On Wednesday, January 21, as the House and Senate played host to back-to-back hearings on net neutrality, it was clear that there’s been a seismic shift from how these debates have played out in the past.
Where before we’d see allies of Big Telecom claiming that net neutrality was “a solution in search of a problem,” now it seems like almost everyone is eager to paint themselves as allies of the open internet.
This shift in the debate amounts to an accomplishment worth celebrating as it demonstrates the real power of dedicated activist work over the past year, with millions of Americans—including countless musicians and independent labels—speaking out.
But it also comes with real dangers, as many of the same allies of Big Telecom who once fought Net Neutrality outright were now arguing for a new bill that under the guise of a net neutrality “compromise” could actually strip the Federal Communications Commission of its ability to actually protect musicians and other creatives’ ability to connect to their fans without being put in the slow lane.
On Friday, January 2, news broke that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be voting on its long awaited Net Neutrality rules in February. The regular FCC meeting in February is scheduled for February 26. As Brian Fung of the Washington Post writes: read more
President Obama nominated two individuals late Monday to fill open slots on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). With one vacant seat and another expected shortly, Obama nominated Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Ajit Varadaraj Pai to the Commission. read more
Since Barack Obama’s inauguration, many in the arts community have pondered what the change in leadership might mean for our field. It’s clear that the new president has some interest in musicâ€”he’s got Jay-Z on his iPod and even handpicked “long, strange trippers” The Dead to play at the Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball in D.C. But looking past the meeting of tye-dyes and power ties, what does this mean for cultural policy?
Musicians haven’t always been the most politically plugged-in animals, but they do fight for what they need and care about.
We hope they realize how important net neutrality is to their work — both now and in the future.
Some Big Telecom companies want to charge providers for faster service, which would result in a "tiered" Internet. This could affect musicians, small labels and entrepreneurs who depend on equal access to the Internet to reach new listeners and engage fans and supporters. So it’s important to know which presidential candidates are in favor of net neutrality. Sometimes this is trickier than it sounds. read more