Of course the fight for Net Neutrality is never-ending. That’s because nobody understands this issue at all. It may even be a completely mythical issue. Go up to fifty people and ask them:
- What is Net Neutrality?
- Is it threatened?
- What happens if it goes away?
- Whose on which side?
You will get fifty different answers. At least in the United States, there is so much smoke and fog spilled over this issue that it’s impossible to find out one true fact about it, regardless of whether you’re for or against it.
As far as anyone can sum up this battle, it amounts to this: We want “freedom of the Internet,” and some companies somewhere don’t. Nobody ever explains it more coherently than that. Let’s forget trying to define anything and explain some basic laws of nature instead:
There is no law, bill, resolution, or ruling with the words “net neutrality” in the title. The closest we get is the push to place the Internet under the (Federal Communications Commission) FCC’s jurisdiction. The FTC, the Federal TRADE Commission, still has all the jurisdiction it needs to enforce business practice abuse. They have, and will continue to, regulate the Internet with a punitive, as opposed to preemptive, set of laws.
There’s no way the end consumer would be charged extra under any scenario. Content providers, as in Netflix, Blizzard, Pornhub, might have to pay extra if their services hog bandwidth. As opposed to the access providers, AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, who eat the expense of that extra bandwidth right now. This whole fight, the entire time, has been two fat babies who have each gobbled a whole plate of cookies and are now fighting over who eats the last cookie. In any case, social media is actually the last to go, since it’s the lowest bandwidth user anyway.
As several Internet service providers have pointed out again and again, they have no plans to throttle the web, price everybody out of the market, censor the Internet, or release hordes of zombies.
This may come as a shock, but: Internet is big business! There are these companies, you see: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, eBay, PayPal. There are these Silicon Valley millionaires. All of them make a hell of a lot of money every time you go online. They aren’t just going to blow up that revenue stream for the fun of it. What would be the point? The United States is propped up economically by tech companies – they are the top of our stock market, our GDP, our workforce, and every facet of our infrastructure. Not to mention that our government’s own defense and administration capabilities rely on the Internet as well.
They aren’t just going to blow it up.
Ask yourself: Does it make sense that the #1 source of economic growth in the US would just be shut down for nothing overnight?
Therefore, we can conclude that 99% of everything with the words “Net Neutrality” attached to it is a fight over nothing. True, we want to preserve Internet freedom to at least the same degree we’ve enjoyed so far. But it’s in corporation’s best interests to do that anyway. That is how the Internet formed in the first place.