By Matt L. Miller, Staff Writer”The internet is a cesspool.
It’s a cesspit that’s just getting bigger.
We don’t want it to be worse.
We want to be better.”
That was the message from the chairman of the National Governors Association, the lobbying group that represents governors, on Friday.
It came as part of a statement by the National Press Photographers Association, which represents photographers, to call for stronger net neutrality rules.
The NRA and the Photographers’ Association, both of which have long advocated for stronger protections for the internet, said they have been “deeply disturbed” by the FCC’s decision to gut net neutrality, which protects the ability of websites and service providers to treat all internet traffic equally.
The groups also said the FCC should have considered how to protect consumers against predatory pricing practices like paid prioritization.
“The FCC has acted in a way that is not only reckless and unlawful, but it is a direct assault on the rights of consumers to access, participate, and choose where their content and services go,” NRA President and CEO Wayne LaPierre said in the statement.
“The internet has always been a free and open platform for expression and innovation, and the internet has never been so crucial to the economy.”
The FCC voted 4-3 last week to gut the Obama administration’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which established a framework to regulate broadband providers in the U.S. and set standards for net neutrality.
The agency’s decision comes on the heels of a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission that found that internet providers are charging “extraordinary” fees for internet service, including throttling internet speeds to speed up online video, allowing users to pay for extra video streaming and prioritizing access to video content.
Net neutrality advocates have called on the FCC to rescind the order and instead allow internet service providers, like AT&T and Comcast, to discriminate against websites that have the lowest speeds.
“A lot of people in the industry feel that they have had enough,” said David Sirota, an FCC commissioner from 2004 to 2014.
“We need a strong net neutrality that protects them, their customers, and their innovation.
It shouldn’t discriminate.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has repeatedly expressed his support for net-neutrality rules, saying they are needed to protect the internet from “the kind of predatory behavior” of broadband providers.
The FCC said Friday that it would be issuing a rule “implementing” net neutrality protections.
It said the rule would also “provide clarity” for the industry on what is allowed and what is not.
“As you know, the FCC is currently reviewing the Federal Communications Commission’s decision,” the FCC said.
“This review is expected to conclude by early spring 2019.”