Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Net Neutrality - Everyone In the World Should Care

It's not unexpected for the wireless carriers to want the government to stay away and are against the proposed FCC regulations regarding net neutrality.  Let's be clear.  FCC for.  Carriers are against it.

The FCC have a duty to make sure the carriers allow every media on the Internet, video, music, or just print, to have access to the end users and end users to the Web properties.  

I think it's too early to have the government come in but there is still a lot of concerns that wireless carriers will attempt to be anti-competitive or impose fees on content providers for services.  

Whether you're Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, or don't live in the US at all, this is an issue that we all need to watch out for.  There are governments who see the Internet as a means to advance national interests.  Education being one of them.  A better educated population means a competitive edge in science, engineering, medicine, and other areas that generally lead to a higher standard of living.

The other view is that we let the market make the decision.  If that was the case, I'm all for it.  But then the scale gets tilted in favor of the carriers.  That means they get their lobbyists and politicians to create laws in their favor.  That doesn't exactly work either.  

So far, the GOP are dead against this.  I know all about the free market concept.  Hey, I'm for all that but I'm also aware of the need for American competitive edge in this new era where education and proliferation of personal tech and broadband is very important in Asia.   

I know I'm oversimplifying matters but if net neutrality, which by the way, I'm for, is not enforced by the government or the market and carriers are allowed to be the gatekeepers they want (they claim we need their protection), innovation will slow.  At least in the US, you can look for folks to start training their innovative energies else where.

This is why I'm keeping track of promising technologies like white spaces that are being pushed by rivals Google and Microsoft.  This is why I'm especially excited by the prospects of 3G providers that are pushing data plans, thus changing how the wireless business models are currently being followed.  And lastly, this is why I'm somewhat excited and optmistic about the small lead Clearwire has taken in the 4G market.

Bottomline is that net neutrality will impact a lot more than how we access the Internet.  It impacts standard of living.  National interests and security.  Commerce.  Free flow of information.  There is a balanced way to get this done with a huge fight between national parties for political dominance or epic battles between the big guys versus the little guys.  

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