Net neutrality often evokes extreme emotions with proponents of both extremes in abundance. While some want the net neutrality to be maintained at all costs, there are some who feel that net must be governed under some sort of guidelines. The debate has also brought a lot of heavyweights into the fray and it included President Obama and the New York Times.
Meanwhile the Federal Communications Commission has extended the deadline for feedback on the issue of net neutrality by five days, making the new deadline September 15.The earlier deadline was September 10th.
It is not the first time that the deadline has been pushed. The earlier deadline of July 15th was pushed to July 18th because the agency’s website crashed, unable to handle the voluminous 1.1 million comments, a majority of comments being about net neutrality.
The Federal Communication Commission is the agency which is entrusted with the job to oversee the enforcement of the regulations. Meanwhile Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has called upon to hold round table discussions on the issue outside of Washington.
The biggest concern is how to prevent big companies from monopolizing the net and get favorable treatment from the Internet Service Providers on how the traffic is managed. Experts have hinted at a possibility where big fishes in the Internet business will use money power to pay for premium services which will deliver data to users more quickly while others will be relegated to slower lanes. This will put them at a disadvantageous position.
FCC had in May hinted the possibility of allowing commercially reasonable deals. However content companies like Netflix Inc or Amazon.com Inc could pay Internet Service Providers like Comcast Corp or Verizon Communications Inc to give preferential and quick delivery of their web traffic.
Meanwhile President Obama has expressed his opposition to such a possibility. He added that a balanced and open Internet was very crucial for the next Google or Facebook.
A New York Editorial said, “Small and young businesses will not be able to compete against established companies if they have to pay fees to telephone and cable companies to get content to users in a timely manner.”
More than 1 million respondents contacted the FCC via email, mail and comments to express concern. The FCC is continuing to accept comments and views till September 15th and has also scheduled six roundtable discussions in Washington throughout September and October.