SIDEWALKING: Where The Internet Goes To Die

Comcast Center, 5:31 AM Wednesday by ERIC ASHLEIGH

WASHINGTON POST: You’ve heard that a major federal court just murdered the Internet. Or something. It’s not really clear. People are shouting about “net neutrality,” but that sounds more like a newfangled tennis term than anything else. What does it mean? Why should you care? If you’re confused about net neutrality, we’re here to help. MORE

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Court Backs Comcast Over FCC on ‘Net Neutrality’

VARIETY: Cable Operators Should Create Netflix Killer

How would you like to have to pay a fee to be able to stream YouTube videos at full speed? What if you liked downloading music from, say, or Soundcloud, but those sites suddenly became infinitely slower than bigger sites like Amazon or iTunes? Those are the kind of major changes to the Internet some folks are envisioning after a federal court ruling this week on what’s come to be called “net neutrality.” This stuff can get really confusing, with all the government jargon, Internet lingo and competing arguments mixed up in it. But it’s also really important and could rework the Web as we know it — like allowing the hypothetical situations above become realities. Here’s a breakdown of what this week’s ruling could mean to you. MORE


LOS ANGELES TIMES: Advocates of a free and open Internet could see this coming, but today’s ruling from a Washington appeals court striking down the FCC’s rules protecting the open net was worse than the most dire forecasts. It was “even more emphatic and disastrous than anyone expected,” in the words of one veteran advocate for network neutrality. The Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit thoroughly eviscerated the Federal Communications Commission’s latest lame attempt to prevent Internet service providers from playing favorites among websites–awarding faster speeds to sites that pay a special fee, for example, or slowing or blocking sites and services that compete with favored affiliates. Big cable operators like Comcast and telecommunications firms like Verizon, which brought the lawsuit on which the court ruled, will be free to pick winners and losers among websites and services. Their judgment will most likely be based on cold hard cash–Netflix wants to keep your Internet provider from slowing its data so its films look like hash? It will have to pay your provider the big bucks. But the governing factor need not be money. (Comcast remains committed to adhere to the net neutrality rules overturned today until January 2018, a condition placed on its 2011 merger with NBC Universal; after that, all bets are off.) MORE

RELATED: Vinton Cerf, considered a “father of the Internet” and co-inventor of the Internet Protocol, as well as Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web, and many others have spoken out in favor of net neutrality.[6][7] MORE

SLATE: This is the second time in four years that this court struck down the FCC’s attempt to adopt a network neutrality rule. It is now legal for AT&T or Verizon to block Slate, your blog, or any other site. Even though the Internet touches every part of our lives, one person is to blame for potentially destroying its potential for innovation and freedom of expression: former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. […] Genachowski was a former FCC lawyer who had been among the biggest fundraisers for his Harvard classmate Barack Obama. Even though there are five FCC commissioners, the chairman sets the agenda and largely controls the budget and staffing of the entire agency. So it was good news when Genachowski made aYouTube video explaining why he had to reclassify Internet services to ensure an open Internet and asked his general counsel to explain the legalities in a widely shared FCC blog post. Even though he and his general counsel promised to reclassify Internet service, Genachowski essentially caved as the cable and phone companies unsurprisingly continued to oppose network neutrality. MORE