As Net Neutrality Battle Builds, Other Concerns Rise

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Although the issue of net neutrality has never been small, it has grown into a very large, complicated matter with more concerns rising frequently. It has actually developed into a political issue with outspoken parties on both sides.

Do you think that net neutrality has gotten too political? Let us know why or why not.

According to John Bergmayer, a staff attorney with Public Knowledge, net neutrality is "not supposed to be something for the Washington chattering classes to gossip about." Instead, he stated, "It's supposed to be a simple set of rules that allows innovators to innovate and creators to create."

To complicate matters even further, the U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to retract the net neutrality rules that the FCC adopted in December. However, in order for the rules to be completely reversed, the Senate and the President would have to be in favor of repealing the rules as well.

There is also a lot of conflict around ISPs and the lack of options for consumers. Bergmayer explained that 80 percent of Americans that have access to broadband services only have, at most, 2 broadband options to choose from. Millions of other Americans only have 1 choice in a broadband provider.

As a result, ISPs are not forced to compete in prices and services, which means that prices are often high and services are less than satisfactory. But, ISPs have their own concern since many of them also provide content services. They, in turn, fear the rise of services such as Netflix.

In the end, the fight is about the future of the Internet, media, and communications. The big question is where the government fits in with determining these outcomes.

Fortunately, consumers can share their opinion too. Because the FCC often takes comments on important issues, Bergmayer encourages people to participate. In addition, he suggests that individuals call their Congressmen and women to express their beliefs.

"It's not just about big companies like Google fighting big companies like Comcast. It's really about the individual... out there throughout America," he said.

He further pointed out that Washington, DC listens to those who speak the loudest, especially on "political football" issues such as with net neutrality.

Are you letting your voice be heard on these issues?

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