After the whole year of battle between FCC and the US Internet consumers, tech companies and other supporters of Net Neutrality, it is quite unfortunate that the proposal to repeal Net Neutrality has finally been approved.
People's Reaction After the Repeal
What is th decision on #NetNeutrality ?
My twitter wont load, and now I just got a $10 million dollar bill in the mail from Verizon, and now North Korea just launched a nuke at us because they were watching Stranger Things and it buffered.
— Joey Salads (@JoeySalads) December 14, 2017
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 14, 2017
If you're upset at the Net Neutrality vote and have a Verizon phone or internet consider switching. Verizon bankrolled Ajit Pai. Cancelling or switching hurts them. Let them know why.
— Dragoneer Investment Derps (@Dragoneer) December 14, 2017
Is there one person on this earth who loves or trusts their internet provider to put their interests ahead of profit? WAKE UP, AMERICA. Nobody wants to lose #NetNeutrality except the telecoms–AT&T, Viacom, Verizon, etc–and the people they're PAYING OFF #InternetFreedom
— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) December 15, 2017
— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) December 14, 2017
The #FCC voted to destroy it. What's wrong with this picture?
— Futility Cult (@futilitycult) December 15, 2017
1/ Here's what you can do now that #NetNeutrality has been defeated by a handful of autocrats who have defied 86% of the American people:
– Drop your Verizon memberships (their lawyer is the architect of this)
– If you have a website, move it to a Canadian provider
— Brian J. O'Malley (@BrianJOMalley) December 14, 2017
Another Big Loss for the American People.
— PROUD RESISTER 👊 (@ProudResister) December 14, 2017
I just cancelled my Verizon account. When they asked why, I told them that their support of the repeal of Net Neutrality was a deal breaker. pic.twitter.com/kZK1iiPyD9
— Lucian (@LucianRandolph) December 15, 2017
The heated battle for the Internet, i.e., FCC vs. Net Neutrality, is nearing its end.
December 14, 2017 is going to be one of the toughest days for the Internet users in the US. It will be the day when the FCC would reveal a new future of the Internet.
Only time will tell whether the users will be living the rest of their Internet days with complete online freedom or under the servitude of Telecos and ISPs.
As for the current scenario, there are many who are opposing the Net Neutrality rollback, while there are some favoring the repeal. Verizon seems to be amongst those who are favoring Net Neutrality, even though there had been past cases of Verizon throttling accusations and, not to mention, a lawsuit against FCC.
But, is Verizon’s Net Neutrality support really a genuine concern this time or simply a sham as a strategic cover-up? Let’s find out by looking at the present and past conducts of the telecom giant when it comes to an open Internet.
The Sweet Talker – Verizon on Net Neutrality – The Supporting Claims
Right after Ajit Pai – a former lawyer of Verizon – proposed his plan to kill Net Neutrality, digital rights advocacy groups, Internet activists and other tech giants began protesting the repeal. In fact, an event, The Day of Action, was organized on July 12, 2017 to protest the rollback which ultimately became the largest online protest.
Since all the tech giants were jumping in, Verizon, along with other teleco giants, jumped aboard the bandwagon, claiming their “vague” support for Net Neutrality.
Verizon’s executive, Will Johnson, issued a press release that day in which he stated,
“Today, some companies and organizations are taking part in a “Day of Action” on net neutrality. We respect that and applaud their passion. But for more than a decade this issue has been characterized primarily by slogans and rhetoric, and this has not led to protection of the open Internet on a permanent and predictable basis. So we respectfully suggest that real action will involve people coming together to urge Congress to pass net neutrality legislation once and for all.”
The 700-words long press release also clearly read that the company “supports the open Internet.” However, right after appreciating the participants standing up for a cause and after explaining their perspective of “Right goal, wrong approach”, Verizon stated that although they support the open Internet, they do not accept the rules that “impose 1930s utility regulation on ISPs.”
Further in the press release the company agreed that “the FCC is doing the right thing in trying to find a new legal basis for protecting an open Internet.” But right after saying that it retracted to its earlier statement,
“But we’re NOT backing off our consistent support for policies that ensure that consumers will always be able to go where they want, and do what they want.”
Before this press release, Verizon also published a video on YouTube with the title, Where We Stand on Net Neutrality.
In this video, the host interviews the general counsel of Verizon, Craig Silliman, who agrees that the company supports the action of the FCC against the 2-year long ruling of Net Neutrality.
Moreover, in Verizon’s perspective, the FCC, “is not talking about killing net neutrality rules and in fact, not we nor any other ISP are asking them to kill the open internet rules. All they're doing is looking to put the open internet rules in an enforceable way on a different legal footing.”
Such comments by Verizon or its representatives are mixed with vague statements that seem to be confusing the readers whether the service really opposes the repeal or supports it.
The Bitter Truth – The Verge’s Take on the Verizon Video
The Verge was amongst the observant eyes that were attracted to the Verizon video because of its ambiguous and perplexing comments. According to the tech news media outlet, whatever the general counsel of Verizon said in the video was “flatly not true.”
In fact, the website supported its perspective by weighing the statements with the actual facts. Here’s a little excerpt from The Verge’s blog post:
Image Credit: Theverge.com
Blast in the Past – Verizon Passed Lawsuit against the FCC
The “Where We Stand on Net Neutrality” video and the earlier press release aren’t the only places where Verizon seems to contradict what it states.
When the FCC Open Internet Order 2010 was established, many opponents of the order were against it as they believed that the rules were too stringent and restrict innovation.
Verizon was amongst the strict opponents of Net Neutrality back then. Verizon not only opposed the FCC rules but in fact it sued the FCC on the grounds that the agency didn’t have the rights to go beyond its authority and impose any restrictions on telecos and ISPs.
The company tried to kill all the three orders that made up the Open Internet Order 2010. However, it failed in terminating the two most important rules that were:
- No Blocking
- No Discrimination
These are the same rules that users may possibly have to bid farewell to if the Net Neutrality rollback is passed on December 14, 2017.
As a matter of fact, when the Net Neutrality bill won the vote by 3-2 in 2015, Verizon trolled the ruling by releasing a press release which was written entirely on “Morse Code.”