What is net neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and government should treat all data that passes across the Internet equally. Service providers must operate free of discrimination and refrain from charging customers different prices based on user, content, site, platform, application or mode of communication.
The FCC adopted a set of rules last month designed to protect free expression and innovation but I believe that the full effects of this landmark decision will unfold slowly over the next several years.
The ruling on net neutrality makes me question whether the Internet should be run completely on free trade or regulated like a utility. I’ve read points for and against such as how we’ll be able to ensure equal access to content for all and how the costs will rise quickly. This is a tough issue for me to voice my opinion as it is really more a question of whether I believe in raw capitalism or the oligarchy that currently governs our country. To answer that question requires that I take a side in the much bigger question and I’m not sure that I have yet. Instead, I believe that I can make a difference by simply raising my hand when injustice occurs.
The Future of Net Neutrality is Unclear.
I believe in free speech and truly appreciate the accessibility to information that the Internet affords me. I also recognize that my monthly Netflix bill is likely to go up while the quality of service ebbs. I view this ruling as a wake-up call to a much bigger issue. I’ll have to review the history of the utilities to understand how those were private, then public, then private again and understand how it has influenced me and the world.
The corporate giants will fight back. They’ve been pretty quiet so far from my perspective. They’ll assess the effects on their income and adjust accordingly. They’ll invest further in lobbyists. When I take a step back and look at the picture as a whole, I see this as the evolution of our communications infrastructure. And I can’t wait to see what’s next.