Today the FCC voted 3-2 to place broadband under Title II, by implication this also means net neutrality as well. Title II regulation means that Internet Service Providers will be regulated like regular telephone companies as a utility. Net Neutrality is the principle that all forms of traffic on the internet should be treated equally. I am of two minds in regards to this.
First, the libertarian in me is appalled at the government gaining a heavier hand in the internet and having more control. I don’t trust the state when it comes to regulation, as the hand almost always grows heavier and heavier. Also, as far as I understand, this is more about what could happen than anything that has happened.
On the other hand, the tech geek in me does not mind this move. The idea of treating all information as equal is appealing to me. If Time Warner and Netflix get into a dispute, then I don’t have to worry about Time Warner slowing down my videos to screw Netflix over.
This could be an odd situation where, paradoxically, more government regulation in this area could leave the internet more open and unfettered than otherwise. Of course this is more beneficial for consumers than the ISP’s. The goal should be an Internet that is completely open without either the government or corporations controlling how we experience the Internet. If that can be accomplished, then I’m okay with it.
No, I have not grown soft for those who know me. Freedom is the key. Freedom from all massive centralizing powers of coercion.
In my opinion, the fact that my choice for broadband is Time Warner Cable, and only Time Warner Cable, means that it is a virtual monopoly. Sure I could go with Fairpoint if I wanted slow DSL, but I don’t think that it is true competition. I should have more choices for broadband, and the fact that I don’t means there is a monopoly as far as broadband is concerned.
Here is a good take on Net Neutrality from a libertarian perspective. I’m open minded on this to either side. It’s hard for me to come down firmly one way or the other.
CNET provides a good perspective from a tech and consumer standpoint.