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10 Reasons Why You Should Care About Net Neutrality


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Net Neutrality Has Political Implications
Eric Schmidt (R), Google chairman and CEO, interviews  then-presidential hopeful Barack Obama during a town hall meeting at Google headquarters in 2007. Kimberly White/Getty Images
Eric Schmidt (R), Google chairman and CEO, interviews then-presidential hopeful Barack Obama during a town hall meeting at Google headquarters in 2007. Kimberly White/Getty Images

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Democrats and Republicans square off on opposite sides of the net neutrality debate.

As a whole, Democratic lawmakers are against the proposed changes to FCC regulations that would allow ISPs to charge for VIP fast-lane treatment on their broadband networks. "The website of a Minnesota small business should load as quickly as the website of a large corporation," said Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. [source: Risen].

Republicans, too, are fighting in the name of innovation and fair play. Their argument is that unnecessary government regulations — in this case, the previous FCC ban on fast lanes — are the greatest hindrance to innovation. If a company engages in anti-competitive practices, some Republican lawmakers argue, then the government can prosecute them using existing antitrust laws [source: Nagesh]. According to their stance, new regulations discourage new ideas, not protect them.

President Obama was a vocal supporter of net neutrality during his 2008 campaign, but has disappointed supporters who disapproved of his appointment of the former head of the trade group Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, Tom Wheeler, as FCC chief. They were also upset with the president's noncommittal response to the proposed FCC rule changes [source: Edwards].


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