Most Fear Internet Regulation Would Promote Political Agendas
that only 21% of Likely U.S. Voters want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet as it does radio and television. Fifty-four percent (54%) are opposed to such regulation, and 25% are not sure.
According to an article published on Mashable today, the issue of net neutrality is not on the minds of the American public. Just 20% of Americans are following the issue closely; another 35% say they are following net neutrality “somewhat closely.”
Net neutrality is a fairly complicated issue. I’ll admit that I did not understand the entire issue. The idea of net neutrality is that it is designed to help protect consumers from unfair and unjust actions by ISPs. The widely acknowledged concern is that without net neutrality, ISPs could run wild, and discriminate against different types of data, like video. Video streaming and downloads, from the ISP perspective, chew up a ton more bandwidth than static webpages and email. Consumers pay a set rate for Internet access, ISPs foot the bill for bandwidth.
Critics will also tell you that increased regulation hampers innovation. But without any regulation, ISPs could rule the web, dictating the types of content consumers can access and when. In fact, in 2007, Comcast was accused of throttling access to users who were sharing files using BitTorrent peer to peer networks. A federal appeals court sided with Comcast over the FCC, which raised questions about whether the FCC has the authority to control the Internet.
So, ISPs own the pipes we all consume our Internet content through. What’s the worst that could happen without better protections for consumers? Mashable outlines 7 Worst Case Net Neutrality Scenarios.
With free wifi offered darn near everywhere these days, some love to argue that the Internet is free. Sorry homeslice, but someone is paying for your access. The coffeeshop down the street, city taxpayers foot the bill for the Internet at libraries. . . . .someone is paying. ISPs know this, and they argue increased consumption of content is tying up their networks. It’s no wonder they are considering asking people to pay more for better access, faster downloads, etc. — they’ve seen the same pay-for-premium model work with cable television. There’s a lot of people with this concern.
The question remains: Whose Internet is it anyway?