Boy this sure feels like a Deja Vu but will definitely end much worse this time around. A little background first...
In 2013, Thomas Wheeler was given the FCC Chairman position. Wheeler had previously worked as a venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry, whom the FCC is now responsible for regulating. He was the CEO of The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA). He was also the former President of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA). Ironically, there was far more controversy and public outcry about Wheeler being installed as FCC Chairman than the recent appointment of Ajit Pai, earlier this year. Consumer watchdogs (and myself) wondered how someone who has lobbied so long and hard for the industry could possibly be a fair consumer advocate. Well, Thomas Wheeler turned out to fair, as well as a remarkable consumer advocate. In fact, he surprised the major providers who figured he was in their pocket. Things are going to get much worse and here is why you need to be concerned...
As is the custom, when a new administration comes in, the President usually appoints a new FCC Chairman. Thomas Wheeler resigned his post when it became apparent that Hillary was out and Donald was in. President Trump immediately installed Ajit Pai as his new FCC Chairman. Mr Pai, obviously a Republican, has always sided with the 800lb gorilla internet providers at the public's expense. Every time I see this guy's name, it's because he is trying to rollback many of the good things Thomas Wheeler accomplished for consumers, Net Neutrality being the biggest issue. Well, if I was going to give Ajit Pai an American name, it would probably be "Ben Dover", for obvious reasons.
Several days ago, Ajit Pai submitted a plan to dismantle the tough net neutrality rules the democrats fought for. He apparently doesn't like the fact that these regulations treat broadband internet providers with the same oversight as the phone companies.
For those who are not sure what "Net Neutrality" means, in a nutshell, the providers must offer an unfettered flow of online content like video streaming. It also prohibits the providers from slowing speeds for some video content, or selling faster lanes for delivering content, or discriminating against legal online material. Please make sure you educate your family and friends about this because there will be a vote in about a month. We need to make sure that the politicians know that this is a serious issue that we do not want monkeyed with.
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.