On the surface, the premise of Net Neutrality is to treat all Internet traffic equally. The concept is to prevent broadband providers from restricting or slowing down access to services and applications on the internet. It also purports to prevent internet service providers from creating “fast lanes” that force content companies like Amazon or Netflix to pay higher fees to deliver their content to customers faster.
That’s the concept but as we all know, when dealing with the government, concept and reality are two different things.
In a 3-2 vote on February 24, the FCC approved a measure to apply the same rules that govern telephone service to the Internet. And, in typical government efficiency, the FCC is adopting rules from the 1934 Communications Act that gives the FCC the power to set rates and enforce the “common carrier” principle, or the idea that every customer gets equal access to the network.
In our technologically advanced age, the government thinks it’s a good idea to apply rules from 80 years ago that stifled growth of that technology. In short, the Internet will be governed like telephone service giving the FCC unprecedented control of the Internet. Expect taxes.
As usual, the media did the bidding for President Obama and portrayed net neutrality as a way to make Internet access fair for everyone much like Obamacare makes health insurance fair for everyone. And, just like Obamacare, no one had the chance to read the measure until after it was passed. At least this time it was only 302 pages instead of thousands of pages.
Today, a content provider like Netflix contracts with a broadband provider for X amount of gigabytes to stream their movies at a certain price. The broadband provider can charge Netflix a premium for the higher speeds but because there is only a certain amount of bandwidth available on a network, a smaller ISP will get slower speeds.
This was offensive to various content providers who could not compete with the larger content providers so they became net neutrality proponents and lobbied for the law. As information leaks out from the 302 pages people are surprised to learn that all is not fair in Obamaland.
Supposedly, net neutrality will give the FCC the ability to regulate content. Uh-oh, wasn’t net neutrality supposed to make sure free speech remained free and big broadband companies couldn’t regulate who was able to get faster speeds? Regulate content? I think it’s Slippery slope time.
Let’s play pretend. The Obama Administration decides any content that is negative about global warming must appear on the bottom of all searches. Perhaps Creationism will go to the back of the bus or maybe Fox News won’t appear in searches for news organization.
That can happen under net neutrality and if you doubt that look up Lois Lerner and the IRS scandal denying conservative organizations tax-exempt status. Once again the Obama Administration is fixing something that is not broken. I have an idea. Maybe the Administration should turn its attention to things that are broken like Immigration Reform, Balance Budgets, protecting the nation, and the economy.
I guess that would require true leaders. Never mind.