The Future of the Internet in America

In a landmark ruling last month, a federal appeals court struck down parts of a Federal Communications Commission’s open internet rules act.  This essentially means that the federal government does not have the power to enforce net neutrality in America.  Net neutrality is the idea that all users should have the right to access all information equally on the internet, and this is an important right that virtually all Americans believe in.  However, according to a CNET article entitled, “Why you should care about Net Neutrality”, the FCC’s rules were denied for net neutrality and internet service providers, such as Verizon, have gained the opportunity to limit bandwidth to certain online based companies, such as Netflix and other cloud based companies, unless they pay fees for more bandwidth usage.  This is a problem because it affects the network that is established throughout the internet, and will increase the costs for companies and, ultimately, consumers.  As internet service providers act as gatekeepers that can allow only certain information to flow to nodes, such as customers, it will be crucial to make sure that all content on the internet has the same opportunity to reach readers and customers that wish to view the content.  The ability for ISP’s to control the amount of information that can flow to nodes is very powerful and the information passing through from gatekeepers to nodes should not be based on the amount of money that a company has available to pay the gatekeepers.  It will be interesting to see how this ruling affects the future flow of information on the internet and if new networks can be created to ensure free-flowing information for users.


One thought on “The Future of the Internet in America”

  1. While I agree that there is a slippery slope in allowing companies to charge for more bandwidth, and thus constricting the pathways within the network, there is also an upside to this. First, as consumers we have already been paying for access and bandwidth for these companies-the internet companies will make money either way. This is a rightful shift to have costs shift to the companies that use more bandwidth, taking away some adverse selection problems of net neutrality.

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