THE UNITED STATES Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has received over half a million comments about its proposals for the future of net neutrality in that country.
Ahead of tomorrow's deadline, a total of 647,000 comments have been sent to the commission expressing views on the future of the internet.
Opponents of FCC deregulation, which it claims will preserve net neutrality despite the introduction of "fast lane" internet traffic for paying organisations, believe that introducing 'pay to play' will lead to a culture of haves and have-nots, which will destroy the fabric of internet innovation, leading the way for big corporations to grab control.
However, many of these same corporations are themselves lobbying for the preservation of net neutrality rules. Today, the Internet Association, the trade body that counts Google, Facebook and Yahoo among its members will submit a filing in support of net neutrality to the FCC.
In a statement, the association said, "The Commission must act to protect (the nets) open and neutral architecture, which is the force behind the internet's success."
In fact the main beneficiaries and supporters of the FCC plans to bring in "fast lanes" are the cable companies and telcos of America, who stand to benefit most by being able to charge fees for lower latency and more bandwidth.
By sheer coincidence, FCC chairman and architect of the proposals to gut net neutrality Tom Wheeler was previously the CEO of trade body the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), which some view as a conflict of interest.
Wheeler became chairman of the FCC in November 2013. In February 2014, Verizon successfully appealed a rulingon net neutrality which paved the way for the debate.
From tomorrow, all 647,000+ comments will be made public and a private period of consulation between FCC members will begin lasting a further six weeks and ending in a decision on the future of the internet. Anyone who has yet to leave a comment and wishes to can do so here. µ
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