FCC Chairman Will Vote in Favor of Net Neutrality

Tom Wheeler, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission(More commonly referred to as the FCC) took the opportunity to use his annual speech at the international Consumer Electronics Show to declare his resounding support for net neutrality, promising to work towards bringing unfettered and equal internet access to all of America. Wheeler’s remarks have a great bearing on the heated net neutrality debate and essentially signify that internet service provider’s days of charging for premium access will likely soon be over.


What is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality is the concept that the internet should be an equal-access utility. Currently, large internet service providers allow companies to pay a premium price for what is essentially an internet “fast lane.” The argument for this practice is that it encourages investment and innovation, and creating a separate, faster internet frees up traffic to smaller businesses and websites. Net neutrality proponents argue that this is not the case and that the practice is simply used by ISPs to pocket more money. They also contend that it incentivizes ISPs to artificially slow down consumer internet traffic to force them to pay premium prices.

What is Likely to Happen?

Wheeler’s remarks confirm that the FCC’s planned unveiling of new rules for ISPs (to be revealed on Feb. 5) will include classifying ISPs as “common carriers,” under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. The most important part of this legislation is a clause that states that “All charges, practices, classifications and regulations for and in connection with such communication services shall be just and reasonable…” This would give the FCC increased oversight over internet service providers and allow them to enforce net neutrality. In his interview with Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro, Wheeler stated “we need to propose a rule that says there will be no blocking [of internet access], no throttling, no paid prioritization. We need a yardstick against which [ISPs’] performance should be measured.” Wheeler is well-supported within the FCC and while that organization will certainly attempt to place ISPs under firmer jurisdiction, many congressional republicans and ISPs have already started drafting bills and lawsuits to attempt to stop it.

How Will it Affect Me?

In the short term we’re unlikely to see immediate change. However, if the FCC can firm up congressional support for their rules then ISPs will be forced to drop prices and offer faster speeds to many consumers. In the meantime, it’s important to keep your business and your office network in top shape. We’re a Maryland based company with years of experience managing networks of both large and small businesses, as well as a team of highly dedicated, well-trained technical experts who stay on the cutting edge of network management so you don’t have to.

To talk to someone about network management for your small business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

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Cybersecurity News: Hackers have found a Security Hole in Internet Explorer

It was recently reported that security researcher Eric Romang of Zataz.com discovered a major cybersecurity issue with Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6, 7, 8, and 9. The popular Internet browser has a major hole, a hole that hackers have already discovered.

The fresh “zero day” vulnerability allowed cyber attackers to install malicious software – a form of the old Poison Ivy Trojan – on Windows computers. This allowed the hackers to take control of the victim’s computer.

It is thought that the hackers behind the IE attack may also be the group responsible got last month’s exploitation of Oracle’s Java browser plug-in.

Microsoft Responds to the Cybersecurity Threat

Microsoft quickly responded with a security advisory, including an extensive list of work-arounds. Unfortunately for IE users, these work arounds are somewhat burdensome.

“I would recommend not using Internet Explorer until this issue is patched,” Sophos’ Chet Wisniewksi tells me. “While the exploit is not in widespread use, it could be integrated into popular attack kits like the Blackhole Exploit Kit any time now.”

The Solution: Make the switch to another browser, like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera. You can always come back to IE after Microsoft issues a patch.

If you have any questions about Cybersecurity, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

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At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

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Hackers Just Found a Big Hole in Internet Explorer. Should You Switch Browsers?