An Open Internet vs. Internet Freedom: What's the Debate?

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Jun 20, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Are you following the net neutrality debate? Perhaps you've heard about it and sense the passion surrounding it, but are not quite sure what is at stake. Back in 2015, TECHPol alerted readers to the new rules being proposed by the Federal government to ensure an "open internet." This seemingly innocuous concept has been the subject of much controversy, and now the 2015 rules are in the process of being reversed. It's time for a review and an update on the issue.

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Topics: Net Neutrality, regulations, federal policy, internet

Looking for a Better Deal on Internet Service? New Labels May Help

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Apr 12, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Have you been surprised by a large mobile service bill or do you wonder why you pay so much for slow Internet at home? New labels designed to give you straight-forward information about your mobile and fixed broadband services and associated charges may solve the mystery.  On April 4th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the approval of the new broadband labels to "allow consumers to easily compare the services of different providers." The new, easier-to-digest labels should look familiar as they mimic the nutrition labels you find on food packages.

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Topics: Net Neutrality, broadband, internet, mobile data, fcc

Internet Speed and Access:  Chipping Away at FCC's Net Neutrality

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Jan 19, 2016 8:30:00 AM

In June, amidst great controversy, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) finalized its rules to provide an "open Internet" or "net neutrality."  For anyone concerned with Internet access and speed (who isn't?),  this is an important policy debate.  (See blog:  Net Neutrality: The Big Event on June 12th for a summary of the issues). A lawsuit questioning FCC's authority to implement its new rules is pending, and Congress continues to push legislation that would limit the FCC's policy to prevent what it sees as potential government overreach. This week, two more bills that would curtail the FCC's plans got a boost at a congressional hearing.  

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Topics: Net Neutrality, regulations, small business, internet

The Congressional Agenda This Fall: A Preview

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Sep 8, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Congress returns to Washington this week to a full plate of legislative items, including a number that have deadlines.  Here’s a quick overview of the agenda:

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Topics: Net Neutrality, broadband, regulations, taxes, patents, cybercrime

Net Neutrality: The Big Event on June 12th

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Jun 9, 2015 10:03:05 AM

It’s been called a “monumental and unlawful power grab,” the “nuclear option,” and “one giant step backwards,” as well as a “sweet victory for the Internet” and a “victory for free speech.”   These are all descriptions of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2015 Open Internet Order, a set of new regulations published in March to become effective on June 12 th.   Clearly, there are disparate views on whether the FCC’s new policy is laudable or disastrous.
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Topics: Net Neutrality

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FocusData: TECHPol is a blog on technology and business policy issues affecting small and mid-sized companies.  TECHPol’s primary author, Lori Salley Ring, spent 20-plus years working on Capitol Hill, including as the top staffer on the House Committee on Small Business.  FDS is an IT consulting firm providing managed services, office tech relocation, network security, and IT support for businesses in the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia area.

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About the Author

Lori Salley Ring

Lori Salley Ring

Lori serves as Policy Advisor and Communications Specialist for Focus Data Solutions.  Lori spent more than 20 years working for the U.S. Congress, including as Chief of Staff to a member of the House leadership and as the Staff Director for the Committee on Small Business.  Lori also ran a Washington-based non-profit organization between stints working for the Federal government. 

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