Network neutrality: Good in theory, unrealistic goal

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A select few know how the Internet really works, but the rest of us are like the little toy aliens from Toy Story. You know, the ones who speak with reverence of their diety, “The Claaaaaawww!”


Most have no clue what’s really going on behind the scenes of the Internet; we just respect its inner-workings with undeterred reverence.


The Federal Communications Commission and its policy makers are attempting to set guidelines for telecommunications corporations and all Internet service providers (ISPs) in what is known as “net neutrality.”


To sum it up, network neutrality, as it is known formally, is the battle to set, or not to set, parameters for what ISP corporations can do with the internet they provide.


Can they set limits on how much you can use, how you can use it, and to whom they choose to provide certain provisions of the networks?


Still confused as to what net neutrality is? New York Times writer Neil Irwin analogized the battle by comparing the difference between regulated electrical utilities and cable TV providers.


Electric companies charge you for how much you use, but how you use it is up to you. Cable providers tell you what you’re going to get, how you can use it, and the cost is indicative of their moneymaking mind sets. The FCC ruled in favor of the former.


In February, the FCC approved rules found in Title II of the Communications Act that classified ISPs like Verizon and Comcast as telecomm service providers rather than information providers.


This Monday the FCC’s rules became official and published in the Federal Register. They formally go into effect June 12.


Now the FCC wields more authority and leverage over large broadband providers like AT&T.


Pushbacks from ISPs are on their way already. Expect more. The lawsuits will continue to pile up.


Is it a win for the freedom of the Internet? Sort of.


The problem is that someone’s got to have control of the internet. It’s really not free since the FCC has its hands on it. It’s technically protected from government overreach, except for when its commissioners are appointed by president.


Net neutrality is a good idea, but not when the FCC is the lesser of two evils.

Author: Tyler Agnew

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