Sports And Net Neutrality

Obama Throwing First Pitch - Photo Credit

Obama Throwing First Pitch – Photo Credit

“Fast lanes would serve only one purpose,” said Michael J. Mellis of MLB (Major League Baseball) Advanced Media LP in a public comment to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding net neutrality. “For Broadband ISPs to receive an economic windfall.”

Major League Baseball objects to efforts to prioritize Internet traffic, and when baseball talks, politicians listen. Mellis frames the debate over net neutrality in easy to understand terms. Read the entire letter here.

“MLB has a vested interest in seeing the web remain as open as possible, wrote John McDuling in a July 28 blog post on Quartz. “Yet the letter is no less persuasive, demolishing the ISPs arguments that fast lanes are needed to fund infrastructure upgrades as ‘unsupported by the facts’ (the industry is churning out profits and enjoys 60 percent profit margins on broadband, it argues).”

The White House made its position on net neutrality clear in a May 15 statement by the press secretary:

“The President has made clear since he was a candidate that he strongly supports net neutrality and an open Internet.  As he has said, the Internet’s incredible equality– of data, content, and access to the consumer– is what has powered extraordinary economic growth and made it possible for once-tiny sites like eBay or Amazon to compete with brick and mortar behemoths.

The FCC is an independent agency, and we will carefully review their proposal. The FCC’s efforts were dealt a real challenge by the Court of Appeals in January, but Chairman Wheeler has said his goal is to preserve an open Internet, and we are pleased to see that he is keeping all options on the table. We will be watching closely as the process moves forward in hopes that the final rule stays true to the spirit of net neutrality.

The President is looking at every way to protect a free and open Internet, and will consider any option that might make sense.”

More than 227,000 comments on protecting and promoting the open Internet were filed with the FCC before the July 18 deadline. Let’s hope Major League Baseball’s arguments score a home run.

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