Net neutrality is a hot topic! But, have you noticed the buzz appears highly one-sided? Seriously, it is. In the interest of fair and unbiased, a writer should mention both sides of the issue. When keying in words to try to bring up articles as to why repealing it would be a good thing, more results reporting why repealing net neutrality is not a good thing came up. Yikes.
Net neutrality rules, put into place in 2015, state that all ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) must treat all internet traffic equally. TechTarget.com defines net neutrality as: the principle that data packets on the Internet should be moved impartially, without regard to content, destination or source.
That makes perfectly good sense, right? Equal opportunity is a good thing! So, what’s the ruckus? In April, 2017, the FCC proposed to recall the Free Internet Order. According to Wired.com, the FCC’s main argument for the recall is that net neutrality has put the brakes on small ISP’s being able to obtain funding to expand their broadband services. They noted that broadband investment dipped from $77 billion in 2014 to $76 billion in 2015. However, those numbers contradict the US Census Bureau’s numbers that show a slight increase in broadband investment between 2014 and 2015.
Advocates to leave net neutrality well enough alone weigh in with the argument that relinquishing the rules in place will only allow the ISP’s to put the squeeze on smaller companies. Tiers of service could be determined or “prioritization fees” charged, paving the way for them to choose which sites they allow to operate on “fast lanes.” The cost to access the “fast lane” would, probably, be passed down to consumers.
Where does that leave you? If net neutrality gets repealed and it comes time to pay to play, what will your options be? Will your company be able to absorb the extra cost that will ensue? How will customers react to a rate increase? The period for public comment on the matter has passed; a record-setting 22 million comments got recorded before the periods end. It obliterated the previous public comment record set (during the last net neutrality proceeding, oh, by the way) by 18.3 million comments!
The Verge posted an article that is worth the read. Apparently, because the FCC website is difficult to navigate and susceptible to SPAM attacks, it leaves doubt that all the comments are usable. Because of these facts or in spite of them, the article goes on to state that even though the FCC’s purpose is to work in the interest of the public and refer to public feedback, Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman, has alluded to the fact that it will be the quality and not the quantity regarding comments received that will make the difference. Hmmm…
We wonder what the quantity, regarding comments in favor of keeping the internet equally accessible for, both, consumers and businesses, would look like in real-time? Written and sent to the Federal Communications Commission by way of the United States Postal Service? Even though the comment period has closed, what kind of statement for net neutrality would that make?
Freedom to access the internet is a big deal. You might want to break out the pen and paper and go buy a stamp. Sharing this might be a good idea, too. Millions of letters dropped in their laps will be hard to ignore. 😉