Net Neutrality

It looks like the Net Neutrality debate might be heating up once again, and many would like to see it make another splash in the public arena. While there have been a number of incidents over the past few months, by the likes of AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, it’s unlikely the events will be big news or even be noticed by most Americans.

Many people find the idea of Net Neutrality fairly ambiguous and vague, possibly because a good number of people don’t understand how the Internet works, and because Net Neutrality covers a number of issues. The basic idea is that all data passed around the Internet should be treated equally. Some tel-com and ISP companies would like to create a system where “preferred” data can go ahead of other data. What data is preferred? Well, the data belongs to the highest bidder, of course.

This is a huge issue. We’re talking about creating a system where NBC can pay to have their data travel the network before Youtube. Or Verizon can limit the amount of bandwidth used on their network by Vonage unless Vonage pays them a premium. Or, much worse in my opinion, where network companies block political data they disagree with.

So, why wouldn’t this be big news? Well, mostly because it is old news, but also because it’s bad timing. The holidays are upon us, there’s a presidential race that’s just beginning, the housing market, terrorism, World Series… nobody wants to hear about corporate America trying to make money by limiting freedom, again!

Net Neutrality had a good push, it made headlines, got a bill passed, and was everything everyone talked about. However, the ship has sailed, and time has passed. That’s not to say that there won’t be a day that Net Neutrality once again makes big news. But, it will take a huge event, one that affects everyone on a personal level, before we see Net Neutrality in the headlines again. What kind of event? Some people know.