At Fandor, we are passionate about keeping the Internet open. Tim Pozar, Director of Streaming at Fandor, recently spoke alongside Rusty Hodge of SomaFM and Brewster Kahle of Internet Archive at the the SF MusicTech Summit, on a panel regarding Net Neutrality. The panel was moderated by Julie Samuels of Engine. They discussed the nitty-gritty logistics of the changing Internet and shared strategies to deal with increased infrastructure needs and advocate for equal access to bandwidth. We thoroughly recommend giving it a listen.
All three panelists share grave concerns that if a “fast-lane Internet” is sanctioned by the Federal Communications Commission, startups and other smaller companies will have a much tougher time providing services on the Internet, since the fast lanes would only be affordable to “bigger players” like Netflix.
Pozar described how a slower lane will cause buffering and create a subpar viewing experience, which Mr. Hodge echoed would squeeze many content providers out of the picture entirely. He also pointed to the lack of competition between Internet Access Providers (eg. cable and telephone) as a factor influencing a lack of Net Neutrality. In order to create a truly competitive broadband market, he encouraged municipalities to create their own networks, treating Internet service as a utility much like water or electricity.
Mr Kahle discussed how his non-profit provides free Internet access to the city of Richmond, California, refuting the common excuse that increased infrastructure is “too expensive” or “too labor-intensive.” He also pitched that the U.S. Government regulate Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as “common carriers” to create a more level playing field.
He and all of his fellow panelists encouraged concerned citizens to meet directly with their representatives to express their concerns about the development of a “fast-lane Internet”. All of them were in consensus that this method is a very simple and effective way to be heard and put a face on the issues. Additionally, the FCC is still accepting public comments in support of “Protecting and Promoting an Open Internet,” which can be filed via this form.
And stay tuned: We will have more updates, resources and information on the issue of Net Neutrality and what you can do to advocate for the Open Internet.