Among the many controversial decisions that Donald Trump has made in his first few weeks as President, one stands out to members of the technology industry in particular – naming Net Neutrality opponent Ajit Pai as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Not long after Trump’s election, Pai began talking about how important it will be to end Net Neutrality, writing in a letter about his intention to, “revisit […] the Title II Net Neutrality proceeding […] as soon as possible”.
So just what is Net Neutrality? You’ve probably heard of it in passing by now, or seen it mentioned on a news scroll. We know Net Neutrality can be vague or confusing; that’s why it’s imperative to understand the facts.
Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites. This was officially enacted in 2010 as a part of the FCC’s Open Internet Order.
However, Pai claims that this core issue — that without FCC regulations like the Open Internet Order, ISPs could become gatekeepers to content online — doesn’t exist. He’s long predicted that Net Neutrality would be vacated by a court, overturned by Congress, or undone by a future commission – it appears he will be right on that last prediction.
His position is rooted in conventional Republican ideology: that a free, unregulated market should prevail, as opposed to the regulations and controls set in place by Net Neutrality. He has also spoken out against extensions to the Lifeline program that has given low-income Americans access to modern technologies like high-speed Internet.
As technologists and business owners, we believe in the value of a free and open Internet and regulations that keep the Internet affordable, and the first step in standing up for these principles is awareness.
It’s vital for the hundreds of millions of Internet users across the nation to understand that Net Neutrality is under attack, and their voice, through petitions, contact to members of government and further promotion can make it clear to the administration that the people want and need Net Neutrality.
For more news on the latest developments, be sure to visit LA Creative Technologies online on our LA IT Support website.