Well, for those of us who thought Net Neutrality was a good idea, President Trump, trumps again. Why am I surprised? It’s just another notch in the shift of wealth to mega-corporations, which has become the mantra of Trump, and in general, the Republican Party.
The Trump slogan of “if President Obama did it, I will undo it” is alive and well. (Am I beginning to sound like an anarchist?) To wit, the appointment of Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC, who, from the onset, was anti-net neutrality. So was there any real doubt Pai that would not his choice for chairman?
Despite the partisan effort that put the order in place a couple of years ago, cooler heads prevailed and it became a policy. Not because Obama championed it, but because it is a good idea. Otherwise, why did virtually every large telecom, content provider, large ISP, and others fight so hard against it then, and are now fighting so hard now to have it dismantled? As it is noted by Hackernoon* “Pro-Net Neutrality is not Anti-Free Market.” Having net neutrality did nothing more than level the playing field. Something the greedy and monopolistic players really dislike.
The list of net neutrality opponents reads like a who’s who of corporate America; Cox, Comcast, Charter, Time Warner, etc. Then throw in Google, Facebook, Netflix, yada…yada…and one can readily see the self-interest of the anti-neutrality conglomerates. If these companies are such good corporate citizens (how many times have they been fined for illegal activities, or cheating on bills, etc.), what would they have against it?
Net Neutrality was a weapon to prevent ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and now other peripheral players from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing lawful internet traffic within their networks for financial gain – period. It also prevented ISPs from slowing down services like Netflix, or YouTube, or any other service or give other websites and apps preferential treatment and prevents charging internet companies for faster access.
Some say that the market should respond to demand and the net should be allowed to ebb and flow with the market, sans regulation. In a perfect world, I wholly agree with that, if the playing field was level. Where I live, I only have two choices for ISP, Comcast or CenturyLink. In addition, isn’t it amazing how they both charge the same amount for the same bandwidth and speed? Somehow, that just does not seem like competition to me.
Oh, I get the argument that these companies invested heavily in the infrastructure and should be given preference to recoup some of these costs. OK, I can buy that, to some degree. But if they didn’t see the dollars at the back end, why did they invest in the front end, with or without incentives? Did they expect to have lifetime guarantees that they would have a corner on the market? Wasn’t there a similar argument back in the days of the telco breakups? And that worked out pretty well in the long run.
The market for content delivery is poised to become one of the most lucrative (although competitive) new opportunities, especially with 5G and the Internet of Everything/Everyone (IoX) – the M&As are proof of that. However, everybody should have a chance at obtaining their piece of the pie. Let’s hope not every Republican is on board that fast train to the Corporate States of America. Net Neutrality was a good idea back in 2015 and it is just as good an idea in 2017.
Ernest Worthman is the Executive Editor/Applied Wireless Technology. His 20-plus years of editorial experience includes being the Editorial Director of Wireless Design and Development and Fiber Optic Technology, the Editor of RF Design, the Technical Editor of Communications Magazine, Cellular Business, Global Communications and a Contributing Technical Editor to Mobile Radio Technology, Satellite Communications, as well as computer-related periodicals such as Windows NT. His technical writing practice client list includes RF Industries, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Agilent Technologies, Advanced Linear Devices, Ceitec, SA, and others. Before becoming exclusive to publishing, he was a computer consultant and regularly taught courses and seminars in applications software, hardware technology, operating systems, and electronics. Ernest’s client list has included Lucent Technologies, Jones Intercable, Qwest, City and County of Denver, TCI, Sandia National Labs, Goldman Sachs, and other businesses. His credentials include a BS, Electronic Engineering Technology; A.A.S, Electronic Digital Technology. He has held a Colorado Post-Secondary/Adult teaching credential, member of IBM’s Software Developers Assistance Program and Independent Vendor League, a Microsoft Solutions Provider Partner, and a life member of the IEEE. He has been certified as an IBM Certified OS2 consultant and trainer; WordPerfect Corporation Developer/Consultant and Lotus Development Corporation Developer/Consultant. He was also a first-class FCC technician in the early days of radio. Ernest Worthman may be contacted at: email@example.com.