Tuesday's court decision stripped the agency of any ability to protect Net Neutrality and stop companies from blocking websites and degrading Internet access. In the few days since a consensus has begun to emerge: To protect the open Internet, the agency must reclassify broadband access as a telecommunications service.
The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a potentially lethal blow to net neutrality -- the principle that the Internet should be available equally to anyone who wishes to use it as a medium for creativity and information, regardless of who they are and no matter the size of their checkbooks.
The idea that those companies that run big telecommunications networks shouldn't be able to play favorites is dead, at age 80. First enacted in the 1934 Communications Act, the principle was very simple. Telephone companies shouldn't be able to discriminate among the traffic they carry. The U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit ruling killed it.
Created with the intent of making the league sustainable, blackout policies today punish fans rather than encouraging attendance. With the average NFL ticket costing about $80, many fans who have not recovered from the recession simply cannot afford to attend. It is time to improve the deal for fans.
On Thursday, the new Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler will make his first visit to California to speak at a town hall-style event in Oakland. Here are three items Wheeler should consider to help improve digital literacy and high-speed Internet access in California and throughout the United States.