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Net Neutrality

The internet has become an integral part of everyday life. To some it is critical infrastructure. For many, when the network goes down you lose a very important capability to conduct both life and work. We barely think about the underlying infrastructure as long as we can get quickly to the places we want to.

 

Net neutrality simply means that everyone is treated equally no one company or person receives special privileges on the underlying infrastructure.

 

The Federal Communications Commission(FCC) is poised to make changes to this position at the behest of the lobbyists for large corporations like Comcast and Verizon. If the changes go through then the infrastructure companies will be able to charge content providers, for example Netflix, Willow TV, Hulu, Amazon, extra money because their content takes more bandwidth than others.

 

If the infrastructure companies are able to charge the content providers more, guess who will end up footing that increased cost? You will.

 

Comcast and Verizon will be essentially once again increasing your monthly bill, as if it isn’t already a big chunk of your expenses! Although you won’t see it in your bill from Comcast and Verizon, you will see it in your bill from content providers who will pass the extra cost along. But ultimately the money will go to increasing the profits of the Comcasts and Verizons of the world.

 

Additionally small business startups that provide content will be disadvantaged against the larger content providers.  

 

They will couch their arguments in seemingly reasonable terms. They will tell you that some content providers are using a disproportionate percentage of their bandwidth and should therefore pay more. Not an unreasonable argument if they can also claim they have to make additional investment in bandwidth for those content providers. But they cannot do that. They are trying to recover investments already made and paid for by their consumers.

 

So once again big business is lobbying the federal government for a change to the rules to suit them and change the longstanding idea of Net Neutrality.

 

I oppose this change. The internet must remain neutral to who is providing content in terms of its speed. To change it will create a two tier system where only well heeled corporations can get the kinds of speed we are used to.