regulations. This hands-off approach has allowed the Internet to evolve in a free-market way permitting people in businesses the opportunity to research, buy and sell goods and services to their best advantage.
The new regulations mandated by the FCC will be the camel's nose under the tent, imposed to chip away at those freedoms. This will undoubtedly stifle long-term innovation and potentially restrict new investments in to the Internet infrastructure because of the uncertainty of what these FCC regulations will evolve into will make the infrastructure providers and/or the content makes less likely to make significant investments in a changing regulatory environment.
One place where these regulations will have an immediate effect is on the delivery of television and radio via the Internet because of bandwidth restrictions that will now be able to be put into place. For example, this could lead to a scenario similar to the Time Warner and ABC dispute, when networks and cable TV were negotiating fees to be charged and subscribers were left unable to watch shows they had previously had access to.
Because of this threat to Internet's capability to be able to be able to deliver whatever goods and services the buyer and seller agree upon, I urge you to contact the FCC and make your voices heard that these regulations should not stand. The FCC has intervened in an area that the Courts have said were not under the FCC's jurisdiction , and that the Congress has examined and decided that no changes were desirable.
I strongly urge you to voice your concern to Julius Genachowski the FCC Chairman who supported this controversial regulation, at Julius.Genachowski@fcc.gov, and to the two commissioners who voted in favor of this Michael Copps at Michael.Copps@fcc.gov and Mignon Clyburn at Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov.
Additional reading on this topic:
- The FCC's Threat to Internet Freedom. http://on.wsj.com/i8xdze
- Wave goodbye to Internet freedom FCC crosses the Rubicon into online regulation. http://bit.ly/dEdEU0
- US cable groups win ground on net neutrality rules. http://bit.ly/hYmGZO
Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (www.ubcc.com), a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology. Ken attended Oxford and Southern Illinois Universities and earned degrees in Accounting and Business Education, with a minor in photography. Ken has designed payroll and accounting software and systems since 1981, is a frequent presenter for national association CPE seminars, a contributor of editorial content for well-respected accounting publications, and speaks at state and national accounting professional events.Ken's blog postings provide readers with insight into how technology trends (i.e. Google, Microsoft, Apple, the FCC, Verizon, the Internet, Web Apps, Web security, etc.) will impact payroll and accounting professionals and business owners.