Is FCC the solution for net neutrality?

Earlier this year, I wrote about the recent rulings regarding the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. The rules were struck down because Internet was not deemed to be the same as telephone service, thus causing the regulator to go back to the drawing board.

I also took a contrarian view on the matter, and for good reason.

It seems that like most Federal Government organizations in the United States, they have changed their minds.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, it seems that a policy shift is being proposed. The phrase “open Internet” has loosened as new rules would allow for major companies to negotiate higher prices for a faster lane.

In other words, companies like Netflix and others would have to cough up more money in order to provide content to their customers in a faster manner. The costs would be passed on to the consumer.

It makes sense, right? The more money a company gets from services, the better lanes that can be provided. After all, toll roads tend to be cleaner and better maintained, right?

The problem is that ISP’s are more than capable of increasing speeds in the U.S., but choose not to so they can gouge consumers for more money. For those who are in areas that offer Google Fiber, have you noticed how prices have mysteriously dropped and services have improved on the part of the competition?

In order for services to improve and become more cost effective, competition is needed. Unfortunately, companies like AT&T are using lobbying groups like ALEC to push for legislation barring cities from having municipal broadband. That’s like utility companies preventing rural areas from using co-ops to provide electricity.

When monopolies exist, you have high prices and poor service.

So if government agencies aren’t changing their minds on rules they are wanting to impose, regardless of the Constitutionality (or lack thereof), corporate interests are lobbying to prevent grass roots competition.

Now do you understand why I said that the politicians aren’t always the solutions to our problems?

We need to step up and actually do something about this. For starters, there’s a petition on SumOfUs.org calling for more transparency on the part of AT&T. The next step would be to go to other providers and avoid that company at all costs.

Hit them where it hurts the most–their wallets!

The next step is to check each state to see if grass roots networks can be created. If so, then do what you can to have a broadband network in your neck of the woods. It’s time that people became more savvy when it comes to technology and computer networks.

Now would be a good time to start before corrupt government agencies, politicians, and corporations can stop you.

About Thomas Holbrook II

Thomas first encountered FOSS while visiting the University of Central Missouri (then known as Central Missouri State University) during high school. Mandrake was the first distribution he ever attempted to run. He has had experience with SuSE, Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu, and other distros. He currently does a podcast each week and publishes a monthly digital magazine covering Unix and Overlooked Pop Culture at www.thenixedreport.com.

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