Foes of net neutrality are getting set to spend $1.4 million to air a series of ads against the Federal Communication Commission’s efforts to enforce net neutrality rules by regulating broadband access providers as telecom services. First up: this peppy offering from Americans for Prosperity, that warns that the Internet will be the next domino to fall to the encroaching menace of a “Washington takeover.”
The BBC reports:
The campaign is a response to new “net-neutrality” rules that require cable firms to treat all net traffic equally.
The rules are part of plans to bring high speed net access to every citizen.
“This is a naked power grab,” Phil Kergen of Americans for Prosperity told BBC News.
He described the new rules – a hybrid of two older schemes – as an “aggressive regulatory approach”.
“The FCC wants to reduce the internet to an old-fashioned government-regulated utility,” he said.
As the advertising strategy was announced, advocacy group and net neutrality supporters Free Press hosted a day-long forum on media reform.
At the event, FCC member Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, hit out at “misinformation” efforts by groups opposed to the FCC’s course of action.
“An unfortunate reality is that having an open forum with reasonable and honest debate in this sphere appears unlikely,” said Ms Clyburn.
Pro-net neutrality advocates, such as Skype’s Josh Silverman, counter critics by insisting that the policy is about openness, not regulation: “We don’t see this as about regulating the internet. It is just making sure that people who control the on-ramp to the internet provide fair and balanced access.”
Ad campaign seeks to derail US net plan [BBC News]