Without question, the Internet has been a boon for our information age. Anyone within the range of Wi-Fi or a snap-in computer cable has access to unimaginable amounts of data at the click of a mouse button, without much interference from onerous rules and regulations.
That is, until June 12, when President Barack Obama’s “net neutrality rules” become effective.
Although the terminology sounds non-threatening, telecom providers such as AT&T, CenturyLink and US Telecom are fighting the implementation of these rules tooth and nail.
Net neutrality means service providers must allow access to all content and applications regardless of their source. In other words, no Internet traffic can be prioritized.
The telecom providers claim that this will cost them millions of dollars. More frightening, perhaps, is that net neutrality gives the Federal Communications Commission authority to police the Internet and reclassify Internet access.
“If this becomes effective, the FCC will become the ‘Department of the Internet,’” said Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai, who does not support the move.
The telecom companies, joined by Republicans, have asked an appeals court to delay the implementation of the net neutrality rules while related lawsuits wend their way through the legal system.
The FCC, however, says the rules are “well within the commission’s statutory authority, is consistent with Supreme Court precedent and fully complies with the Administrative Procedure Act” (H/T The Hill).
All in all, it sounds like a takeover of the Internet by the Obama government.
Then what will the Internet be like?
Given the track record of the current administration, it is not likely that the Internet will be improved. Instead it will probably become less effective and slowed by a mass of policies and regulations. This is typical of almost any large network Obama can get his hands on.
You do remember how well his management of the healthcare system went, right?