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The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote today (Tuesday) on rules governing internet access, aka net neutrality.
“Under the regulations, companies that carry the Internet into American homes would not be allowed to block Web sites that offer rival services, nor would they be permitted to play favorites by dividing delivery of Internet content into fast and slow lanes,” writes the Washington Post’s Cecilia Kang.
Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota says the proposed law misses something for rural communities: “For many Americans — particularly those who live in rural areas — the future of the Internet lies in mobile services. But the draft Order would effectively permit Internet providers to block lawful content, applications, and devices on mobile Internet connections. Mobile networks like AT&T; and Verizon Wireless would be able to shut off your access to content or applications for any reason.”
• Jackson County (WI) Chronicle columnist Howard Sherpe writes about a “serious threat to the future of a vital rural America.” It is the Federal Communication Commission’s National Broadband Plan:
“This plan should help rural America, but as it’s now written, it could hinder rather than advance broadband service for people in rural areas. This plan discriminates against rural customers by setting a speed standard that is 25 times slower than the speeds in city and urban areas. Support from the Universal Service Fund will only fund speeds up to 4 megabytes in rural areas, where it will fund speeds of 100 MB in urban areas. The FCC’s goal is to equip 100 million homes with 100 MB of service. Reaching that goal is much easier in urban areas than in rural areas. Without this support mechanism, many rural telecommunication companies will not be able to maintain service above 4 MB. Prices will be much higher for the same service in rural areas due to the lower customer densities and higher per subscriber cost of building and maintaining rural networks.”
• Now for the good news.
A Minnesota farmer who had lost his two wives and his only son, died last year and left $3 million to his home town.
Loren Krueger of LeRoy, Minnesota, was 94 when he died with $3 million in the bank. He spread it around in his will, giving $220,000 to the Senior Center and also to the fire department. He willed St. Patrick’s Catholic Church $1 million. The ecumenical farmer also left large amounts to the Lutherans, Presbyterians and to the Bethany Bible Church.
• Oh, in the rush of bills passing through Congress over the weekend, we forgot to mention that the Senate passed the food safety bill.
The first overhaul of the nation’s food-safety law since the Great Depression, the bill passed Sunday with only a voice vote.