These internet fast lanes have the potential to become a catalyst for monopolies.”
Net Neutrality has been a public debate for a few years now. Today, Obama made a public announcement on Whitehouse.gov about his plans and intentions for Net Neutrality. In his official statement (which can be viewed below) he explains why we have a need for Net Neutrality and urges the FCC to adopt stricter Net Neutrality standards. Check out his official statement in the video below:
Obama’s primary philosophy in his statement is that we, as the general public, have become just as reliant on an internet connection as public communication services, such as the telephone. He urges to the FCC to reclassified broadband internet as a public utility to protect our rights to it.
In case you’ve been in a coma for the past couple of years, Net Neutrality, according to PublicKnowledge.org, “is the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications equally, regardless of the source, without favoring or blocking particular online services or websites.” Why is this such a big deal? Without Net Neutrality, companies like Verizon and Comcast would have the ability to charge a premium for fast lanes on the internet. Thus, making it harder for the little guys to connect with their consumers because priority connection is given to the highest bidder. These internet fast lanes have the potential to become a catalyst for monopolies.
Courtesy of Commonprogress.com
Additionally, these extra charges eat into the margins of the services provided by any company offering an online service; such as Netflix or Hulu. The likely way to absorb the cost would be to put as much onto the consumer as possible without driving away too many customers. Remember when Netflix changed their pricing a few years ago? Imagine the public outcry if every internet service did that at the same time. These fast lanes have the potential to cause such a ripple.
The converse argument coming from internet service providers is that becoming a public utility could potentially stifle innovation in the area of broadband internet. If they can’t increase their bottom line, how can they invest more heavily in further developing higher connection speeds and mediums of connections. It is a valid argument, but in my opinion, the trade-off is not worth the potential to stifle our entire nation from online innovation.
Join with us in promoting the cause of Net Neutrality. Heck, if fast lanes existed today, it’s unlikely that most of you would be reading this article due to us being a start-up and getting much lower priority than the giants out there.
What are your thoughts on Net Neutrality? Are you concerned more about enabling online innovation or further developing the technology behind broadband? Let us know in the comments below.