Nearly two years ago, I wrote about challenges being made to the way services are delivered via the Internet. Proponents to Net Neutrality were fighting back against the special interests of large corporate content and Internet service providers to create multiple classes of service – think of it as slow, regular lanes and fast, toll tag lanes for information. My comments then remain my views today, except for the fact that the issue is coming to a head tomorrow before the Federal Communications Commission. Here’s my original post from January of 2015:
Regular readers of the LPR blog are used to posts about community relations, corporate reputation, content development and other topics from our work with LPR clients and involvement in both the Public Relations Global Network (#PRGN) and Public Relations Society of America (#PRSA). And then, there are my periodic rants about #NetNeutrality.
As a Texan – at least, for all but two of the last 28 years – I’m probably more red than blue, more aligned with the private than the public sector and more inclined toward a free market economy where buyers and sellers haggle out mutually beneficial deals.
But when it comes to Net Neutrality, entrepreneurs, innovators and consumers need to join me in sending a loud, long and strong message to all politicians, regardless of their side of the Congressional aisle.
In response to remarks made by Federal Communications Commission head Thomas Wheeler at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show – for non-nerds, consider it the Super Bowl for geeks – unnamed Republicans from Capitol Hill were already claiming Net Neutrality was a regulatory overreach and would stifle innovation.
Fact is, the Internet has been the biggest boon to innovation since pencil and paper. Low cost, high-speed bandwidth-for-all service has touched every aspect of our lives. More than three million Americans work from home, whether by desire or necessity.
Providing higher speed and better access to the “haves” for some Internet applications – such as online movies and games – at the bandwidth expense of other users is unacceptable. Applications and opportunities would be another unfortunate example of a two-tiered socioeconomic system. We wouldn’t tolerate a two-class system for electrical power, water or sewer service. We shouldn’t allow such an approach to be taken in the U.S. with the World Wide Web.
Think Internet speed and traffic management should be equal for all applications? Let your senators and congress members know. Don’t know your representatives? See www.opencongress.org.