Net neutrality looks like it’s losing the battle to remain an “open domain” for users. With the way things are going, the FCC will be giving Google and Verizon the “freedom” to change Internet connection speeds of thirds party’s (favoring some sites while slowing down connection speeds to others), charging some sites more, or just charging users based on their use of bandwidth.
Granted, ISP providers like Verizon and Comcast do put a lot of their time and money into producing fiber optics and laying down cables. They feel it is their right to have more control over who uses their technology. What happens when Google and Verizon start backing political candidates that support businesses over consumers? For example, is it fair for Verizon to slow down a Republican Web site while speeding up the connection for Democrat-backed sites? The obvious answer is no.
The Internet remains an open space for dialogue and the exchange of cultural artifacts. The opposition to net neutrality wants to control the Internet the same way big business runs the cable industry.
In no way am I against big business, but there has to be a line drawn in the sand. Let’s support businesses in America and worldwide, but let’s promote competition like the Europeans are doing. How can we do this? We do this by not allowing the new Google-Verizon pact to become anti-trust exempt like big pharma.
The Internet is a beautiful place sometimes, allowing the smallest voices to be heard over the largest medium known to man. Though business may be an important concept in the U.S., let’s not forget about the importance of equal opportunity for all (whether that is competition among ISP providers or opportunity for Internet users to have their voices heard without paying tolls).
When you hear the critics talk about how the Obama administration is trying to bring big government into the equation, don’t believe the hype. They were fighting for an open Internet, against regulations by big businesses like Google and Verizon (leave it up to Fox News to tell you the truth, huh?). Who knows where the “flip-flopping” Obama administration stands on this issue.
An Internet controlled by big business will surely limit innovation and the power of this democratic republic. Hopefully, the Internet will remain an open forum that promotes competition as opposed to a medium where only the rich have the biggest and most influential voices. Time will tell.