Net Neutrality

net neutrality

This week I am cheating a bit and referencing a video (with some text). It also may seem outside of my general posts concerning women and film – but, to the contrary, women in film will be horrifically affected by the destruction of net neutrality. It is the open internet that has made things possible for women directors who have been denied the route of the traditional studio system. Now there is a huge potential those roads will also be closed. This video concisely explains what is exactly meant by net neutrality and the potential consequences of the new “fast track” proposal of the FCC. And who knows if I would have been able to so easily stream this content if there weren’t currently an open internet?

The concept of “network neutrality” has been so central to our experience of the Internet, and such a driving force for innovation and expression, that most of us have taken it for granted. This Op-Doc explains the basic idea: when you visit a website, the phone or cable company that provides Internet access shouldn’t get in the way. Information should be delivered to you quickly and without discriminating about the content.

There is a clip of Obama as a candidate discussing the importance of net neutrality. He remarks, “smaller voices get squeezed out and we all lose benefit.” Which is incredibly true and makes it even more disappointing that the power of the corporation in this country has still made it possible for an Executive branch with that point of view to appoint a man such as Wheeler to the FCC who thinks the fast track option is viable. It simply isn’t. As digital activist and journalist Cory Doctorow points out in regards to these large telecom companies: “If you are gonna take a public subsidy,” because they do, “you can’t draw the line at delivering public benefit.”

– Jennifer Dean

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