Once More into the Breach

A couple of years ago we thought we had this thing handled, but the new administration is undoing a lot of things, and Net Neutrality is one of them. For whatever reason, prevailing wisdom has it that we can trust the large, monolithic telecommunications companies to foster competition and create opportunity for new businesses by having the freedom to implement tiered pricing and apply it however they like.

This is diametrically opposed to the idea that the Internet should be available to all on an equal basis, as was the opinion of the previous Commission leadership and the previous administration.

At this point I’d like to step back and say that, like most of us, I welcome the chairmanship of Ajit Pai. I think his heart is in the right place and he genuinely wants to do right by broadcasters. But when it comes to Internet policy—which, make no mistake, directly affects broadcasters—Mr. Pai, whatever his personal feelings, is in lockstep with the administration and its desire to favor big business.

An uneven Internet playing field affects everyone—you and your listeners and customers most of all. If you have to pay more for higher speeds and if you have to contend with throttled access. . .and if your listeners and customers have to do the same. . .that affects your ability to serve your community through your website and your streams.


Whatever your opinion of John Oliver in general, and however offended your sensibilities might be at the name he chose for the domain that makes it easy to register your comments about Net Neutrality, you might as well take advantage of the opportunity to be taken directly to where you can leave said comments: www.gofccyourself.com. This is an important issue and I urge you not to be swayed by the propaganda propagated by the big telecom players.

As I have said on a number of occasions, I would be a Libertarian today if I were convinced that the private sector would put aside its penchant for greed and power and do the right thing. Unfortunately, not all business—and especially not all big business—has the ethical and moral guideposts that drive most small-market broadcasters. Until they do, we simply cannot afford to place the future of the Internet, unfettered, in the hands of those who serve themselves before they serve the public.