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Senator Schumer calls for big stick of “Title II” as net neutrality debate heats up

New York Senator Chuck Schumer has upped the stakes in the debate over how the FCC should regulate broadband internet providers, by calling on Friday for them to be reclassified as so-called “common carriers.”

In a Facebook post, Schumer invoked “Title II,” which has been a third rail in discussions on telecom policy, because it would require companies like Comcast(s cmcsa) to behave more like public utilities. His post reads in part:

“Like a highway, the internet must remain free and open for all; not determined by the highest bidders … Title II reclassification is the best way to for us to preserve the internet as an unfettered tool for communication and the sharing of ideas.”

In response to the post, prominent figures from the tech world, including Reddit’s Alexis Ohanain and lawyer Marvin Ammori, left comments hailing Schumer’s plan as an important step for startups. (This being the internet, the post was also greeted by a faction of trolls and loudmouths). Here’s a screenshot:

Schumer FB screenshot

Schumer’s post comes as the FCC closes its first round of comments next week on a policy that raised the idea of letting companies pay for “fast lanes” that would let them deliver their content ahead of other sites.

The current rules on what internet providers can and can’t do are in disarray after an appeals court struck down the FCC’s previous “net neutrality” policies, but left the door open for the FCC to impose the Title II classification. FCC chair Tom Wheeler has said he will consider invoking the Title II rules, a position the internet companies vehemently oppose.

13 Responses to “Senator Schumer calls for big stick of “Title II” as net neutrality debate heats up”

  1. dfgtd5

    It is all right to complain to the FCC but they can only do so much.
    The people that control the FCC is congress that is who needs to receive the email, phone calls, fax, and letters demanding to know when they are going to represent the people and not the big business – isp? wanting to know why the ISP are allowed not to deliver what their advertising is promising and not delivering?

  2. Richard Bennett

    Title II will kill Vonage, ironically. This proceeding is all about re-aligning the Internet for the flavor of the week, Netflix.

    How the mighty Internet has fallen; circa 2000 it was all about free speech and democracy, now it’s cat videos and “Friends” reruns.

  3. Skippy

    “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it.”
    – Frederic Bastiat

  4. If Comcast, Mediacom, ATT, and all the others oppose it you know it is good for the consumers. Telecomms have proven that they have only their investors best interests in mind so anytime they agree with something it is bad for us. Title II for internet companies!!

  5. T-Bird

    I would like to add, “money in politics”…. allows these greedy corporations and corporatist a-holes the ability to repeal laws, (a monumental feet in its self, ie Glass Stegall) change rules all to legally steal. That is why no one went to jail in the 2008 economic holocaust. With the gusto of the Supreme Court we are witnessing a coup de ta in this country, we will soon have a dictator here!

  6. Kent R

    it is time that Money took a secondary seat to Communications equal conversation rights should be as much as conversation on the congressional platform If any taxation should go to three things only General Mfg of fiber optic lines ONLY the Post office to make all the Franking privilege for Congress even unless it comes directly from all funds received for political campaigns then apply it to infrastructure bridges and US highways only final third to the national debt evenly no earmarks for for any particular program allowed but scatter gun approach knock a penny off all the bills till you run out of pennies to pay toward all debts that are a part of national debt.

  7. Don Patrick

    I am rural. Not out in the middle of nowhere rural. just not within 10 miles of a small city. No matter what happens with the internet, it will not affect me because no one will build the infrastructure out here to get me any type of fast internet service. My speed is in the 2mbps max range download and 1/6 that upload. Yup .42mbps. Those are my fast speeds.If I were to get anything without buffering and stuttering, I probably couldn’t understand it and it would sound like a bunch of Yankees talking at me.
    If you guys in the cities want to keep the internet open with no fast lanes, you better call the FCC, cause if you leave it to me to do that, well, I simply have no incentive. I’m in a permanent slow lane and let me tell you somethin’. You really don’t want the experience. Make the calls and keep calling the FCC, and your Congressman and your Representatives. If you don’t, you WILL regret it.

    • Kent R

      have you priced satellite connections their is more than Hughes they may be a tad pricy but its high speed… most anywhere you can get power.

    • macertx

      Meh … I just ran a speed test : 2.57 down , 0.43 up , 86 ping and I live IN a city .
      Broadband should be at least 20/5 nowadays in my opinion .

  8. John Engle

    This is not about keeping the internet free. Nor is it about freedom of speech. It is not about any kind of freedom at all. It is about making money. Period. Just about every single issue going on in the world today is about control and making money. Those in power will lie to your face that it’s about keeping you safe. Protecting your information. Making the internet safer for everyone. That’s a complete load of horse $h!t. And if you believe any of it, then you deserve whatever they dish out. The powers that be want you to think that they are on your side and have your best interest at heart. There is nothing further from the truth. Greed drives our world now. We no longer even care about basic religion because we have remade religion into something that all big business and everyone else worships…… the almighty dollar. THAT is our God now. That is what we worship and hold above everything else. It’s always about the money. We have let our basic freedoms and liberties be slowly stripped away one by one all in the name of profit. How rich are we now?