The Internet is in danger. But not from “evil corporations.” The marketplace serves millions of Americans hourly, and they like what they have. Companies big and small have flooded the market with content, devices, applications and services – in places obvious and forgotten, at home, in the office, or on the go.
But the radical “public interest” group, Free Press, sees it differently. Today, the group brought its case – yet again – to the FCC’s monthly open meeting. They’ve been at it for the better part of the decade, saying the end is near. A digital Apocalypse is upon us if government doesn’t step in an “save the Internet,” walling off the medium from corporate control.
Weird how that goes, however. The Internet has only exploded during this time. The majority of Americans have broadband Internet, with most all of us having access to broadband services. Sure, the picture isn’t perfect. Rural and disadvantaged areas can be hard to serve. And uptake – especially among the old, minorities and the economically depressed – could certainly be better.
Still, it’s getting better with each day. And, with some help from Washington – but primarily through market forces – Internet services continue to expand, helping Americans live prosperous, safer, and more connected lives than at any time in our history.
Quite simply, America’s Internet is healthy, vibrant and growing.
The Free Press disagrees, of course. They want the FCC to “fix” the Internet so that providers can’t possibly, ever, in any imaginable way…change the Internet. They want the Internet cemented to its glorious past. How? They want to ensure it remains “open” through so-called Net Neutrality regulations.
What would that mean?
The idea once seemed pretty simple. It said users should be able to access any lawful content, applications and services from the Internet, as well as connect any devices that don’t harm the network. The idea also expressed the goal that consumers should have a competitive marketplace from which to choose Internet services.
Importantly, Net Neutrality isn’t achieved via regulation but voluntarily. And the interesting thing is we have this type of Net Neutrality right now, as you read this piece.
Instead of this version, however – one that eschews command-and-control pressure points – the Free Press wants strict Net Neutrality regulation. They want control. And their version would hog-tie Internet providers from offering the services Americans want, essentially taking providers’ property and giving it to Washington policymakers and special interest groups to determine its best use. All in the name of openness.
Sounds like something that happens in Venezuela, or Cuba, or behind the Iron Curtain 50 years ago, doesn’t it? Sure does. And the Free Press wants it here, now.
“The longer the FCC ponders the politics of Net Neutrality, the longer the public is left unprotected,” the Free Press hysterically told the FCC today. “We cannot accept…” Blah, blah, blah.
We’ve seen this play before. Take a “crisis” and engorge government at immense cost to our liberties. America should not accept this affront. The Internet is a bastion of freedom, prosperity and growth precisely because government hasn’t spoiled it. Let’s keep it that way.
The Internet is danger, alright – from brute government control as advocated by the radical Free Press.