The principle that all Internet content should be treated equally as it flows through cables and pipes to consumers looks all but dead.
The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers.
This should come as a surprise to no one, or at least, to no one who has any sense of how US government functions under the Republican-Democrat two-party dictatorship. Like so many government "regulatory" agencies, the FCC is nothing more than a perch for powerful corporate interests to wield their influence. From Esquire:The proposed changes would affect what is known as net neutrality — the idea that no providers of legal Internet content should face discrimination in providing offerings to consumers, and that users should have equal access to see any legal content they choose.
For the past three years, Comcast's Senior VP of Governmental Affairs has been Meredith Baker. Baker's last job was the Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, where she signed off on the controversial NBCUniversal sale to Comcast in 2009.
Now we know that Baker, the former FCC Commissioner and a public official, was around to help make sure net neutrality died so Internet costs could soar, and that Time Warner Cable would be allowed to fold into Comcast, despite claims that the new megacorp might violate antitrust laws.Perhaps it is unfair to single Baker out. She's no different from the rest of the scum at the agency. From Open Secrets:
Baker's transition from FCC leadership to industry isn't unprecedented. Michael Powell, the FCC chairman from 1997 to 2005, made a similar move, heading to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, an industry group, in 2011 as its CEO. And Jonathan Adelstein, who was an FCC commissioner from 2002 to 2009, became the president and CEO of PCIA: The Wireless Infrastructure Association in 2012.Meanwhile, secret negotiations on the Trans-Pacific-Partnership continue apace, and will likely lead to further restrict the semblance of freedom on the internet.
Four other former FCC employees have followed Baker's path to Comcast. They include Rudy Brioche, who worked as an advisor to former commissioner Adelstein before moving to Comcast as its senior director of external affairs and public policy counsel in 2009. Brioche was so valued by the FCC, in fact, that he was brought in to join the commission's Advisory Committee for Diversity in the Digital Age in 2011.
Other revolving Comcast lobbyists include James Coltharp, who served as a special counsel to commissioner James H. Quello until 1997, and Jordan Goldstein, who worked as a senior legal adviser to commissioner Michael J. Copps. John Morabito, who served a number of roles in the FCC's Common Carrier Bureau, joined Comcast as one of its senior lobbyists in 2004. (He is no longer with the company.)