MHZmaster This week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler seemed to negate the commission’s 2010 Open Internet Order, saying that it would be OK if Internet Service Providers charged high-bandwidth sites like Netflix for a faster lane to consumers. Jon Brodkin brought us the facts and the analysis in FCC chair: ISPs should be able to charge Netflix for Internet fast lane.

A lot of our readers were disappointed, if not surprised. Wheeler previously worked as a lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries, and while some of his initial statements boded well for consumers, his latest comment was decidedly industry-friendly.

As Brainling wrote: “The guy is a former lobbyist for the cable industry. What did people expect? He almost certainly got his job because the cable companies put him there (through other lobbying efforts), specifically to ram rod through anti-consumer/pro-cable rules. This is how America works in 2013 folks. We all better pray Google Fiber works out, because until someone breaks the Big Cable hegemony, you can expect them to go as anti-consumer as the law allows them to.” bburdge agreed: “Yup. Exactly as expected.

He will make all these statements about being consumer friendly and for net neutrality, but then add small bits that slowly wear down what those things mean. So here we have ‘Yes, net neutrality is great, I fully support it, really important. But you know, paying extra for premium service is not a big deal right, we do it all the time, first class on the airplane, or overnight shipping. That’s not against net neutrality, it’s just the market…’ Sucks for us.” ender2003 tried an analogy: “Let’s paint a picture. Your house is connected to the city’s water supply, for which you already pay a monthly fee (water bill). You “rent” a water hose to use to water your lawn, but then are told that you will have to pay more to use the hose depending on where the water is coming from. You can get water for no charge from the owner of the hose, or you can pay an extra fee to access the city’s water. Does that make sense?” 1     

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