Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Telecommunications and Net Neutrality

I found this week's reading to be rather interesting; in particular, I wanted to discuss Net Neutrality in relation to Ron Jacobson's discussion about the rise in telecommunications. He examines an emerging National Information Structure which raises debate as to who will benefit from the proposed super-structure, and how it will be regulated? Should the Internet operate like a utility, with equal service for every level of subscriber, or whether the Internet service providers should be able to provided tiered access and pricing?

Furthermore, he discusses the need for government intervention as well as eliminating the digital divide. The digital divide is similar to Net Neutrality, in which, everyone should be able to access the Internet equally. On a corporate level, Net neutrality is a current and on-going debate about how we should regulate the Internet. One side of the fight is that the government should step in and protect the content providers like Amazon.com, Google.com, and Yahoo.com. In opposition, to the Internet service providers creating an extra market by forcing customers to pay for more efficient and faster service. If this occurs, the companies can control bandwidth on their services and hinder or block certain aspects of the Internet including: competing companies, certain political views, gaudy or immoral content.

I think Jacobson would agree that we need to regulate yet maintain “Internet freedom”. It is essential that Internet traffic be treated equally by carriers. Net Neutrality promotes economic innovation and free speech helps people contend on an equal ball field. A big fear is that Congress will cave to a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign by telephone and cable companies that want to decide what you do, where you go, and what you watch online.

Net Neutrality Walk-Through Video

1 comment:

Lance Strate said...

Excellent point! The issue of Net Neutrality is a recent concern, but you can see from the readings that it is actually a continuation of earlier conflicts. Very good video, too!