Lawmakers Are Challenging Net Neutrality Laws

Net neutrality is the safe haven put in place to assure equality between internet service providers and websites and apps. In other words, Time warner can’t purposely allow their content to load faster than that of Hulu, Netflix, etc.

President Obama backed the 2015 FCC rule known as the ‘Open Internet’ rule, which was based on public utility laws put in place on behalf of the Bell Telephone ordeal. The rule was passed by a 3-2 vote, which, at the time, was praised and deemed as a necessary starting point by many supporters who agreed with the importance of net neutrality, a small fraction of the overall shift in policy.

The policy was criticized by the big timers of the broadband world who felt the Federal Communications Commission would abuse their power, using this as a way to control the internet outside of net neutrality.

Key players in this game are:

  • FCC (Federal Communications Commission) who’s responsible for regulating communication by television, radio, satellite, cable, etc., and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) who’s responsible for maintaining open and free markets
  • President Donald Trump who’s responsible for appointing the members of said Commissions
  • Congress who assigns the responsibilities to the agencies
  • Internet based Businesses like Netflix, Google, Facebook; along with the engineering groups that serve as the backbone of the web
  • Advocacy Groups that bring awareness to the ongoing issues related to net neutrality and internet privacy

    It’s clear that the internet has played a valuable role in the economic success of many businesses and the everyday lives of consumers. For over 100 years, economists have spoken on the importance of treating infrastructure with monopoly; stating it should only be done as a last resort during severe times of need.

    As far as users are concerned, this could severely affect productivity; slower internet service means getting less done. Providers may also box users in a corner of needing to upgrade to premium service because of the mediocre speed of the low-cost option. This day and age, the internet is essential to the running of your everyday life. Businesses rely heavily on the web to reach new consumers and sell products. So much so, that many retailers have decided to ditch brick and mortar and go online full-time. It’s important that this issue doesn’t get swept under the rug until it’s too late.

    Similar to any other major issue happening in the U.S causing groups with common goals and beliefs to come together for the greater good, businesses and advocacy groups need to join forces to push Congress to protect the rights of the open internet and neutrality. Currently, both congress and the FCC are working to decide the best ways to put solid net neutrality principles in place.