The Influence of Telecommunications Agencies

A few days ago, Trump’s appointed chairman to the FCC, Ajit Pai proposed a bill that seriously jeopardizes net neutrality.

The bill would essentially make major communications agencies such as, Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, capable of controlling internet for users.

This regulation would look like higher or slower internet speeds depending on content, higher premium prices depending on the site, and generally, unequal internet usage.

Net Neutrality means that that the public has free communication over the internet and it is freely accessible.

Net Neutrality advocates and even an FCC board member have been particularly vocal about this attack on internet freedom.

The main argument is that major companies have no right to regulate the internet as it could potentially under the bill.

This would prove to be exclusionary, making the free internet into yet another capitalist agent.

In terms of free speech, the internet could no longer have a space. A company would have complete jurisdiction over the content that its subscriber is allowed to view.

Activist who have used the internet as a space for mobilizing and spreading awareness would not be able to occupy those same spaces. A direct obstruction to free speech.

I think about the way the founding fathers wrote the first amendment. Their argument that government interference would undermine the public good was valid. However, now we face a more contemporary threat.

Communications companies have too strong an influence on what we are exposed to in the media. They own newspapers, television channels, and now the move has been made to own the internet.

I don’t think that the government is the only problem here, we need to start thinking seriously about how massive telecommunication agencies could have more influence on our democracy.

 

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