What is network neutrality and what does it mean to consumers?
Categories: Cable & Satellite, Internet, TV & Radio
Tags: Broadband, Comcast, competition, Consumer, Federal Communications Commission, Internet, ISP, Network Neutrality, Regulation, verizon, wireless
Earlier this week the government approved the super-sized deal allowing Comcast, which is already both the country’s largest cable television company and Internet service provider, to purchase control of NBC Universal and its huge stable of media properties. At Consumers Union, publisher of this blog, we made it clear that our first choice was for the Federal Communications Commission or the Department of Justice to reject this deal. Once it was clear the deal was going to be approved, we said the approval needed to include strong and enforceable conditions to help ensure Comcast would be firmly discouraged from engaging in anti-competitive, anti-consumer behavior.
WASHINGTON, D.C, January 18, 2011 — As federal regulators today moved toward approval of Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal, Consumers Union (CU), the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, and Consumer Federation of America (CFA) said the approval is coming with some real strings attached. CU and CFA had expressed objections to combining the nation’s largest broadband and cable provider with one of the largest content owners, concerned that a combination this large could constrict competition and choice, and lead to higher cable and broadband prices for consumers.
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 23, 2010 – Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, made the following statement today as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) circulates an order among the commissioners to approve Comcast’s proposed buyout of NBC Universal with certain conditions.
WASHINGTON, D.C. December 21, 2010 — As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today prepared to approve new rules for network neutrality, Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, called on federal regulators to apply the principles of the rules in their review of cable giant Comcast’s proposed buyout of the NBC Universal programming empire.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has posted a video in opposition to Comcast’s pending takeover of NBC Universal. The lawmaker from Vermont is deeply concerned about the deal which would give the country’s biggest cable provider control of one of the nation’s premier entertainment and information providers.
WASHINGTON, D.C, November 30, 2010. — Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports and this blog, is stepping up its effort to urge federal regulators to reject Comcast’s bid to buy NBC Universal. The campaign is the latest effort by Consumers Union against the combination of Comcast, the nation’s largest provider of cable TV and residential broadband Internet service, and the NBC programming empire. The print and online ads point readers to a web site – SayNoToComcastNBC.org – where they can write the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about the proposed deal.
Should Comcast get control of NBC, it could and likely would try to move Sunday Night Football off free broadcast television or even basic cable. Don’t think so? That’s exactly what happened to the groundbreaking Monday Night Football broadcast in 2005. After 35 years of revolutionizing televised NFL football, MNF was shifted from ABC to the ESPN cable network – lock, stock and Hank Williams Jr. Want to tell the FCC you are against the Comcast takeover of NBC? Just click here.
Internet consumers lost big – really big – in a decision issued by an appeals court in Washington this week. In essence, the court ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to preserve the freedom of consumers to choose what websites to visit, or programs to download, without interference from big Internet service providers such as Comcast and Verizon. Unless it is reversed, the ruling appears to allow broadband providers to engage in a whole host of highly egregious anti-consumer activities – up to and including the blocking of lawful content, applications, and devices. And, according to the court, the FCC may not have the legal authority to stop any of it.