It was all going so, so well for American ISPs. Not only did they have a former cable lobbyist as head of the Federal Communications Commission, but he was even planning to push through a new proposal that would have given them the power to create separate Internet fast lanes where they could charge more to Internet companies to ensure their traffic got delivered faster. And to top it all off, many of them were planning to engage in a huge wave of mergers that would give them even more power over the broadband and/or pay TV markets, from Comcast-Time Warner Cable to Sprint-T-Mobile to AT&T-DirecTV.
But alas for them, it seems that America’s ISPs have finally overreached. FCC chairman Wheeler’s proposal to allow for Internet fast lanes has created an enormous backlash not just from net neutrality advocates but also from major tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, as well as major Silicon Valley venture capitalists and popular entertainers ranging from Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters to Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder to actor Mark Ruffalo to director Oliver Stone.