Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Net Neutrality Headache...

Am I the only one confused by the imminent FCC rules concerning net neutrality? This article in the NYTimes begins with “The Federal Communications Commission appears poised to pass a controversial set of rules that broadly create two classes of Internet access, one for fixed-line providers and the other for the wireless Net.”

This doesn't seem like good news, though it does seem to stop the evil Comcast from blocking access to sites and applications. But, on the other hand, it does allow wireless companies more latitude in putting limits on access to services and applications. And therein lies the issue.

FCC-popupAlex Wong/Getty Images
The chairman of the F.C.C., Julius Genachowski, introduced his net neutrality proposal at the beginning of the month.

According to Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota and a personal favorite of mine, said over the weekend that the F.C.C. was effectively allowing discrimination on the mobile Net, a fast-growing sector. “Maybe you like Google Maps. Well, tough,” Mr. Franken said on Saturday on the Senate floor. “If the F.C.C. passes this weak rule, Verizon will be able to cut off access to the Google Maps app on your phone and force you to use their own mapping program, Verizon Navigator, even if it is not as good. And even if they charge money, when Google Maps is free.”

And he’s right, and Verizon does suck. And, Google Maps is better then Verizon Navigator (I have used both) and it is free. One day, in the not too distant future, I will be free from the evil claws of incompetency, greed, and apathy that is Verizon. Until then however, the Android operating system, which I have yet to purchase, is featured in several of their phones and was created by Google. The Android OS used in many phones available via Verizon features as an app – you guessed it – Google Maps. And thus the headache of confusion. The article is here for you to figure out. Let me know if you do…


No comments: