TV Writers: Killing Net Neutrality Will Make the Internet Too Much Like Our Industry

As public pressure on the FCC continues to mount, the Writers Guild of America, West cautions: Don’t be like cable television.

BERLIN, GERMANY - AUGUST 31: A visitor tries out an HP Spectre XT laptop computer featuring an Intel Ultrabook processor at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) 2012 consumer electronics trade fair on August 31, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. IFA 2012 is open to the public from today until September 5.
National Journal
Dustin Volz
Add to Briefcase
Dustin Volz
May 13, 2014, 12:59 p.m.

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.

What We're Following See More »
INDICTMENTS NOT PROOF OF COLLUSION
Rosenstein Holds Presser On Russian Indictments
1 days ago
THE DETAILS
Source:
CONTRADICTS TRUMP’S DENIALS
U.S. Indicts 13 Russian Nationals For Election Interference
1 days ago
THE LATEST

The indictment, filed in the District of Columbia, alleges that the interference began "in or around 2014," when the defendants began tracking and studying U.S. social media sites. They "created and controlled numerous Twitter accounts" and "purchased computer servers located inside the United States" to mask their identities, some of which were stolen. The interference was coordinated by election interference "specialists," and focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, immigration, and other divisive issues. "By early to mid-2016" the groups began supporting the campaign of "then-candidate Donald Trump," including by communicating with "unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign..."

Source:
“QUEEN FOR A DAY”
Gates Said to Be Finalizing a Plea Deal
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's office, indicating he's poised to cooperate in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the case. Gates has already spoken to Mueller's team about his case and has been in plea negotiations for about a month. He's had what criminal lawyers call a 'Queen for a Day' interview, in which a defendant answers any questions from the prosecutors' team, including about his own case and other potential criminal activity he witnessed."

Source:
ZERO-FOR-TWO
Another Defeat for Immigration Legislation in the Senate
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate on Thursday rejected immigration legislation crafted by centrists in both parties after President Trump threatened to veto the bill if it made it to his desk. In a 54-45 vote, the Senate failed to advance the legislation from eight Republican, seven Democratic and one Independent senators. It needed 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle. "

Source:
DISPUTE ASSERTION OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE
House Intel Panel Could Charge Bannon with Contempt
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"The House Intelligence Committee has scheduled a Thursday meeting to hear testimony from Steve Bannon—but it's an open question whether President Donald Trump's former chief strategist will even show up. The White House sent a letter to Capitol Hill late Wednesday laying out its explanation for why Trump's transition period falls under its authority to assert executive privilege, a move intended to shield Bannon from answering questions about that time period." Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee dispute the White House's theory, and have floated charging Bannon with contempt should he refuse to appear.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login