If you didn’t hear the news: this past Thursday there was a major win for the internet when the FCC voted to reclassify broadband providers, which essentially allows the FCC to enforce Net Neutrality. (please read the link on Net Neutrality if you don’t know what it is… I’ll wait!) The game isn’t over, as this has become a partisan issue* and will continue to be pushed by one side against the other. But this is a very strong change in the game.
Why is this good for you, the consumer? There’s a nice FAQ here, but to keep this brief:
- Net Neutrality in a nutshell keeps big corporations from controlling what you can access on the internet.
- If you like fairness (access to whatever site you want, at the speeds you’ve already paid for) then you like Net Neutrality.
- If you like capitalism, and think that competition drives beneficial innovation (because small businesses should have the same access to the internet as multi-billion dollar corporations) then you like Net Neutrality.
- If you don’t like Net Neutrality because you oppose government regulation on principle: Please realize that some rules exist for a reason, not because people in government just love more government. Government regulations on food quality protected you from becoming violently ill or dying after eating today.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of this shakes out, and will continue to keep my fingers crossed for the survival of Net Neutrality.
* I’m dedicating this post to the members of my family, each one of which I love dearly, and each one of which is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican who is likely not to have heard the complete story. This post is the rest of the story from someone in the tech industry (me) who has been following this topic for years before it became a partisan issue.