I never thought I would nostalgic for the days of Michael Powell as head of the FCC but the new chairman Kevin Martin really scares me. I was very much opposed to Powell’s deregulation at all costs, that helped accelerate the consolidation of major media. However recent developments like podcasting, blogging and other means of network distribution of media are making traditional mainstream media increasingly irrelevant. However, now under Kevin Martin, the FCC has restated The Four Internet Freedoms originally put out under Powell’s reign. The FCC was created to regulate communications to ensure that limited public assets like the airwaves for tv and radio were used wisely for the public good. Now however, they seem to be focused on restricting what should be a limitless network for human communications in order to protect the entrenched but increasingly under pressure media oligarchy, from the new realities and the public be damned. Look at what they have now said:
How Martin’s FCC is different from Powell’s
The difference between the Powell FCC and the Martin FCC (.doc, .pdf) is clear in the re-statement of The Four Internet Freedoms issued Friday! Also see Martin’s statement (.doc, .pdf) and, for example, this article on Powell’s Four Internet Freedoms.
Powell: Freedom to access content.
Martin: Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.
Powell: Freedom to run applications.
Martin: Consumers are entitled to run applications and services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement;
Powell: Freedom to attach devices.
Martin: Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network.
Powell: Freedom to obtain service plan information.
Martin: Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.
And the Martin FCC adds an important footnote:
All of these principles are subject to reasonable network management.
Follow the link above the quote to see more. I found this through Om Malik’s Blog