This is a video that I tend to fall back on when I hear people still – even now – misinformed about net Neutrality. I had a lengthy discussion with friends yesterday in the wake of the FCC’s ruling on the matter of Net Neutrality yesterday.
I tend to sit in the camp with with Dan Costa, thinking it’s actually a pretty decent compromise, and frankly whenever the members on the FCC board who are clearly in the pockets of the telecommunications industry (hint, they’re the two who dissented) are upset with the ruling, it probably means more good things for the future of the Internet than bad ones. That being said, Net Neutrality purists – myself included, are a bit upset about the ruling: it could have gone further, and it probably should, but I’ll take incremental progress wherever I can get it, especially when I know that farther-reaching progress simply isn’t attainable (or won’t hold up in court.)
Sadly, a number of people are already digesting the easy-to-swallow ISP and telco-industry talking point that this is “overreaching government regulation of the Internet,” something that’s not only blatantly false it’s probably only a shadow of the actual authority that the FCC actually already has over the industry that it chooses not to exercise in the name of open markets.
Here’s the litmus test that I usually give people:
1. Are you willing to pay ISPs more for the current level of service that they offer?
2. Are you willing to pay ISPs more for offering no additional services whatsoever?
3. Are you opposed to government – the advocate of the people to industry – stepping in to stop the 1 or 2 from happening?
If you answered no to all three questions, like most sane people would, congratulations – you support Net Neutrality.
Still confused? Check out the video above, featuring Professor Tim Wu from an interview with Engadget where they dissect the issue into bite size chunks suitable for the Facebook generation.
[ Engadget Explains Net Neutrality — and Our Full Interview with Professor Tim Wu! ]