Make the Internet Great Again

Donald Trump will become President Trump in less than one week. For some, that’s a terrifying reality. For others, that’s a cause for celebration. For all, however, that means radical change is on the horizon. Now, what will change? Who knows—like all politicians, Trump (likely) made more promises than he can keep. His 100-day agenda, for example, is devoid of several policies that he championed during his campaign such as the wall and the Muslim ban. But, based on Trump’s FCC landing team (and 2014 tweet), at least one thing seems certain: Net neutrality will be on the chopping block. And that’s fantastic news. “Net neutrality” is a term coined by Tim Wu, a Columbia Law School professor. Basically, it means that “no bit of information should be prioritized over another.” Here’s an illustration. Imagine two companies, Netstream and DeuceTV. Both provide entertainment to their customers over the Internet. Netstream is affiliated with an internet service provider. DeuceTV isn’t. Net neutrality prevents the internet service provider from (1) speeding up the delivery of Netstream’s content, (2) slowing down the delivery of DeuceTV’s content, and (3) blocking DeuceTV’s content altogether. Few regulations are as divisive as net neutrality. (That’s why it took the FCC until 2015, nine years after its first attempt, to get it passed.) Those is favor, although they purport to be interested in preserving competition, argue on fairness grounds; they claim that network neutrality is “the mother of innovation.” Those in opposition argue that the government should mind its beeswax; that network neutrality is “a solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist .” Here...