Net Neutrality: What you need to know
The internet is the home of the new American Dream
Republican tenants can all be summarized into a few phrases like the following. We believe in equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. We believe that humans will adapt and overcome when they have a level playing field to operate on. This applies especially to businesses. The American business man is one of the craftiest and innovative beings on the face of the planet.
This blog post will detail a Republican view on net neutrality.
This innovative spirit is embodied in the US’s growing and thriving tech industry. The tech sector is outpacing every single other industry in the private sector all over the United States. Nearly every county in the United States has some kind of high tech company in its county lines. As reported by The Guardian, modest projections for the growth of the tech sector is a growth of 16.2% through the year 2020.
This kind of growth is huge for the US and it looks like it won’t slow down for anyone or anything, thus bringing more growth the American economy.
In 2013, PwC.com conducted a survey of Tech CEOs in 2013. Their top investment concerns for the next twelve months (for the year 2014) are R&D and growing a customer base: 48 percent and 61% percent. Compared to all CEOs in surveyed, 32 percent and 51 percent of CEOs see R&D and growing a customer base as a major investment for the year 2014, respectively.
Thus, tech CEOs see greater chance to expand and grow their business. The tech industry and Silicon Valley embody a new American Dream. Facebook started out as a website run from a college dorm and then a home in California before it was the social media pillar that it is today.
What is net neutrality?
Net neutrality is a founding ideal of the father of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee . There is no space here to discus the history of the internet for further reading, click here and here. Tim Berners-Lee has been a proponent for content equality since it’s inception and would offer his software for internet browsing for free.
Net Neutrality simply is the concept that all content is treated equally regardless of where it comes from or how or where you get it. This means that internet service providers like Comcast, Time-Warner and CenturyLink are obligated to give no preference to websites, servers or other networks.
The issue now is that the FCC wants to allow ISPs to give preference to content. Creating a slow land and a fast lane for certain content coming from different providers or competing websites. This means that the ISPs, not users and the government for that matter, dictate who can reach what and at what speed. This means Comcast could dam up speed for a movie streaming service that competes with a movie streaming service that Comcast owns or has a vested interest in. Further, ISPs would be able to charge websites and other content provider fees for faster speeds than what the ISP owned sites would get for free.
This is wrong on the outset. First, it means that users have no opportunity to get anything they what. They are now underlings to these ISPs. Further, this will kill what has made the tech industry great: the underdog start up. This potentially means that certain companies may not be able to have their costumers access their site with the same speed between different ISPs. This stifling idea will kill growth and innovation. It isn’t surprising that 77 percent of US Tech CEO’s are concerned with overregulation from the Government.
A little conspiracy goes a long way
In jest, I thought that this wouldn’t be a conservative blog without a little conspiracy. But the conspiracy here is more than real.
The current FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, is nothing but a telecom insider with the best of ties to the telecom and tech industry. He has either been the president of or chairman of nearly every big telecom company or committee. But as the FCC Chairman, he has proven his stripes as nothing more than an inside man for the telecom industry by proposing the removal of net neutrality. He has a history and reputation for funding Senators on the Senate Communications Committee. Further he drummed up over $700,000 in donations to the Obama Campaign efforts. By these associations and his current actions, he is not a lover of American innovation but a slave to his industry compatriots.
You can be assured that something is up when companies actually applaud the nomination of a government bureaucrat as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast have through one of their lobbying firms, Broadband for America.
How do republicans fit into this?
As with many things, the paid preferential treatments that the new FCC rules would allow adds another regulation from the government that would unfairly slant the playing field in favor of established tech companies. The start-ups that exist now or that could exist could be killed before they get a chance. This is the opposite of what a Republican wants based on principle. The field needs to open and free to allow for innovation and improvement.
Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, and Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers signed a letter that was sent to Mr. Wheeler urging him to “back off on any sort of net neutrality regulation,” as reported by pcmag.com.
The full letter can be read at this link: http://www.speaker.gov/sites/speaker.house.gov/files/5-14-14-Net-Neutrality-Letter.pdf
Tennessee House Representative Marsha Blackburn has been an especially vocal opponent:
“The decision to regulate or reclassify the Internet is not one that should be made by five unelected individuals. This is a decision that is best left up to Congress at the will of the American people. Unfortunately, President Obama and his handpicked FCC Commissioners continue to try to impose unpopular campaign promises by partisan fiat.”
Republicans not alone
The irony with all of this is that Republican Congressmen aren’t the only ones up in arms about it. Celebrity and Political Commentator John Oliver gives a clear explanation on the issue. Keep an eye our for how true his observation of this paid preferential treatment and two tiered system has all the elements of a “mob shakedown.” A clip mentions a letter that various corporations signed off on. It can be read here. http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/assets/4422119/letter_to_FCC.pdf
I will end with a quote from Mr. Berners-Lee. He made this statement on the 25 anniversary of the birth of the World Wide Web.
“The web’s billions of users are what have made it great. I hope that many of them will join me in celebrating this important milestone,” said the computer scientist. “I also hope this anniversary will spark a global conversation about our need to defend principles that have made the web successful, and to unlock the web’s untapped potential.”
“I believe we can build a web that truly is for everyone: one that is accessible to all, from any device, and one that empowers all of us to achieve our dignity, rights and potential as humans,” he added.
Join us at the Provo Victory Center to assure that politicians that value net neutrality and an equal playing field for all are allowed into office. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/RNCProvoVictory Center.
Visit us at 249 N University Avenue Provo, UT 84601.
Chris Larson – Intern