‘ISPs are obstacle to net neutrality’
US President Barack Obama urged the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to “implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality” last week. He said he has a plan on how to keep the internet free and open. The only problem is that the FCC doesn't answer directly to the president.
RT:How much can Obama really affect this debate or new regulations?
Anatoli Nirscberg: Obama has no direct influence on the FCC. With that being said, it is a popular sentiment across the board, not just from the president, but coming from the industry experts… from businesses in general, and FCC itself wants to do something about it.
RT:But there are people who don’t want something to be done about it. Tell us more about that. What is the lobbying that is happening right now in Washington?
AN: Anytime that there is any kind of government oversight somebody is always going to be against that. Right now with the incoming House that is going to be dominated by Republicans, republicans want as little government oversight as possible. And while they tend to agree with that sentiment in this case a little bit will go a long way.
RT:This debate for protection of net neutrality has been going on for quite a while. Why Obama is stepping up now right after the elections?
AN: It is getting to a point right now where it is becoming an issue. The FCC has been on the sidelines and they have being pushed to do something about it. There is a deadline coming up on the 17th [of November] for them to impose the federal laws which apply to other telecoms such as telephones and other utilities for it to apply to the internet. It just the time has come - nothing more than that.
RT:You seem pretty optimistic about it. But tell us more about the actual challenge. If that was so easy it would've been done already, right? Who were Obama, the democrats, the Congress up against exactly here?
AN: Essentially who they are up against are the ISPs, the internet service providers, the Comcast, Verizon, and so forth: the people that get that stream from the original source to people’s houses and businesses. They are the ones that actually don’t want that neutrality, they want to make sure they are able to charge the companies like Netflix, which are streaming large amounts of data as a result of videos. Especially right now, with the 4k videos starting to stream live. They want to be able to make sure they can charge for it, and be able to throttle the usage online. The internet needs to remain open to a degree. You can’t have large conglomerates being able to pay more just to get their data out and smaller business, smaller companies, individuals not being able to have the same freedom online as the bigger companies that could pay for it.
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