Sen. Al Franken has tried mightily to get the nation — and the nation’s politicians — alarmed about the demise of net neutrality. For the most part, it’s fallen on deaf ears because the nation doesn’t really get technology and the politicians do get telecommunications money to influence public policy.
The public has been nothing but sleepy in response.
Nonetheless, Vi Hart today provides the best explanation of the issue ever produced for those still interested in understanding it, including how the pols and business have gamed the system.
What happens when net neutrality is dead? Ron Fournier opines in the National Journal that it could spark a “tech age political revolution.”
“The internet providers lost the battle and won the war,” said a former Obama administration official who refused to be identified while criticizing the administration. “They’ve got their hooks into most members of Congress and both major parties.” Said another: “Godspeed to the American consumer. We could be screwed and not know until it’s too late.”
If net neutrality dies and the internet “rails” suddenly become more expensive and less reliable via monopolies, the protests will be loud. Cheap, easy access to information, entertainment and e-commerce are as engrained in modern American life as the telegraph and trains had become in early 20th century. Take that away, and the elites will pay.
“The question that cuts across the decades,” Fourier writes, “is whether American social institutions – including leaders of government, the businesses community and, yes, the media – are smart enough and courageous enough to respond.”