The era of the Internet has allowed people to collaborate and stay connected on the go, while also enabling information to be accessed anywhere, at any time, and on any device.
This brings up a contradiction- who owns the internet? Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are responsible for regulating the internet, as a public utility, a convenience, and a necessity. The FCC monitors and requires Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) sell their services (internet access) to everybody, non-discriminately, at reasonable prices. In 2015, Net Neutrality was passed by the Obama Administration. Net Neutrality, by definition, being that all data on the internet is treated equally. This sounds like a great idea; however, it makes our founding fathers turn in their graves, considering they “intentionally created a government that was slow, inefficient, and plagued with gridlock, because they knew the greatest danger to individual freedom came from a government that could move too quickly—to quickly for people to react in time to protect themselves.” (Josh Stemlie in Am I The Only Techie Against Net Neutrality) An argument like the one raised by Josh Stemlie is one that alludes to the government being the body that needs to manage the military or the Space Program, not the private sector. The idea of the free market, allows companies and carriers like ISP’s to be competitive, and these companies should resist pressures of a regulatory body such as the government; considering the government is not concerned with maintaining competitive edge, thus not ensuring cheaper prices and faster speeds (ex.
Supply and demand.) Furthermore, the internet being categorized alongside of public transit and telephone companies as a public utility, presents the question, “Who regulates the regulators?” ISP’s are responsible for providing internet services, yet they are private corporations, and must yield to the federal government; a conflict of interest. These service providers cannot be expected to maintain a neutral stature, whilst still collecting revenue and paying for infrastructure. Without the ability to monetize their services, how do these companies expand and recoup their investment? With all the banter about the government being too in control, corporations should come first, and why our founding fathers are cursing upon us put aside.
The net neutrality debate is subject to harsh criticism by the public- the entire reason it has blown up in the media recently. It is still unclear how this will affect the public.