A federal court recently ruled that the FCC did not have the power to enforce net neutrality, but the FCC is determined to find a way to preserve net neutrality somehow. Engadget suggests that it will “re-regulate” the internet in order to do this.
Net neutrality, if not preserved, would become a landmark moment in the history of technology. So much of what we can do and have done online is due to the completely open nature of it. We all access the same exact web when we go online. People from Portland, Oregon can visit sites in Portland, Maine. People in Paris, Texas can share things with people in Paris, France. This is all due to net neutrality.
Net neutrality ensures that the web is not compartmentalized. It is not separated into channels or stations or directories. You don’t have to pay more money to watch a clip on YouTube than visiting a forum on IGN. Anyone with access to the net has access to all of it.
I’m proud that my government is taking this issue seriously and doing so before it becomes a problem. When was the last time the U.S. government did that? While Britain is proposing legislation to segregate the net, the U.S. is trying to change it’s power to protect it. The government is not bowing to Comcast, Time Warner, and AT&T. I’m proud to be an American.
Equity of access is one of our enduring values as librarians. Net neutrality is a key component of this. We have, in the Internet, one of the greatest compilations of information that has ever existed. In order to preserve it’s power, we need to protect it’s openness. Know what your country is doing and make sure it is for the benefit of the many, and not the few. (Sorry United Kingdom).