The Ozcat Radio DJs

Save the Net: FCC Seeks Comment on Net Neutrality

Written by jeremy on Tuesday, 3 of June , 2014 at 9:14 pm

Watch John Oliver completely eviscerate the FCC’s new rules regarding Net Neutrality.

Th FCC wants comments at FCC.gov/comment. Good luck getting through. Keep trying. We shut down the FCC website the first day after this ran on Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight!” but 45,000 comments managed to get through between its crashing. Let’s keep it up.

Here’s my rant for the FCC. Feel free to use any of it in your own:

Dear FCC Arbiters of network “equality”:

If the results of the Telecomm Act of 1996 are any indication—and there’s no reason to think they aren’t—your new “monopoly-allowed” net neutrality rules are guaranteed to destroy innovation on the internet, which rarely comes from the companies that already own the market. Look what it did to radio. Opponents of the Act said at the time that the same few companies would end up owning every single major market station, and that it would be the death of independent, local radio. And look: who owns multiple stations with every major format in every major market? And where are all the locally-based, independent stations today? 100-watt LPFMs? Really?

Market leaders have no need to innovate. They already own the market. It simply reduces their profits, like adequate customer support. If you want new platforms and architectures to continue to grow, you can’t hand over network control to those whose main interest is in protecting the ageing technologies they currently own, and will continue to push off on us unless innovation comes from their competition. This is how the US ends up in 17th place internet-wise.

As for fairness, promises that the companies seeking to turn the internet into a tier-based cable TV clone will “play fair” with bandwidth are worthless, based on their history. The proposed fast-lane/slow-lane proposal will end up being normal-lane/no-lane, especially where protest or anti-Comcast (for instance) groups put up websites. No Lane for YOU. It will stifle dissent, protest, and freedom of speech. There is really no such thing as free speech when legitimate complaints can be throttled into oblivion by the very organizations against whom the complaints are made. A paid, tiered internet guarantees that those with more money get HD video and 7.1 sound, while those without get to cup their hands and shout.

As a lifelong professional in radio and internet, I cannot protest these new rules strongly enough. Internet is a fundamental requirement in today’s society. You can’t even apply for a job these days without connectivity. (A cell phone is no alternative; it’s useless for many internet services, like filling out large application forms online.) And once telephone calls started being routed via VoIP, the internet became virtually indistinguishable from traditional hard-wired communications. After all, what’s the difference now? Different kind of wire? One uses RJ-11 and the other uses RJ-45 connectors? Internet bandwidth is a modern basic, like water, electricity and gas. It should be classified and regulated as a utility: a common carrier.

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Ozcat DJs

These are the blog pages of the Ozcat DJs, thirty some-odd (some very odd ;) Vallejo volunteers as diverse as V-town itself, with interests, opinions and musical tastes to match. Ozcat Radio is a free-form station, so Ozcat’s DJs are all music directors of their own shows. Whether you’re a music lover, a fellow Vallejoan, or an artist looking for airplay, get to know the DJs who keep Ozcat on the air here.