Should The Government Run the Internet?
What is the biggest issue with the internet in Louisiana? For most people in the Pelican State, it’s ensuring that they have access to reliable and affordable internet. As we wrote last week, Louisiana is getting one billion dollars to build out more internet infrastructure. With the focus rightly on expanding access, why is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) once again trying to take control of the internet?
Last week, the FCC announced that it would be reimposing net neutrality regulations. While the specifics of net neutrality are complicated, it boils down to the government wanting to regulate internet access like a utility, such as electricity or water.
Former FCC chairman Ajit Pai had previously rolled back net neutrality regulations, emphasizing the need for a more open and adaptable internet. He believed that the primary concern for many consumers wasn’t about internet service providers blocking content, but rather the overarching issue of lack of access and limited competition. Ending net neutrality was aimed at encouraging investment in high-speed networks, fostering competition, and bridging the digital divide.
Since that time, there has continued to be more innovation and investment in internet access. New technologies such as Starlink internet satellites now orbit the globe, providing access to essentially anywhere in the world. Other solutions like fixed wireless internet make it easier to reach rural areas and doesn’t require running expensive cables everywhere, making it more affordable for people across the country. Many of these innovations and investments would be slowed or simply would not have occurred if net neutrality had been kept in place.
The internet is not broken. But there is a need for increased innovation and investment to help people have reliable and affordable internet service. If net neutrality is again imposed by the FCC, so much of the effort to expand access will be slowed at a time when access should be the top priority.
Pelican Center for Technology and Innovation
With all the news going on, did you hear about the return of net neutrality? Email us and let us know!
Links to Learn More About Net Neutrality
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