Yesterday, the FCC voted in favor of new net neutrality rules, which will ensure that all Internet service providers will treat all legal content equally. Internet service providers, primarily large cable or telephone companies, will now be prohibited from prioritizing certain content over others, by blocking or slowing transmission speeds, and by requiring fees for faster lanes of their Internet networks, a practice known as “paid prioritization.”
I found this article on Forbes called “Am I The Only Techie Against Net Neutrality?”. While the article is dated (May 2014), I found it to be very interesting. First, author Joshua Steimle notes that he wants, just like everyone else, to see more competition, “Proponents of Net Neutrality say the telecoms have too much power. I agree… But if monopolies are bad, why should we trust the U.S. government, the largest, most powerful monopoly in the world?”. He raises the point that industries such as public schools, health care, higher education, student loans, housing, banking, physical infrastructure, immigration, the space program, the military, the police, AND the post office, are all heavily regulated by the government, and all suffer major problems.
Next, he brings up the issue of privacy, “Should we believe that under Net Neutrality the government will trust the telecoms to police themselves?”. Steimle warns that the government will likely need to install its own hardware and software to monitor Internet traffic. Is this something we want? Lastly, he explains that governments effectively regulate tech companies because they are too inefficient. Technology is constantly changing, and the government simply cannot move fast enough to monitor a resource like the Internet.
What do you all think?