It’s hard to imagine life without the Internet, even for those who aren’t part of the millennial pack.
From the time we wake up in the morning until we go to bed at night, it would be difficult to track just how many times we touch the Internet each day.
It’s hard to imagine not having Google and Siri at our fingertips as resources. When is the last time you unfolded a paper map or picked up the yellow pages?
We are connected to the world in ways we have never been before. Trending videos and stories become so popular they get coverage by traditional media, from Chewbacca Mom to cats doing all manner of silly things.
The Internet is also a powerful tool in the event of emergencies and for disseminating information.
A federal court’s recent ruling defining high-speed Internet service as a utility will provide more protection for users and more rules for providers.
That makes broadband just as essential to folks as electricity and phones in the eyes of our courts. That is a position the federal government has held for some time, and the court ruling bolsters that stand.
The ruling came from a case about net neutrality rules, which prevent broadband companies from monkeying with your connection by slowing speeds or blocking delivery.
While you can’t believe everything you read or see on the Internet, access to it plays a critical role in society today and will play an even bigger role in the future. And its providers need to be regulated just as power and telecom services have been. The Internet is simply that important.
Tom Wheeler, chair of the FCC, said the ruling will ensure “that the Internet remains open, now and in the future” for fixed and mobile networks.
In their decision, the judges acknowledged just how far the Internet reaches into our daily bubbles.
“Over the past two decades, this content has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives from profound actions like choosing a leader, building a career, and falling in love to more quotidian ones like hailing a cab and watching a movie,” the judges wrote.
It isn’t expected that the providers will take this decision quietly. Court challenges have already been promised and the providers expect the final word will come from the Supreme Court.
Until that time, consumers are the winners in this battle over Internet regulation and are free to surf on.