Michael Ehline, personal injury attorney – Big cable companies and others seeking to rig the internet, have constantly been trying to monetize and monopolize the internet in such a way, that would allow them to charge a premium for small businesses like law firms and other professionals, in order for them to rank well on the internet. In order to do this, net neutrality rules must be eliminated, or slowly eroded.
What Is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality has to do with making sure that Internet service providers (ISPs), which include Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Verizon, Cox, AT&T, Charter, Frontier, Suddenlink, CenturyLink etc., serve up all traffic equally without playing favorites between sources of content.
What this means to the consumer is that Michael Ehline, or Anthony Castelli can’t pay an ISP to prioritize the traffic and speed of our website traffic streaming into the home or office of an end user. Net neutrality is more or less, about the connection between your ISP and your receiving router and computer. It is also called the “last mile.”
Normally, I would not eagerly support regulation of a business, or government involvement in a man’s business. But this case is a little different and here is why. ISPs aren’t going to offer net neutrality voluntarily. ISPs and the politicians they donate millions to, generally ignore the fact that We the People own the internet. They want to use it as a highway, and they want to have their own private toll booth. Private citizens like you and I already paid for the creation of the internet long ago, which was actually the brainchild of the U.S. Military. (Source.) It belongs to us.
We use it as a vehicle to communicate like buying and selling, build our brands, doing legal research, and many more things than that. There is absolutely no reason to allow anyone, a big company or not,to have the ability to de-facto end our ownership of the net, which is exactly what is happening here.
The Delicate Balance in the Fight for Total Neutrality
How much regulation is necessary? After all, if the net is too neutral, ISPs would become a public utility, which means some government bureaucrat will eventually tax the crap out of it, and play favorites to big party donors who support the public employee unions and their political allies in Washington. This hurts business, and clearly has the ability to chill political speech, as objective people have recently seen with the union run IRS scandal.
At the other side of the spectrum is the “no regulation” argument that allows ISPs to sell traffic and speed priority to the highest bidder. It can also mean exclusivity two or more sources of data in varying degrees of quality and speed. An example would be Media Matters paying AT&T to serve up their website in favor of say, Rush Limbaugh’s, or simply blocking Rush’s site altogether. If Rush is unhappy, he can pay to play as well.
This second option is the option favored by the companies Wheeler has spent his career working for. In either scenario, in this case, the democrat party will win big, but many progressive law firms and attorneys will also lose BIG! Finally, political partisans on both sides are in a position where they will be personally affected in a negative way, and as will be discussed, the ground work is being laid for a bipartisan effort to enforce a balanced neutrality. The end result of too much, or not enough internet regulation, is that Democrats, Republicans and Independents, etc., will be forced to return to the old Yellowpages system. Basically, money, as opposed to good ideas and great service, etc., would be the primary factor of how a business can rank online.
Make no mistake, the elimination of, or shaving of the neutrality regulations will destroy the ability of a small consumer law firm like mine and yours from succeeding in the virtual world. The new proposed FCC rules change will wipe out most of you attorneys, unless you are extremely wealthy. This is the kind of stuff that Thomas Jefferson and our founding fathers argued would take place unless we had an extremely limited central government. But how on earth did we get here? Why are these new rules even being proposed? Follow the money.