ATX high tech entrepreneurs and activists to challenge end of net neutrality rules
Are they unwarranted restraints on internet service providers? Or are they keeping the web fair and balanced? The Trump administration is set to do away with the current net neutrality rules.
Here in Austin, the local high tech community worries they might soon lose those Obama era guarantees of equal access to the web. Edward Henigin is Chief Technical Officer for Data Foundry and Golden Frog. Asked what the end of net neutrality might mean he said, “It's not only bad for the consumers but it's bad for the rest of the economy, for all these other businesses that want to innovate and create new value for all of our American consumers."
Without the current net neutrality rules local entrepreneurs worry internet service providers could control access to new web sites and online services. Henigin explains, “To have these carriers who are in the middle who have nothing to do with creating value and basically putting a tax on it and taking a little bit for themselves, it's totally insane to think this is a good thing for America."
And local entrepreneurs aren't the only ones concerned about losing net neutrality. Others say free speech may no longer be free. Right now folks are free to share their thoughts on YouTube, but what if a provider decided to put a surcharge on video data? Andrew Donoho with the Electronic Frontier Foundation answers, “It stops speech. It chills speech. It stops us from having a vibrant culture."
But maybe it's much ado about nothing. Comcast, a major Internet provider, says it does not block, throttle or discriminate against lawful content ... and doesn't plan to. But just to be on the safe side Austin high-techers are planning to unite to fight to keep their access to the web.