In the last few months, the only topic on everyone’s minds was Net Neutrality. When the FCC proposed a two-lane model where some companies can pay for faster access for their consumers, there was an widespread protest against the proposed rules, all of which were expressed in an eyepopping 3 million comments on FCC’s Website when it asked for the Public’s opinion.
Net Neutrality basically means that every entity using the Internet had a right to get the same speed as others, and should not have to shell out for faster speeds. If Net Neutrality didn’t exist, smaller companies wouldn’t be able to survive, and the world would be ruled by big corporations, with no fair fighting chance for smaller ones.
This is why FCC’s rules were protested. Now, the FCC has announced its new rules, under which the Internet will be classified into a Title II Utility. In other words, they have saved the Internet from almost certain doom.
The reason for this new classification, other than the fact that it is the better one, is that FCC’s Chairman, Tom Wheeler, attributed his company’s growth due to openness.
He had started AOL, and was competing with NABU, a high-speed Cable Network Provider. AOL was extremely slow, but it won the test of time, and now NABU doesn’t exist and only AOL strides on. Why? Well, because AOL chose to hang out with the Phone Lines, which were open according to FCC Rules, but NABU sticked to Cable Providers, and had to convince Cable Networks to support NABU. AOL, on the other hand, just plugged into the Phone Network, as simple as that, and so was much more popular, and survived.
Even President Obama suggested that the Internet be reclassified, and it looks like the FCC has finally listened.
Unfortunately, for the ISPs, it means stricter regulations which may cut into their profits, and they warn that they will raise prices. Only time will tell what will happen.
Till then, let us rejoice. It is a victory for us, and it is a victory for the Internet. The Internet remains the democratic platform it always was. Hurrah!
What are your thoughts on Net Neutrality being estabilished?