Fighting for the Internet

The internet is great because it is accessible. We have the ability to access the websites we want, and in theory no website has any advantage over another. But why would we want to leave it like this? Capitalist gains. The large broadband providers, like Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner, want to create “fast lanes” that would allow companies that can pay for quicker broadband access do it. It should be a no-brainer that the Federal Communications Commission wouldn’t allow this, but things get a little sticky when the chairman used to be a lobbyist for the broadband companies.

If the FCC had allowed this to happen it would have prevented internet users from having the same access to smaller companies, like independent news outlets. Instead it would have been easier to access the big corporations that can afford the fast lane fees. This monopolization of the internet is not what is in the best interest for the public or the people trying to actually inform the public of what is going on. Part of the reason independent journalism is currently successful is because of access to the internet. Anyone can create a blog and become a journalist, and these new journalists have access to almost any piece of information they could possible want.

While what was going on with the large providers was not promising, the public response was. It is not often that the American public mobilizes on an issues or feels strongly about something, but in this case it was. When the FCC opened up its website to public comments about net neutrality the website crashed. More than 780,000 comments were left in the first few hours that it was open showcasing how people felt about the proposal of fast lanes. People had opinions about the topic, and rightfully so.

The public should not be restricted in what they can access and how they can access it. If people want protest an issue or combat a powerhouse corporation, they should be able to do that on the internet regardless of how much money the broadband companies want to make.