Tag Archives: Netflix

Net Neutrality: The Proper Forms of Regulation

            In order to regulate the constant flow of information, the government created the Federal Communications Commission. While the FCC pretty successfully regulates media such as radio, television, and music, the Internet is such a recent and evolving invention that the FCC has had trouble keeping up. The issue of net neutrality is a perfect example. Net neutrality is the idea that broadband providers should treat all data on the Internet equally and so should not be able to discriminate by user or content. The courts ruled that broadband companies do not have to honor net neutrality, although the FCC has a lot of legislation regarding “fairness” within media outlets. The holding was based off a technicality because the Internet is not currently mentioned in the FCC’s regulation. This means that, theoretically, leading broadband providers such as Comcast could charge consumers extra for certain programs such as Netflix or else slow the connection down to a minuscule speed.

            Many people are highly invested in this issue because it has the potential to affect almost everyone. The Internet service providers are concerned about the issue because they could make a lot of money off of charging people to use certain channels or programs. Additionally, companies such as Netflix have the potential to make less money because companies such as Comcast could charge them to provide their services to consumers. These extra prices could also be passed down to consumers, giving them a large stake in the matter. The court case makes it very clear that the Internet service providers think that they should not have to honor net neutrality. They believe that they should be able to control the speed and access of any type of contact. The FCC, on the other hand, was on the other side so obviously believes the content should be regulated. While the proper regulations, as ruled by the court, are not currently in the legislation, the FCC could potentially add to it in order to include the Internet.

            Overall, I think if Internet service providers are allowed to ignore the concept of net neutrality, then prices for consumers would be outrageous. I think the FCC should and will add an amendment to include the Internet in their legislation. I think it is unfair to allow broadband providers to regulate their content and that people should be able to access most content without discrimination.