Sen. Ted Cruz: The President’s Vision for Net Neutrality is “Obamacare for the Internet”

by Matt Klassen on November 12, 2014

On Monday the Net Neutrality cause heard from its most influential supporter, as President Obama issued his own Open Internet proposal, calling on the Federal Communications Commission to establish principles that include no arbitrary blocking of any website or serve, no purposeful throttling of content, increased transparency of network management, and no tiered service; that is, fast or slow lanes.

Although it’s unknown whether or not the President’s Net Neutrality speech was in response to the rumours of what the FCC currently has in the works–a proposal that threatens to exclude the consumer side of the broadband industry from any focused regulation–one thing is absolutely clear about Obama’s vision for the Internet: the Republicans hate it.

In fact on Monday Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took to Twitter to blast the President’s proposal, calling Net Neutrality “Obamacare for the Internet,” (“Obamacare” now a synonym for everything that’s wrong with the world) and stating that, “the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.” Further, Cruz, with a flair for the dramatic, towed the longstanding Republican line, stating that Net Neutrality serves as the “the biggest regulatory threat to the Internet,” and should [insert issue here] be enacted, it will only serve to decrease choice and increase prices for consumers.

“Ever since the Internet was created, it’s been organized around basic principles of openness, fairness and freedom,” Obama said in the video posted on the White House website on Monday. “There are no gatekeepers deciding which sites you get to access. There are no toll roads on the information superhighway,” he said. “Abandoning these principles would threaten to end the Internet as we know it.”

These words stand as a succinct embodiment of the Net Neutrality cause, the pursuit of an Internet that operates as a public service, not something controlled by private enterprise. Broadband carriers shouldn’t be allowed to tell people what sights they can visit, which sites will receive the best service, and how much a quality Internet connection will cost, these things, in this modern age, should be available for all.

But of course such a reality is bad for broadband carriers, not because they won’t be able to make money, but because they might not be able to make as much money as they want, the true capitalist dilemma. It’s why the broadband industry is paying millions for lobbyists to pour snake oil in the ears of Republicans, and it’s why Ted Cruz heralds Net Neutrality as the end of the Internet for all.

“In short, net neutrality is Obamacare for the Internet,” the Texas Republican and possible 2016 presidential contender said in a statement distributed by his office. “It puts the government in charge of determining Internet pricing, terms of service, and what types of products and services can be delivered, leading to fewer choices, fewer opportunities and higher prices for consumers. The Internet should not operate at the speed of government.”

And of course in the middle of the reasoned proposal of President Obama and the fear-mongering of Senator Cruz we find the FCC, a flip-flopping, spineless bureaucratic entity tasked with the responsibility of determining the future of the Internet, and while the President noted that he can’t force the FCC’s hand in this matter, lets hope the FCC listens so that, as Obama said, “the consumers, not the cable company, get to decide which sites they use.”

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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