Net Neutrality and why the FCC’s new rules matter

I was overjoyed to hear that the FCC voted 3-2 to adopt new rules that treat broadband internet as a utility, much like telephones.  The basic purpose of this would be to guarantee that internet service providers are neutral in terms of treating all customers and web content equally, and not favoring those who can pay more money or slowing down those that pay less.  It means that a cable company can’t slow down the traffic to their competitors’ websites.   It assures that the Internet remains a generally level playing field, so small businesses and start-ups don’t get squashed by huge corporate competitors who can afford to pay more to have their own service prioritized.  And critically for people like me who have complained incessantly about being at the mercy of a few big telecoms when it comes to broadband service, it also means that it will become easier to get more choices, especially if those choices mean expanding municipal broadband service where they were previously banned by state laws favoring those big telecom companies.

And yet, there are those who are still opposed to it and will fight this tooth and nail.  Needless to say, I am not a fan of those people.  But I am encouraged by the fact that so many people thought net neutrality would fail, and they turned out to be wrong.

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