Once upon a time Google was a proud defender of net neutrality, but according to an article published by Businessweek the search giant has been relatively silent on the subject.
In May, the FCC proposed that large cable and telephone companies be allowed to offer paid internet fast lanes, something that Google railed against in years past (even going so far as to ask users to contact their local representatives about the issue.) However, lately they have been somewhat absent from the debate.
So what’s the big deal? Although net neutrality has gone through a few iterations, it is the principal that we all get a fair shake at the internet and what it has to offer. Small business and startups could have a difficult time taking on the large corporations already entrenched on the internet as they may not be able to afford the costs of having their site and/or content delivered via this internet toll bridge.
Why would Google have a change of heart? Timothy Wu a Columbia University law professor in New York who supports open-Internet rules said it best in today’s article “Net neutrality got them where they are. There’s a danger that they, having climbed the ladder, might pull it up after them.”
Although we have to wonder if Google might simply be biting its tongue due to claims that Google Fiber will adhere to net neutrality and could eventually be a viable competitor for giants like Comcast/Time Warner. It would be a smart way to garner a larger piece of the pie. But it’s all speculation at this point.
In the meantime, what can you do to help the fight for net neutrality?
If you want to find out more about net neutrality and what you can do to help, visit The Electric Frontier Foundation (EFF) for more information and resources or savetheinternet.com.