For a 70-year-old man who may or may not know how to use a computer according to speculation in Gizmodo and elsewhere, Donald Trump appears to be taking a hard line against net-neutrality.
Enshrined in 2015, the FCC's net-neutrality regulations keeps internet service providers from blocking legal content or adjusting the speed of services based on how internet service providers are paid. While Donald Trump has said (and insulted) everything and more on his favorite internet platform, Twitter — the Donald does know how to use a phone or how to make someone do so for him — his past criticism of net-neutrality presents grave concern for its advocates.
Obama’s attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target conservative media.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2014
This week, according to a post on Donald Trump's website "Great Again," Trump and co. named Mark Jamison and Jeff Eisenach to oversee his telecommunications policy agenda team at the FCC. As Recode enlightens us, Eisenach has received payments from Verizon, an internet service provider eager to end net-neutrality for profit. Working on the FTC and FCC under President Reagan, he helped repeal the Fairness Doctrine, among other obligations in the interest of the public. Jamison, meanwhile, has worked as a Sprint lobbyist. A University of Florida Professor, he's also opposed net neutrality as well as policies to expand broadband access to Americans with low incomes.
Fortune writes that "Without the rules [of net-neutrality] cord cutters and other fans of popular streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu, could see their bills rise as Internet service providers tack on new fees or impose tighter data usage caps." What's more, "A deeper concern is that even if large, established websites survive such tactics, innovative online upstarts may never get off the ground," they report.
“We have just elected a bully who is not concerned with the US Constitution or the rule of law," free speech and net-neutrality advocate Malkia Cyril told Motherboard this month. “Trump’s presidency could have savage consequences for poor people and communities of color when it comes to internet freedom. Our right to free speech is at stake.”
However, Cyril, with whom SFist spoke last month regarding an appearance in the Netflix documentary 13th, wasn't all doom and gloom. This seems like a funeral for so many things we care about, but it could actually be a rebirth for our movement,” said Cyril. “We’re going to double down on our commitment to internet freedom and equality for all people.”