Why Net Neutrality Is So Important

Episode 1407 (02:03)

Net Neutrality

We've been talking a lot about Net Neutrality, which is the idea that bits should flow along the "information superhighway" without being artificially impeded by an internet service provider. If the internet is an information superhighway, then the internet service provider is the exit ramp. It's how that stuff going back and forth across the world gets to your home. But wouldn't it be annoying if there were toll roads across town, and you'd need to pay a toll to get the internet to your house? If in order to get access to certain websites, you'd need to pay an additional toll? That's the idea of what would happen without net neutrality.

There's an article from Business Insider about a recent report by Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi called "Digital Planet 2017: How Competitiveness and Trust in Digital Economies Vary Across the World." His conclusion is that we've stalled out here in the U.S. Even though the internet was created here, we are now the 10th most digitally advanced country in the world today. The problem is that our investment in startups in the US is slowing, and we are getting among the worst internet in the world. Connectivity is basically controlled by just five companies: Comcast, Spectrum, Verizon, Century Link, and AT&T. Those companies give us both slower and more expensive internet, and they want more, and more control. They essentially are asking for the right to decide which companies can get to you, which is contrary to productivity and innovation.

If you need an argument for why we should not reverse the rules of Net Neutrality, why bits should be protected across the internet, this is a good one.