The FCC Becomes the First Government Organization in DC to Do Something Correct in a Decade
It happened. I can't believe it happened. When I first saw the news on Facebook I thought I was reading an article from The Onion. I'd been fooled before. Not this time. It was for real.
This isn't the article where you're going to learn what net neutrality is, but rather an article explaining why this is truly the most remarkable thing accomplished by our government in my memory (true, it's a very cloudy memory most of the time). If you want the nuts and bolts as to what net neutrality is, head over to our sister radio station's website for a great rundown, including links to everything you'd ever want to know in regards to this issue.
The one thing I love about the internet above all else (even more than videos of loopy people after dental work) is that it levels the playing field. I was always thankful of the opportunities being an Air Force brat allowed. I got to see parts of the world I'd never see otherwise.
I saw the stark contrast to my childhood anytime I'd visit relatives in small town Oklahoma in the summer. As a kid, I wanted to be able to live there more than anything else, but even at a young age I knew the opportunities in Small Town, America were limited.
The internet changed that. I'm not talking about 1990s internet, the novelty years, where the internet was just a place where freaks hooked up in chat rooms. Those internet years were the Dark Ages. Walk into just about any school in America, from the inner city to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and classrooms are using the internet.
Students were once at the mercy of their teachers. There was a time where your future was directly tied with the knowledge of your educator. That's not the case now. Teachers have the resources they need. Students have the world at their fingertips. The same thing being taught at a noted school in a big city is being taught in the smallest of classrooms in the smallest of towns.
The internet levels the playing field. Sure, stupid people still do stupid things with the technology, but the internet has truly brought all corners of the globe together. People are no longer limited by their geography. I say all this to say there are people that would care to change that.
Although the issue of net neutrality has become a partisan issue, it's really about who we want to have the ABSOLUTE AND FINAL WORD on the future of internet traffic. Just like we wouldn't let private companies install their own traffic light at an intersection, the FCC's 3-2 vote on net neutrality says to the private sector "hands off".
Whether that's something to celebrate or something to fear depends a lot on whether there's an "R" or a "D" in front of your favorite candidate, and I just don't get it. Some opponents of net neutrality say it hinders free market, which is just another way of saying, "You're not allowing us to find new and inventive ways to suck every available dollar from the average consumers".
Being able to willfully slow down or speed up internet traffic based on your own personal set of rules and pricing takes away that level playing field that the internet provided. The internet will now be regulated in much the same way other utilities (electric, gas) are regulated. That means Wall Street won't have the final say on the transfer and flow of ideas and life experiences across the globe.
It basically comes down to this: Do I want Wall Street or the US Government to have the final say on internet traffic? Honestly, Wall Street is full of crooks and thieves and government is filled with............. Welllllllllll, at least we can elect the crooks OUT of DC. We DON'T, but we CAN.
Some will say it will lead to more taxes. OK. What's the difference in new taxes from Uncle Sam vs. higher fees from the private sector increasing the cost of the internet for me? In theory, it's easier to vote out a politician imposing these horrible new taxes on us than it is to get a Wall Street CEO out for raising fees. They get bonuses on Wall Street for that nonsense.
So there, it's all out there. I'm a bleeding heart lib that wants unfettered and completely equal internet access for all, rich and poor, young and old. Internet is the new electricity. Think about it. If your electricity is out when you get home and you find out it's going to be 48 hours before it's fixed, the first thing you're going to think is, "How am I going to charge my iPhone, iPad, iPod, i____________?". Fill in the blank as to what your internet-providing device you'd have there.
Bring on your worst taxes, Uncle Sam. Do your worst. I'd rather put my money into the government's coffee can of cash they have buried in the Rose Garden than CEO Rich McRichierich. This is truly the first time the government has gotten anything right this entire millenium. That's why I'm rushing to post this article. I'm afraid that, by the time I click publish to share it with the world, the FCC will have changed its mind and realized their mistake.