Our Rights Shouldn't Come with an Expiration Date

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[Commentary] The proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is all about the future of the Internet. The stakes are high, especially in light of the court decision that struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s network neutrality rules.

Comcast has taken advantage of the very real public concerns about the loss of net neutrality and tried to paint itself and the merger as saviors of the open Internet -- but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s precisely because Comcast has such a long history of bad behavior that federal regulators included net neutrality as a condition of Comcast’s 2011 merger with NBCUniversal. Worried about the enormous incentive Comcast would have to prioritize its own content and discriminate against others, regulators decided that the company would have to adhere to net neutrality principles until 2018.

Comcast has tried to assuage fears and sell its merger by promising to extend its net neutrality commitments to all Time Warner Cable customers. But like most merger requirements, this commitment comes with an expiration date. In 2018, Comcast will no longer have to abide by net neutrality, making this an empty promise.

[March 7]

Our Rights Shouldn't Come with an Expiration Date