The Federal Communications Commission past a set of Internet regulations known as “Net Neutrality” by a vote of 3-2 yesterday, February 26, 2015. What is Net Neutrality and what’s it going to mean to me are the questions most asked by private citizens such as myself.
According to USA Today, Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers should give consumers access to all legal content and applications on an equal basis, without favoring some sources and blocking others. It prohibits ISPs from charging content providers for speedier delivery of their content on “fast lanes” and deliberately slowing the content from content providers that may compete with ISPs.
ISP stands for Internet Service Provider and is a company that provides you access to the Internet. Examples include ComCast, AT&T, Verizon, etc. Content providers include companies such as Amazon and NetFlix. In other words, content providers are companies that create and distribute content. I guess Wing Nut Gal is a content provider. Sometimes ISPs can also be content providers.
The regulations are 317 pages long, but it appears that only the commissioners have seen the regulations. According to TomsGuide.com, Net Neutrality is about treating all content on the Internet equally. Websites like NetFlix and Amazon won’t be given preferential treatment in relation to any other website, no matter how small. So, ISPs can’t give content providers preferential treatment/access to more bandwidth to the Amazons and the NetFlixes of the Internet.
This is like everything else the government throws out at us. It sounds good, but what are the unintended consequences or the intended consequences, for that matter. Since I started Wing Nut Gal, I’ve said this until I’m blue in the face. Our country was founded on the principle of limited government. Government would stay out of people’s lives and give the individuals room to take care of themselves and create wealth. So, anytime the government sticks its nose into something, we have to beware. Now, I’m not a libertarian. I’m a mainstream Republican. So, I realize that government has a role to play in a lot of aspects of our lives, but we’re headed down the road to becoming a socialist country where the government provides for its citizens womb to tomb everything. You don’t have to take responsibility for any aspect of your life, government will provide.
Do you think the government is going to stop with these 317 pages of regulations? If your answer is yes, I have some swamp land in Louisiana that you might be interested in. Eventually, it’s going to be costlier to access the Internet and it won’t be as user-friendly. Will certain types of speech be prohibited? I’m sure that somewhere within the government, some little bureaucrat monitors Wing Nut Gal. Could someone be watching me, monitoring my comings and goings? Am I on some kind of list? Will I be audited by the IRS while we have a Democrat administration?
I remember back during the later years of the Clinton administration, a government website was being developed. It was touted as the only website any of us would need to visit. It was a minor news story and didn’t get much traction. Once President Bush moved into the oval office, you never heard anything else.
I don’t want the government sticking its nose into the Internet. And even if these regulations sound good to you, please activate that second brain cell and think this thing through.