Writers Guild of America East opposes Internet fast lanes

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The Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) has made clear its opposition to any form of Internet fast lane.

In a letter to the FCC, the WGAE instead called on the FCC to broaden net neutrality to prevent content and service providers from reaping gains on the backs of consumers.

According to a Broadcasting & Cable story, the letter warned that media consolidation combined with "archaically narrow" regulations "could mean the brave new world of digital communications will wind up looking very much like the current television and film industry … in which a small number of powerful entities limit competition and thwart openness."

WGAE was not alone in opposing the so-called fast lanes put forward by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy for Free Press, penned a blog supporting net neutrality, which, he wrote, "was baked into the DNA of the Internet at its inception."

Removing that neutrality in favor of those who can pay for special treatment is not something that's playing very well outside the Beltway, he wrote.

"You have millions of everyday citizens speaking out and inundating the FCC with comments and demanding that the agency take action on behalf of the open Internet," he wrote. "In fact, once you get beyond the Beltway it becomes clear that net neutrality is one of those issues that unites the left, right and center."

Karr also countered claims from some, including Rep. Michelle Bachman of Minnesota, that net neutrality is "censorship of the Internet."

"Actually," he wrote, "net neutrality is the opposite of censorship. It dictates that Internet service providers behave as 'common carriers' – a standard under which network providers must transport automation from one user to the next without interference."

For more:
- Broadcasting & Cable has this story
- see the Free Press blog entry

Related articles:
Wheeler: Information will 'flow like the breeze'; Pew: No, it won't
Report: Google, Facebook 'quiet' when it comes to net neutrality
Mayors unanimously oppose Internet fast lanes

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