Well probably because without it, rich cable TV corporations and ISPs would turn the web into TV 2.0.
The Internet is the first media platform created that wasn’t designed to sell advertisements. That’s probably the reason that content creators find it so difficult to make a living out of it because unlike radio and television before it, the Internet was just a purely non commercial vehicle from its inception.
But, rich greedy corporates and old money hungry powerful men from the old world media want to dilute the Internet, remove net neutrality, fully commercialise the web and charge for it like they do for cable television.
They want to remove net neutrality in order to create a two-tier internet with two different speeds. At the moment net neutrality prevents ISPs from discriminating against different types of traffic. Whether you’re a small time blogger or business person, you can get access to the same audience as big corporate websites at the exact same speed. It’s a fair an open system. But ISPs want to setup a pay-for-play system where the super rich will get access to users first by paying for priority. Thus ghettoising most small time content creators into a forgotten corner of the web.
If this happens, innovative content will be lost because the only content you’ll be able to consume will be that which has been pre-approved by corporate media types. In other words, the safe, politically correct, commercial crap you see on television will be all over the web. In the future, your ISP bill could be a lot like your cable television bill.
There will be lots of different packages, all very expensive. You could have a basic package for $30 per month that gives you access to a limited number of websites like social media networks, email, app stores etc. Then there will be a mid level package that grants you access to a few more, like YouTube, Netflix for $50, then an unrestricted package that gives you access to everything for $80 per month, including all the naughty sites.
This is being pushed hard in the US and if it happens there, it’ll happen everywhere. For a while of course while the rest of the world adapts to this disturbing and crappy version of the web, everything will be fragmented. Certain popular websites will be owned by ISPs, media companies and hosting sites and they’ll only be accessible in certain parts of the world. Eventually you simply won’t be able to access websites that aren’t specifically aimed at your country.
A model like this is what’s been touted for a long time and it’s really not that far fetched as an outcome because, the former president of the FCC in America that’s supposed to protect consumers against such a horrific outcome, is now the cable industry’s head lobbyist. In addition, the current head of the FCC is a former cable industry lobbyist. So the FCC has vested interests of their own and are staunchly opposed to net neutrality, so it really falls to us to protect what we have.
Of course be prepared to hear propaganda from corporates saying, “We need to remove the restrictive autocratic government regulation! It’s stifling innovation I tells ya!” Which is what they always say in order to be able to get away with stuff. When the government is actually doing something good for once and behaving as a watchdog, corporates play on the citizenry’s distrust of governments and thus get them to hand control over to the corporates.
What many anti-net neutrality people fail to realise is that in a western democratic capitalist society where the majority of power, money and resources rests with just a few wealthy people, the corporates will always control the governments. They influence politicians and use the media to tear down any protections on citizen’s rights and consumer safe guards. Look, no one wants a big scary government like North Korea, but what we do want is for our government to be able to uphold rules, laws and regulations that we the citizenry put political pressure on them to introduce. We want to be able to see the democratic process through our votes. But that cannot happen when the political game is rigged from the start. Democracy is a wonderful thing but it becomes a sad joke when it’s corrupted by commercial interests.
Stand up for Net Neutrality.
For more tech content, subscribe to Computing Forever on YouTube.