Survey Says: Net Neutrality Debate Rages On
The controversy over Net Neutrality isn't going away anytime soon, despite a federal appeals court ruling that halted the FCC's enforcement of its rules, according to the Light Reading community.
In an informal and unscientific poll, readers said overwhelmingly that Net Neutrality is nowhere near resolution. (See Net Neutrality Health Check.)
Twenty-four percent of readers said Net Neutrality is not a dead issue because it has broad support among Internet users, and 23% said it is never destined to be a dead issue in the US.
Even those slightly optimistic that the court ruling has quieted things for now say that is a temporary state. Twenty-two percent said the issue will be resurrected when broadband ISPs get greedy and try to get over-the-top content providers to pay up or block a service for commercial reasons.
For those new to Internet politics -- including the 9% of respondents who claimed not to know what we're talking about -- Net Neutrality refers to the principle that broadband ISPs should handle all traffic the same, regardless of its origin or purpose. In the US, the issue has been debated for the better part of the last decade. Backers say discrimination in how traffic is handled would let the telecom and cable companies that dominate the ISP world pick and choose Internet winners and stifle innovation by making it harder for new companies to gain an audience. Opponents, including those very same ISPs, say this is a solution in search of a problem -- that they support a wide-open Internet but would like the option of offering premium services to content providers.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) leapt into the fray with its Open Internet Order, which imposed some Net Neutrality rules on the ISPs. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down those rules. (See Net Neutrality Fight Not Over.)
Only 10% of Light Reading's readers expect the FCC to appeal the decision, and 12% said it won't be able to muster the political clout to re-regulate the Internet in a court-acceptable fashion.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading