According to a story on Politico, Verizon is going to court to challenge the FCC’s ruling on Net Neutrality. They want “to stop the agency from requiring Internet companies to treat all Web traffic equally.”
Of course these companies want to limit who can limit who accesses their networks – they will make more money if they charge website owners for the ability to receive traffic from their websites. It is an added revenue stream. I understand the drive for profit. However; it is something the government should prevent.
Stopping the traffic and controlling the traffic flow on the Internet Superhighway is counter-productive and bad for America. Think of it this way…Let’s say you decide to drive from Kenosha down to Mundelein, IL. You get on the toll road and you pay your toll for the privileged of using the road. This is like you paying for your Internet access. Now, you have to stop for gas and you see a Shell station, except you’re driving on a road controlled by Verizon and Shell hasn’t paid Verizon any extra money, therefore; Verizon isn’t going to allow you off the highway to enter the Shell station. It doesn’t matter that Shell pays for their location (their website hosting package); it doesn’t matter that Shell pays Comcast for their own Internet access. You are a Verizon customer and they will not let you stop at Shell, because they want Shell to pay them.
These extra charges that Verizon is suing in order to propose – and, yes, I realize that their claim is that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to “regulate broadband networks”, however; once the regulation to treat all traffic equally is lifted, watch the charging begin – will harm small businesses, as well as blogs – and, yes, even mine.
Amazingly, the Verizon lawyer said the following in a statment: “We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers.” I laugh at the idea that the FCC regulation creates uncertainty. Not knowing about how a ruling on this will affect non-Internet providers will cause more uncertainty.
The problem is that they could actually win they’re court case. Right now, our courts are placing companies on the same level as people. It is not a far stretch to believe that they will overturn the FCC’s regulation.
Congress needs to step up to the plate and swing for a home run. Keeping the playing field equal on the Internet is essential to our freedoms. If you don’t believe me, take a good look at China – where people can’t access Google. The difference is that it won’t be our government that controls us – it will be the companies.