As you’re all aware, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted last year to reverse the Obama-era net neutrality rules. Essentially the rules were in place to ensure that internet service providers couldn’t over-charge customers. This also meant that everyone would essentially get the same kind of internet access. You’re also probably well aware that the Democrats are trying to stop this from going through. That said, it’s not the Democrats that we should be watching right now, but rather California. California was one of the first states to start working on how they could get around these laws. Back in May, it looked bleak.Two weeks ago, Democratic Assemblyman, Miguel Santiago stripped the bill of any teeth, which essentially left the bill essentially moot. Many accused Santiago of being “swayed” by the telecom industry. While that might have been the case, the bill’s sponsor – Senator Scott Wiener, was able to reach an agreement with Santiago that will put the provisions back in. Which means California is on it’s way to having the most robust net neutrality legislation. I think it’s important for us to at least realize what this means. When it comes to politics, I think we all know how the game is played by now. Or we should know. I’m not saying that how it’s played is “right”, but I am saying that it happens. What do I mean, exactly? I don’t want to scare anyone, but I do think that what happens on House of Cards isn’t very far from the truth. I’m not suggesting that the party whip is having people thrown in front of trains, but there is something to how people are swayed. Dirt gets dug up on someone, and before you know it, suddenly they’ve converted to the other side. Now I’m not saying that this is the case with Santiago, but it does make you wonder why the sudden change of heart?There’s also a part of me that wants to say – don’t worry about it. Because think about what this could mean for democracy. Especially when it seems that there isn’t much of that in America these days. Senator Wiener made the following statement:
“We need to ensure the internet is an open field where everyone has access, the companies that are providing internet access are not picking winners and losers.”
And he’s not wrong. In fact, the internet should be a free and open place for people to get information, share information and be knowledgeable about the world around us. By taking away net neutrality, it’s almost like the government doesn’t want people to know what’s going on. Without net neutrality, people who are low income, may not be able to access the internet in the same way that they are now. That means, there won’t be the same access to educational resources or even news sites. Perhaps this is all a scheme for Donald Trump to attract more people to Facebook, where he can push out his fake news agenda? Unfortunately, the only people who are going to benefit are the telecom companies and people who make a lot of money. This battle isn’t over, and I look forward to seeing how it plays out in the coming months.