The creative geniuses behind more than 240 television shows urged the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday to nix an agency proposal that would create different speeds for different websites on the Internet.
Such “fast lanes,” the Writers Guild of America, West cautions, would make the Internet a place where an elite, wealthy few control most of the content and hike consumer prices — just like cable television.
“If Net Neutrality is neutered, the Internet will become like cable television,” the guild wrote. “A few corporate gatekeepers such as Comcast will be allowed to decide what content consumers can access and on what terms. The danger is that blocking, discrimination and paid prioritization could occur.”
Such a market, the guild argues, would lead to the consolidation of power over the Internet within the hands of a few monopolistic service providers and lock out competition.
“That is exactly what has occurred in our traditional film and television business,” the letter reads. “After decades of consolidation and mergers, seven corporations control 95% of television production and viewing.”
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is backing new regulations that would let Internet service providers — such as Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon — charge websites for access to so-called fast lanes that would leave websites unable to pay that fee subject to lesser levels of service.
Wheeler’s rules come after a federal appeals court in January struck down the existing basis for net neutrality. Public pressure has intensified ahead of the FCC’s Thursday vote on the proposal.
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In a release Tuesday afternoon, the White House announced that President Obama has commuted and/or reduced the sentences of another 111 convicted criminals, mostly convicted of drug possession or trafficking. About 35 were serving life sentences.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Monday he'd now be willing to hold a hearing on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in a lame-duck session of Congress. While he said he wouldn't push for it, he said if "Hillary Clinton wins the White House, and a majority of senators convinced him to do so," he would soften his previous opposition.
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The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has requested documents from the CEO of Mylan, "the pharmaceutical company under fire after raising the price of EpiPens more than 400 percent since 2007." Meanwhile, top members of the Energy and Commerce Committee are pressing the FDA on the lack of generic competition for EpiPens.