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Net neutrality should be preserved to keep peace

December 13, 2017 GMT

The (Ashtabula) Star-Beacon in Ohio published this editorial on Dec. 3:

A free and open internet should not be a partisan issue. In today’s world, the internet is not a want — it is a necessity for any business and most citizens to function on a day-to-day basis. ...

Yet, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission would like to remove rules that currently prevent internet service providers from having a frightening amount of power. Without the rules — collectively known as net neutrality — nothing would stop ISPs from a host of actions most would find abhorrent. Let’s review some of the potential consequences.


ISPs could create fast and slow lanes for websites, charging a streaming service like Netflix an exorbitant rate. Those companies could also slow down speeds to Netflix in order push customers toward their own streaming services — the same with any other media companies they own.

They could also do this with content providers whose ideology they don’t like — so an ISP with a liberal bent could slow speeds down to Fox News while an ISP favoring conservative ideology could do the same to MSNBC, just to name a few examples. ...

While it appears the FCC board members have made their minds up ahead of a Dec. 14 vote on the subject, calling federal lawmakers still has a chance to make a difference, and we urge residents to do so.