Our conversation with Professor Frieden last night was very enlightening. I believe this was due to the grey nature of the issue of Net Neutrality. To me, this grey area could be seen in my opinions about Scenario A and Scenario B. Both were examples of ISPs favoring certain types of data over others. In Scenario A, I thought that the ISP was wrong to prohibit her from sending the file to her husband. It was a perfectly legal activity, and yes, the file was large, but she is paying for service, and she should get it. In Scenario B, on the other hand, I really enjoy watching basketball games on my computer, and I suppose a fashion show or two wouldn’t be too bad. This is a different type of ISP intervention into the internet, one that I like, but it makes all other data second-class. When the NCAA Tournament is on, I am sure there is a general slowdown in non-NCAA streaming traffic. These two scenarios must be rationalized. There needs to be a policy in place that allows streaming video to remain video and not, as he put it “a slideshow”. Additionally, people should be able to use their internet anyway they want as long as it is legal.
To me, the answer is simple. More bandwidth is needed. For a while, America and the world had the infrastructure for cheap telecommunications. Now, as more people send more files over the internet, more infrastructure is needed. Bigger pipes, if you will. This will require a lot of money, but this infrastructure overhaul is necessary if America is to continue to be an innovator. Perhaps the Government could start building more fiber optic lines much the same way it funds the construction of highways? After all, what is the internet but the information superhighway anyway?