I write to you now from a Comcast internet connection that is far too expensive, unreasonably slow, and surprisingly unreliable. Sadly, even in a top 15 media market, this is the best internet connection available to me. You see, Comcast has a local monopoly on the coaxial cable which runs on our otherwise publicly owned and regulated utility poles. This is just one of many monopolies that Comcast enjoys.
As the country transitions from traditional media to an age of open information on the internet, it is important that we keep access to that information free from the restrictions that a for-profit corporation will certainly introduce. As Chairman Wheeler is a former cable lobbyist I’m sure he has no interest in restricting the profitability that cable companies would enjoy from a tiered internet, but I would hope that he is also a human citizen of this country and a reasonable person. We’re eagerly watching to see which hat he wears when the time comes.
Cable companies, like other corporations, are not our masters. They are in direct opposition to the capitalist ideals that form our national identity. Corporations seek to eliminate all competition in the interest of maximum profit. Competition is the very thing that makes capitalism great. Take it away and we become, in effect, a corporate oligarchy. We already allow companies like Comcast to hold local monopolies on what should be a public utility. Allowing them to choose what information we consumers are allowed to view on their version of the internet (it will almost certainly be content created by them) is akin to allowing 2-3 conglomerates to control all traditional news outlets (which you’re already doing). The only thing that keeps us a semi-informed electorate at this point is the internet. Let corporations turn the internet into cable TV and you stack the final brick in the wall.
Sorry this got long winded. In short, the internet can be one of two things. Either it’s the great equalizer that keeps the masses informed, or it’s just another corporately curated way to fleece the masses and keep them in the dark (like cable tv). Please take care when deciding which you support.