Photo: Alec Couros
Net neutrality entails that internet service providers, like Verizon be neutral to the content their customers consume and therefore cannot block or slow customers’ content use.
Former FCC Strategic Planning Deputy Barbara Cherry says net neutrality is needed because the FCC initially classified broadband internet as an information service rather than a telecommunications service.
“Under federal statute, depending on what classification a service has different statutory provisions apply and the jurisdiction of the FCC is very different,” she says.
Cherry says the FCC is now being challenged on its authority to regulate the internet- something she says is necessary and was really inevitable.
“So the concern is that because they control and own an important part of the infrastructure, they might use their control of that infrastructure in favor of their own content offerings or other parts of their business,” she says.
Cherry says the country has seen this scenario play out before with cable television service and its providers. She says it is key the court make a decision that will allow for a balance between benefit to internet service providers and ensuring the needs of the general public.