" title="">when networks are congested. This is an effort to equalize the cyber playing field by mitigating the power of large Internet service providers through government regulation.
There has been a great deal of concern voiced over this policy, as it gives the FCC unprecedented authority in controlling Internet companies that previously operated under relatively few restrictions. Many broadband companies are unhappy with this bill because they fear it hurts investment opportunities within networks, thereby impinging on their ability to innovate. They are also worried that the FCC will force them to share their infrastructure with competitors.
Imposing regulations on Internet service providers raises economic arguments about stifling market competition in the broadband sphere. Banning paid prioritization is a good effort to stop companies from assigning priorities to Internet traffic. However, assigning priority to certain services over others is an essential component of free economic activity that is being infringed upon by net neutrality. While there is a precedent for government imposing restrictions on companies that become too dominant, the question arises of whether this is desirable in the Internet world, which was founded on the principle of freedom.
Michael Powell, former chairman of the FCC, voiced his opposition to the bill stating that, "The FCC has taken the overwhelming support for an open Internet and pried open the door to heavy-handed government regulation in a space celebrated for its free enterprise." The concern of many involved in the business realm of the Internet is that net neutrality is a "slippery slope" and that the FCC will gain too much power in influencing prices. Smaller start-ups have been generally supportive of the bill however, as lowering the barriers to entry of broadband industries would make it easier for these companies to get off the ground.
Net neutrality as a concept to protect the openness and freedom of the Internet is a worthwhile endeavor. While the recent bill ameliorates many concerns about freedom and fairness, it is gives the government an immense amount of power in an arena in which they have previously been largely uninvolved. Choosing to impose similar restrictions that telephone companies operated under in the 1930s is simply outdated. A more innovative amendment that incorporates the current economic climate of how Internet related companies operate would likely be more beneficial for both providers and consumers. For example, instituting regulations if an Internet service provider has shown evidence of participating in paid prioritization could be preferable to the more invested approach the recent bill gives the FCC. Despite these considerations, this bill is a positive first step toward insuring that impartiality remains at the epicenter of the Internet.