What is net neutrality? Well, to quote Neil Irwin of the New York Times Upfront, the difference between our current state of affairs and rules with Net Neutrality enforced is comparable to the difference between "cable and electricity" respectively. Whereas cable providers have the authority to charge you for different packages where different channels etc. are provided, when you pay for electricity you are simply paying to use it and the electric company has no power over what you use it on. The latter is what Obama would suggest the internet be classified as -- Net Neutrality.
Earlier this year video-streaming site Netflix made headlines by showing that internet service provider Comcast was slowing down service on their website. In response, Netflix has been making deals to provide faster speeds on their website. Not only would Obama's plan for net-neutrality outlaw agreements such as this one, but it would also outlaw providers ability to slow down certain websites.
Because this is just a statement and not by any means enacted law, it lies to the FCC to make any moves towards or against the President's wishes.
It should come as no surprise that big business and many Republicans are strongly opposed to such action. Their primary argument being one against regulation, which they believe will slow "innovation and job creation" (Rappeport).
Despite this a majority of Americans who actually understand Net Neutrality, an admittedly low 41.1%, find Net Neutrality favorable. Additionally, while Republicans in Congress have slammed Net Neutrality, a poll by the Internet Freedom Business Alliance -- a Net Neutrality favorable organization -- found that Conservatives actually agree with much of Net Neutrality. What they found was that:
"83% of voters who self-identified as 'very conservative' were concerned about the possibility of ISPs having the power to “influence content” online."
"83% of self-identified conservatives thought that Congress should take action to ensure that cable companies do not “monopolize the Internet” or “reduce the inherent equality of the Internet” by charging some content companies for speedier access."
What do you think?
Should the internet be subject to Net Neutrality regulations?
How do you react to Obama making this a national issue?
Is there really such a disconnect between Republicans in Congress and the conservatives across the country? Or is this just polling non-sense?