Bill Moyers recently spoke with two observers of media and technology — telecommunications policy analyst Susan Crawford and New York Times columnist David Carr — about what new Internet rules proposed by the FCC could mean for our digital lives. The proposals would affect what is known as “Net neutrality,” the principle that everyone should have equal access to the web without preferential treatment.
On why Americans Should Care About Net Neutrality
“For most Americans, they have no choice for all the information, data, entertainment coming through their house, other than their local cable monopoly. And here, we have a situation where that monopoly potentially can pick and choose winners and losers, decide what you see,” Crawford tells Moyers.
Why the FCC Chairman Needs to Step up to the Plate
Crawford says FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler needs to regulate broadband providers like Comcast and Verizon but doesn’t want to “spark a war with the industry,” which could lead to retaliation against him.
How Industry Worked to Outlaw Municipal Networks
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which receives financial support from a number of telecommunications giants, has helped pass bills that hamper or outright ban municipal broadband networks in 19 states. “If you’re going to make way for Comcast to own this big a footprint, at least give American cities … the opportunity to grow an alternative,” Carr tells Moyers.
What Happened to Obama’s Promised Net Neutrality?
Bill follows the money to discover why an open Internet may turn out to be an empty campaign promise.