The country is abuzz about “net neutrality,” the policies of the Federal Communications Commission aimed at assuring fair rules of the road for Internet traffic. But the rhetoric and coverage of the FCC’s new proposals has at times drowned out serious discussion of the issues—what’s at stake, what are the right policies, and how do they get implemented?
Much of the focus recently has turned to the issue of whether an Internet Service Provider can charge a content company to increase the speed of the latter’s connection to the customer, the so-called fast lane. How do we assure an open Internet that gives the consumer access to all content while also giving the customer high quality of service for the content they do want? Who should bear what costs? What will foster investment, innovation, choice, and freedom on the Internet? What are the long term solutions?
Charles Firestone, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program