Net Neutrality and the General Public

The Internet is all abuzz regarding the long-time issue of net neutrality and recent events, namely the joint proposal between Google and Verizon on an open Internet, have only exacerbated the hype.

As a heavy consumer and frequent builder of the web, it is only logical that this be an issue that I find of concern; however, the more I research both sides of the debate the more I find myself asking, “How does the general public feel? Are they even aware of the issue at all?”

The issue itself is extremely complex and it’s quite possible that even the experts in this area are confused, so how could the general public understand? Or, even better, why should they care?

At the moment, the debate over net neutrality is plagued by ambiguities and saturated with policy jargon, thus making it difficult for any laymen to understand. Further, although it has been a long-time issue, the debate has seen very little procedural action. We are still addressing the question of, “Should the government be allowed to enforce Internet regulation?” and are only beginning to address the question of, “How?”

I, like you, am still trying to grasp the complexity of the situation and what it means for me not only as a consumer of the Internet, but also as an equal rights proponent. By breaking down and stifling the utopian culture of the web, could we affect its entrepreneurial spirit? Moreover, how could this issue affect our right to Freedom of Speech?

Because of the inquiries mentioned above, my current stance is neutral. Both sides of the debate are compelling and I will likely not choose a side until the question of “how to enforce regulation” is further addressed (or perhaps not, only time will tell).

In the meantime, I am hoping that the general concept of the issue itself is making its way towards mainstream society. Considering that this is an issue that could potentially affect the availability of content on the web, as well as a consumer’s right to fair access, it should certainly be an issue that people are at least aware of, even if we don’t quite understand it yet.

Additional Reading:
General Overview – NY Times Topics: Net Neutrality http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/subjects/n/net_neutrality/index.html

Google and Verizon Joint Submission on the Open Internet
http://www.scribd.com/doc/25258470/Google-and-Verizon-Joint-Submission-on-the-Open-Internet

Google defends their Net Neutrality Proposal http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2010/08/facts-about-our-network-neutrality.html

For your Entertainment:
During my information search, I have come across a handful of entertaining comics and videos. Content/message aside, I found the following cartoon to be especially entertaining. http://www.dontregulate.org/

Jon Stewart on Google’s Opposition to Net Neutrality (What can I say? He’s hilarious!)
http://ccinsider.comedycentral.com/2010/08/18/jon-stewart-on-googles-opposition-to-net-neutrality/

Comments are closed.


All content © Copyright 2017 by Comm Theory and Me.
Subscribe to RSS Feed – Posts or just Comments

Powered by WordPress