August 9, 2016 — After being subjected to more pressure from the industry, the FCC recently held its ground and voted to codify the new net neutrality regulations for wireless and wireline networks. In case you have forgotten what that was all about, it bars blocking and throttling of content and prevents carriers and ISPs from making deals with content companies that allow their content to be delivered more quickly. Simply put, pay to play for more bandwidth. In effect it prevents the 900 pound gorillas (carriers, large ISPs, cable companies, content providers, etc.) from buying up bandwidth and rolling over the little guys.
There has been a fervor of whining from those that have the most to lose by playing fair. And organizations like CTIA and TIA, who are largely funded by the big players, and these big players have been suing and bribing congress to undo that. Legislators have introduced numerous deceptive bills that would demolish these protections. Most recently, the attack in Congress has come from the appropriations committees. Both the House and Senate committees have passed bills containing riders that would sabotage the Net Neutrality rules. Fortunately, Net Neutrality has held.
Net Neutrality has to stay in place. It is crucial for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open Internet to launch their businesses, create a market, advertise their products and services, and distribute products to customers. If the bullies get their way, there will never be another Google.
Net Neutrality lowers the barriers of entry for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses by ensuring the Web is a fair and level playing field. It’s because of Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive on the Internet. They use the Internet to reach new customers and showcase their goods, applications and services.
The argument here is simple – fair and open competition. How many times have these aforementioned players been caught with their hand in the till? No company should be able to interfere with this open marketplace. ISPs are by definition the gatekeepers to the Internet, and without Net Neutrality, they would seize every possible opportunity to profit from that gatekeeper control.
Fortunately, our judicial system has the common sense to see this the right way, unfortunately, congress does not.