Thursday, February 26, 2015

Google Wants You to Thank The FCC For Net Neutrality

Earlier today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to fairly unprecedented steps that may make history by placing broadband under Title II regulation of the of the Communications Act. The move is seen by some as a way for the federal government to permanently safeguard net neutrality by to reclassifying internet service providers (like Comcast and AT&T) as "telecommunication services" which allows the FCC to create legally-binding rules for ISPs.

Today's 3-2 vote was the culmination of months of back-and-forth between net neutrality advocates — determined to keep the internet free and open — and ISPs, who have accused the federal government of unjustly overstepping its bounds.

One major proponent of today's ruling has been Google, oddly as that could seem to be. The search giant calls today's move a first step towards driving innovation in bigger, faster broadband by making it easier for users to be able to control their own Internet connections and for communities to make their own choices to suit their local needs for broadband.

It's been nearly five years since Google first entered the ISP market by offering to build a fiber-optic network in one U.S. city as an experiment — and as they've expanded Google Fiber they have often butted heads with existing ISPs. Who without regulation have been able to block competition from utilizing existing infrastructure to create their network.

For example, in Austin, Texas, AT&T owns about 20% of the utility poles. Google has requested to use them, but AT&T wanted to charge more money than it would to other ISPs. If Google were classified as a telecom provider, AT&T would be legally obligated to provide access at a fair market (read: lower) rate. But until that happens, AT&T is unwilling to share.

Under this new ruling, Google believes we'll see more fairness and openness in the market and they are calling on everyone to 'take action' by thanking Chairman Wheeler and the FCC for supporting local choice and competition in broadband networks:

Google wants everyone to take to Twitter, Facebook and of course Google+ and post the following message: Thanks to @FCC and @TomWheelerFCC for supporting local choice and broadband competition

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