Net neutrality took a hit yesterday, when the House didn't include a provision that would have, as Forbes put it, "forced cable and telephone companies to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing on their networks."
Here's how the arguments go. From musician Moby, in favor of net neutrality: "If Congress guts net neutrality, independent music and news sites would be choked off, consumer choice would be limited and the Internet will become a private toll road auctioned off by companies like AT&T," Moby said in a statement at a recent Capitol Hill event, as reported by the Associated Press. And the other side of the coin, writes the AP:
Phone and cable companies contend pure net neutrality would erode Internet freedom and drive up costs to consumers because online businesses would not pay a fair share of the billions of dollars being spent to provide high-speed service around the country.According to Forbes, the House's defeat of the amendment "more or less dashes the hopes of a big coalition of Internet companies and Democratic groups that strict network neutrality' regulations will become law this year, since such legislation has only slightly better odds of passing the Republican Senate." It's a complex debate that has recruited some very unlikely bedfellows – but it doesn't look like it's going away anytime soon.