This week I will be discussing the current policies for regulating the Internet, and what they do and not cover. Next week I will explain specific policy changes that can be introduced to improve upon these policies.
Law Professor, Tim Wu in 2003, first coined the term “Net neutrality”. However, the Senate did not consider passing a law for net neutrality until 2006. Many companies at the time were blocking Internet signals for companies that generated less revenue; this is when the FCC decided to step in. In 2008, Barack Obama stepped in; he was one of the biggest advocates for Internet regulation policy change at the time. In 2010, the FCC introduced the “Open Internet Policy,” which called for transparency, no blocking, and no unreasonable discrimination. The D.C. Circuit Court overturned these rules in 2014 because they claimed the FCC couldn’t classify the Internet as an information service if it wants to treat Internet access like a telecommunications service. After serious public backlash towards the FCC and major Internet providers and endorsements from President Obama and other notable politicians, a resolution was finally passed. In February of 2015, the FCC passed Title II, rules protecting an open Internet and applying to both wired and wireless Internet connections. The Open Internet Order was issued soon after and banned paid prioritization, blocking, and throttling.
As you can see, policies regarding Internet regulation in the United States have been changing for years. While I support Title II and the Open Internet Order, there are some possible consequences:
- Higher broadband prices
- Slower speeds
- Less innovation
- Fewer options for American consumers
In my opinion, here’s what the current policies do not cover:
- Material infringing copyright will be easily shared using P2P software.
- Internet service providers and governments won’t be able to block or filter these contents, if net neutrality is fully respected
- More difficult to monitor and control controversial adult content
Make sure to check back next week as I explain the policy changes I would like to see in the future.
Lott, Maxim. “New Obama Internet Regulations Mean New Taxes and Less Service, Critics Say.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 10 Nov. 2016. <http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2015/03/13/new-obama-internet-regulations-mean-new-taxes-and-less-service-critics-say.html>.
“Whatisnetneutrality.” A Timeline of Net Neutrality. Federal Communication Commission, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016. <http://whatisnetneutrality.org/timeline>.
Dailydot. “Why Net Neutrality Activists Are Pushing for Title II Classification for ISPs.” The Daily Dot. N.p., 20 May 2014. Web. 10 Nov. 2016. <http://www.dailydot.com/layer8/what-is-title-ii-net-neutrality-fcc/>.
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