Should The Internet Be A 'Public Utility'?
Comment On FCC Proposal - It Affects You
February 9, 2015
By James Alburger
Producer & Voice Over Coach
The Internet is a huge part of our daily lives. As voice talent, it is also a critical part of our business.
This coming February 26, the FCC will be voting on a proposal for "Net Neutrality" - a vote that could reclassify Internet Providers as Public Utilities under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.
This is a hot topic because it is something that will not only affect us on many levels, but it is also something that is easily misunderstood.
On one side are those who feel Net Neutrality will put controls and constraints on the big Internet providers like Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, and Time Warner.
On the other side are those who believe that Net Neutrality is little more than a power grab by the government to take control of the Internet.
Although the proposal to be voted on implies that there will be no taxes or fees associated with Net Neutrality, the simple fact is that, if passed, the proposal will reclassify the Internet as a Public Utility - and that will fundamentally change the way in which the Internet is managed.
In 2010, the FCC enacted rules designed to maintain an Open Internet. Reclassification of the Internet would change that and could possibly open the door to future changes that might include fees and taxation. At the very least, reclassification would put the Internet in the U.S. directly under governmental control.
Whatever your personal opinion may be regarding Net Neutrality, we feel that it is important for you to know what is about to happen and for you to voice your opinion clearly and concisely.
You can click these links to the FCC website that include:
Should you decide to post your own comments, we encourage you to be as clear and concise with your statement as possible, providing reasons and explanation when necessary. After all, your comment will be part of the Public Record for this matter.
As an industry that requires an accessible Internet, we have an opportunity here to influence the FCC in their decision - one way or the other.
If you feel, as we do, that this is an important issue for those of us working in voice over, I encourage you to please share this information on your Facebook page and with your networking groups.
Editor's note: Below is James Alburger's comment to the FCC:
As with most government regulations or agency orders, there is both good and bad. The proposal by FCC Chairman Wheeler (to be voted on by the FCC on Feb. 26, 2015) definitely includes some very good things that will insure that the Internet is Open, such as a promise of no taxes or fees, among other things.-------------------------
James Alburger is an Emmy-winning producer and voice over coach, co-director of the VoiceActing Academy in San Diego, and co-producer of the VOICE conventions - the industry's largest training and networking event.
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