Fox News’ Glenn Beck recently went on The O’Reilly Factor and compared Net Neutrality to the Fairness Doctrine on the Internet.

The Fairness Doctrine was the Federal Communications Commission’s policy of requiring media with broadcast licenses to present both sides of controversial issues. It was abolished by the FCC in 1987.

“They want to regulate Internet content…?” O’Reilly asked.

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“Correct,” Beck said.

But one expert says Net Neutrality isn’t about regulating content on the Internet or the Fairness Doctrine.

“I don’t see how that really enters the debate,” said Diane Katz, a research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation.

Katz said the Internet service providers such as AT&T and Comcast have their own networks of cable and fibers they use to transmit data. The capacity of those “pipes” is strained by video, which takes up more bandwidth.

The Internet service providers could charge extra for different tiers of service, where the biggest consumers of bandwidth would pay more because they use more of it, Katz said.

“If I’m a very big consumer of bandwidth and downloaded and sent of lot of video, my service provider would charge me more because I’m using more of the pipeline,” Katz said “If I want faster delivery of my data, I would pay a premium to have faster delivery.”

Net neutrality would prevent the owners of the infrastructure from managing transmissions and every transmission would be treated the same, Katz said.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with the Fairness Doctrine,” Katz said.

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See also:

Net Neutrality Is a Bad Marriage of Government, Internet

Report: Net Neutrality Would Harm Economy

House Abandons Net Neutrality Bill

New Bill Seeks to Rein in FCC Regulatory Authority

Critics Say Google Wants Internet Access - Just Not the Bill for It

Analysis: Will (and Can) the FCC Regulate the Internet?