What Was Net Neutrality Really About?
In laymen terms, what was net neutrality actually about? I understand that net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must provide access to all internet content and applications regardless of its source, and without throttling or blocking particular websites and so on. But why did it seem so extremely important for ISPs to take control of the internet? I find it remarkable that Donald J. Trump gave the internet, which is said to be worth 16 trillion dollars, for just a few people to control.
Was it to control the flow of information? Did it have a political purpose that benefited republicans? What was net neutrality genuinely about?
Answer ( 1 )
It was critical for internet service providers to take control of the internet before it was deemed a public utility. Contrary to popular belief, the internet would be less expensive for consumers if it were a public utility.
More than 40 million cord-cutters have canceled their cable television subscription over the past 15 years in favor of cheaper internet-based or wireless service. Cable television is a dying business in the same way private landline phones went nearly extinct.
This swing of a pendulum undoubtedly hurt pay television channels like cable news networks CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. It also posed dire consequences to cable television providers like Comcast, Verizon and Cox Communications.
In truth, cord-cutting didn’t have a giant financial impact on cable providers because subscribers just switched from cable TV to internet-streaming. But had the government deemed the internet as a public utility, it would have likely forced lower prices on consumers. Heck, maybe the internet might have even been made a free utility. That wouldn’t be good for cable business.
I could only assume the government also gained a political advantage. In fact, they could essentially force cable corporations to financial support presidential candidates in exchange for continued control of the Net.
Who knows where all of this ends. When net neutrality lawsuits are over, government could encourage cable providers to censor their political foes. Maybe even regulate certain types of speech. Don’t say it ain’t so cuz already the bulk of media ownership is controlled by just a few corporations. Scholars had warned us long ago about the concentration of media ownership.