FCC Move Seen As Disaster For Online Start-Ups

Rob Garver | The Fiscal Times | April 27, 2014

FCC Proposal threatens ‘Net Neutrality’ and economic growth

...Experts who work with Internet start-ups warn that a new rule expected to be proposed by the Federal Communications Commission threatens to stifle innovation in just that way. Federal courts have twice blocked efforts by the FCC to codify what’s commonly known as “net neutrality.” That’s the idea, basically, that Internet Service Providers cannot discriminate against different kinds of traffic on the Internet. On Thursday, some say, the FCC admitted defeat, announcing a plan that would allow ISPs to sell companies who can afford it what amounts to “express lane” access to consumers’ homes.

“This proposal is a huge step backwards and just must be stopped,” said Michael Copps, a former FCC commissioner who advises the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative of liberal advocacy group Common Cause. “If the Commission subverts the Open Internet by creating a fast lane for the 1 percent and slow lanes for the 99 percent, it would be an insult to both citizens and to the promise of the Net."

Opponents of the proposal say it will make it impossible for new web-based companies to compete against established rivals.