No sooner had the Federal Communications Commission adopted net neutrality as official policy, than the policy’s opponents voiced their displeasure–via typewriter.
“Today’s decision by the FCC to encumber broadband Internet services with badly antiquated regulations is a radical step that presages a time of uncertainty for consumers, innovators and investors,” Michael E. Glover, senior vice president at Verizon, said in a statement, rendered in typewriter font.
The company then released the same statement via Morse code, according to The Hollywood Reporter–though it’s unclear whether anyone was listening.
Today’s 3-2 vote in favor of net neutrality ended months of heated debate between technology coalitions, with startups and advertising-based businesses on one side and infrastructure companies on the other.
In a separate 3-2 vote, the FCC acted to override laws in Tennessee and South Carolina that prohibit public, municipal utilities from operating their own internet service, in essence enshrining monopolies and duopolies. That ruling, which proponents expect will encourage more competition among providers, has been vociferously opposed by state lawmakers and large telecoms.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had been signaling his support for net neutrality since last fall, when President Obama backed the regulatory framework after soliciting input from startup founders. A coalition of more than 60 companies, including Cisco and Intel, had lobbied Congress to legislate a framework that would protect their interests, but to no avail.
The new rules prohibit site blocking, paid prioritization, and other tiered and gatekeeping activities, effectively regulating the Internet as if it were a public utility.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]