The FCC wants to make changes to the net neutrality rules so that you can’t access anything and everything. Which is essentially what the internet is, right? So why is the FCC wanting to make these changes? The simple answer – it appears to be driven by money. I will get to that in a moment, though. But first, I’ll explain a little bit about net neutrality. What is it? Well, by definition: “the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.” And in simple terms it means access to all content without any kind of stipulation.
Right now, we have net neutrality. But if the FCC has it’s way, we won’t. Essentially what they are proposing is for consumers to have to pay for certain content. For example, if you want to access a certain YouTube video or channel, or maybe just even access to YouTube itself, you will have to pay more. Who does this benefit exactly? Well.. you could make the argument that it benefits everyone but the consumer. Mostly, however, it’s going to benefit the ISP. Because you now have to pay them for certain content. Think of it like cable TV, if you want HBO you have to pay extra for it.
Further to this idea, actual companies can pay the FCC to block other companies. Let’s say you’ve started a company, and YouTube is your rival. They find out about you and are worried that you will give them a run for their money, so what can they do? Well, they can get the FCC to order ISP’s to block access to your site. Which is essentially a bribe isn’t it? Let’s call it what it is. I apologize in advance, but I feel a rant coming on. So how is this type of system going to promote growth? Honestly. If I’m a small internet business, I’m screwed if there are net neutrality rules. How can a small start up expect to be able to thrive in this kind of corrupt environment? And who are the law makers that are going to allow this to happen?
I’ve picked on YouTube today, but I was just using them to paint a picture. The fact is that this will benefit large tech companies. They have every reason to support net neutrality rules, but there are many that don’t want it. Why? For the same reasons that it will benefit their companies, it will also harm them. If I have to pay more to access Netflix, I’m no longer going to want to use Netflix. Ergo, I’m likely to get rid of my subscription. If they’re smart, they will contact the FCC and try to get this legislation stopped. You can as well. Go to Save the Open Internet and have your say.
There are so many other reasons to keep the internet the way it is. The Save the Open Internet website does a really good job of explaining them. It’s also nice to see that some of these tech giants are actually in favour of net neutrality. Without sounding too left wing, this kind of regulation is a bit oppressive. Don’t you think? What country in the free world has these kinds of regulations around what you can and can’t do on the internet? None. The countries that do are not democracies, if you really think about it. Yes, there are some rules around internet access in Canada, but so far we don’t have to pay to access anything specific. I would urge you to let the FCC know how you feel about net neutrality. Let’s make the internet great again, people.