Anyone that’s ever had the pleasure of a telephonic interaction with their unfriendly, corporate cable and broadband provider knows just how invested they are in upselling. Calling because your cable box stopped working for no discernable reason? Well, how would you like to add a landline while you wait. And wait. And wait. And wait.
The flip side of that upselling, of course, is hiding cheaper, unbundled options from consumers. Today, the Federal Communications Commission imposed an $800,000 fine on Comcast for failing to market its standalone broadband Internet service, reports PCWorld.
The Democrats defeated the Republicans in a strict party line vote, meaning our government won’t throw away the rules put in place by the FCC to protect “net neutrality”, which are set to go into effect Nov. 20.
Advocates of internet freedom didn’t love the new rules cooked up by the FCC, but keeping them was the lesser of two evils.
“Though the FCC’s rules are not great, they do offer some protections for net neutrality on the wired Internet and overturning them would have been a huge setback for free speech on the web. During debate on the Senate floor yesterday supporters of the resolution railed against government regulation while opponents defended the rules saying they were necessary to maintain the openness and innovation that has allowed the Internet to thrive,” the ACLU wrote on its blog.
On July 6, the Federal Communications Commission put up a blog post entitled “Contributing Code Back: FCC.gov’s Open-Source Feedback Loop,” articulating the agency’s commitment to open source and open source development. “Here at the FCC, we’re always excited when we can contribute to open source software,” new media fellow and developer Ben Balter wrote. At some point between then and this week, the FCC deleted the blog post and the Google cache. Some open source developers found this alarming, given that the agency changed leadership around the same time–ex-Microsoftie Steven VanRoekel left the agency in June to become the nation’s CIO and was replaced by Robert Naylor, previously CIO at the Small Business Administration.