Oh dear oh dear oh dear… The US Federal Communications Commission want to repeal Net Neutrality (it seems Trump wants this too), and will be voting on – and likely passing – the repeal in December.
What even is Net Neutrality?
If the Internet is a commodity, and requires wiring and piping to run, then who pays to power it, and who controls the power flow? Net Neutrality is the basic idea that information on the Internet is equal, and no one provider or service or website can pay to one-up its competitors. We pay for our broadband or high speed Internet, and it speeds up all of the Internet equally. Without Net Neutrality, it's pretty obvious who would be able to grab up larger and larger chunks of the road…
So why would anyone want that?
Supporters of the repeal say that competition would improve services, and make them better for consumers. And there are examples of this, like Netflix improving video speeds after it hooked up with Comcast. Should we really regard the Internet as a public utility? Maybe it should be a space for competition and innovation, which is what supporters of the repeal say. The problem though, is that the competition may not always be fair and transparent i.e. it will favour those with more money. Yet, some people will prefer cheap Internet to open Internet. Whatever you think, it's guaranteed to make your brain bend. Here's how to argue.
And the comment bots don't help…
Public opinion seems to sit pretty solidly with neutrality. Over a million pro-repeal comments to the FCC's proposal were fake, and one Data Scientist used Natural Language Processing techniques to show it. Even with the investigation into the 2016 election trolls raging on, it's still happening right in front of us. Full of the same pro-America anti-Washington rhetoric you'd expect, but tacked on to a different Obama-era policy this time… Not exactly helping.