Playing Chicken with Net Neutrality

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

Playing Chicken with Net Neutrality

What a weekend for food. On Friday, I made Philly cheese steak sandwiches with thinly sliced rib eye steak, onions, bell peppers and Swiss cheese. Saturday was a smash with Italian Chicken Cacciatore. I make it with chicken thighs for the tenderness but chicken breasts can be substituted. Also on Saturday I purchased a whole flounder at a local Asian market. I asked them to filet it but received a resounding “No”. However, at $3.99 a pound I could not turn up the chance to eat one of my favorite fish. As a teenager I was introduced to flounder stuffed with crab and shrimp.  However, when Gay and I traveled the UK, we had what I still think was the best fish and chips ever. It was made with a fish very similar to flounder called plaice. With a little care and effort, I removed four beautiful fillets from what began as a 3.75 pound fish but resulted in a little over two pounds of boneless, skinless fish. To put this in perspective, the flounder fillets with skin were selling for $17.99 at Central Market. My total cost for 2 pounds of useable fish was $15.00. Knife skills are important. I decided to make fish and chips on Sunday from half the flounder. If I thought more of you would deep fry food, I would share that recipe because it was the best fish and chips I have had in years. The batter was light and very crispy. The fish was the center of the dish and the twice cooked chips were a crunchy delight. However, the recipe of the week is Italian Chicken Cacciatore. It is easy to make and I do so every year or so, a compliment to the dish. Enjoy!

Playing Chicken with Net Neutrality

Thursday the Republican led house remove funding for the FCC to enforce its new net neutrality rules. Not much of a surprise, given that the Republican members of the FCC have opposed the new rules on principle. They do not believe the FCC has the authority to impose the new rules without authorization from congress. They are not alone. Even the two Democrats on the FCC, not counting Chairman Genachowski, question whether the rules are within the purview of the commission. As a reminder, in December, the FCC passed the following rules:

  • Wireless and wireline providers must be transparent in how they manage and operate their networks.
  • Wireline or fixed broadband networks cannot block any lawful content, services, applications, or devices.
  • Wireline or fixed broadband providers cannot unreasonably discriminate against traffic
  • Wireless service providers cannot block access to applications that compete with their services.

As a SIP Trunking provider, Broadvox offers it services over dedicated and BYOB (bring your own broadband) connections. Our BYOB service is jeopardized if the broadband carriers and ISPs can discriminate or negatively manipulate our VoIP packets. Currently, the customers at the most risk are those served by cable companies. We are close to insisting that businesses use our broadband or someone else’s T1s or SDSL. No cable modems.

As for the removal of funding, the stated intent is to keep the Internet “open and thriving” according to Representative Greg Walden, R-Oregon, Chairman of the House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. The actual result may be the opposite. Without oversight, I do not believe the LECs and other broadband carriers will always do what is right if it requires supporting a competitor. However, I do agree the FCC has overstepped its authority and needs to be reined in. Congress should either increase the authority of the FCC or propose a proper net neutrality solution. Removal of the ability of the FCC to enforce the rules will neither solve the problem nor make it go away. The effort will not be supported by the Democratic led senate. However, they will probably not propose any solution either thus maintaining the status quo, playing chicken with net neutrality.

 



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