The US watchdog, which is staffed by ex-members of companies it is supposed to be watching, is in a bit of a pickle. The US people and President Barack Obama expect it to come out in favour of net neutrality. The only problem is that the US telcos hate the idea which will stop them from creaming shedloads of cash from customers without having to provide much needed infrastructure changes.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the government regulatory body that’s spent much of 2014 deliberating whether to make the Internet a public utility has said that it will not vote on open internet rules on the December meeting agenda. That would mean rules would now be finalised in 2015.
Obama campaigned on a promise of net neutrality, the general concept that internet providers should not be able to dictate the rules of how fast customers can access certain sites. However he appointed Tom Wheeler, a former cable lobbyist, to head the FCC which was seen as appointing a fox to run the hen house.
The news that the FCC will delay its decision is particularly devastating for net neutrality proponents, because it means that the telcos can ring up their mates in the Republican-held Congress. The Republicans do not really understand net neutrality Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the issue the “Obamacare for the internet” he later realised that it was too stupid even for a Republican senator that he retracted it. However, the Republicans see it as one of those matters that if Obama wants it, they have to oppose. Besides while the American people might want net neutrality, the telcos do not, and they that will provide the Republicans with campaign contributions to nix the idea.