February 12, 2016

Public input on net neutrality continues

Battle over bandwidth

Battle over bandwidth

Discussions over equal and open access to the Internet continue. 

Advocates of net neutrality want unrestricted, high-speed access to the Internet, something that’s been talked about for nearly a decade. Barry Orton is a professor of telecommunications at the UW – Madison. “We are now in the fourth iteration of the Federal Communications Commission trying to figure out what to do about the Internet and failing legally each time.”

Orton thinks the Internet should be treated like a utility. Net neutrality gives open and equal access to broadband for all users, but certain businesses want faster speed than everyone else. “We’re really talking about speeds and service to both rural areas and particularly to non-money-making institutions. We’re talking about schools; we’re talking about libraries; we’re talking about UW campuses; we’re talking about people who are taking an online course from home.”

AUDIO: Orton says businesses like Netflix want faster speed than everyone else. . :66

Orton says if the fast lane is reserved for big businesses, the slower lane is what’s left for the less profitable businesses and individuals.

The FCC is taking a second round of public comments, responding to the first round which ended on Friday. Comments will be considered when making rules on broadband. The number of comments, to be considered when making rules later this year, reached 1,067,779 — the most ever for an FCC rule-making proceeding.

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