The FCC is having none of the weak excuses Verizon is making for throttling with people’s speeds. Tom Wheeler responded to the letter sent by the Verizon leadership in a rather mocking manner.“’All the kids do it’ was never something that worked for me when I was growing up,” Wheeler said in reference to Verizon telling the FCC that all telcos were throttling with the speeds of their most active users, Reuters reports.
“My concern in this instance – and it’s not just with Verizon by the way, we’ve written to all the carriers – is that it is moving from a technology and engineering issue to the business issues.”
Wheeler is concerned that throttling with people’s data plans should be a last-resort measure and not something they do on a common base whenever certain lines are busier than usual, especially since Verizon’s intention is to throttle with the speeds of people with unlimited data plans.
It does sound, however, like Wheeler has also started questioning AT&T, Spring, and T-Mobile after Verizon’s chief said that they, too, did the same thing with their customers.
Unfortunately, the responses from these carriers are quite predictable, as they’re likely to put the blame on these customers with unlimited data plans that have the gall of actually taking advantage of the liberties they’re paying for. Instead, perhaps, these carriers should look at their own networks and why they cannot handle the necessary traffic and why network congestions happen in the first place, since this is obviously a technical issue.
It remains to be seen whether Wheeler actually intends to take any steps towards dealing with these carriers or if these are simple discussions taking place.
The net neutrality debate has taken center stage in recent months following a court decision telling the FCC that it cannot enforce open Internet rules on carriers because it has no legal power to do so. The FCC then came up with a new set of rules that would see carriers creating so-called fast lanes for companies with deep pockets, but such an option is actually bad because it goes against the very principle it tries to enforce.
Over 1.1 million people told this to the FCC in the two months opening during which time people had the opportunity to get involved in the debate. The only viable option, they say, along with tech companies and advocates, is to reclassify telcos as common carriers, which would immediately give the FCC power over them.
The US President Barack Obama has said ever since he was campaigning that net neutrality is a priority for his administration. This past week, Obama stepped forward once more in protection of the principle of net neutrality.
The President said that his administration’s position was completely against the creation of fast lanes which would allow a differentiation between companies. “You want to leave it open so the next Google and the next Facebook can succeed,” he added.