Neutrality Debates

Jul 20th, 2015

The internet is a platform which has opened new ways of getting in touch with eachother, you can get to know new people or learn skills and gain information. This is largely due to the fact that no internet traffic is favored: whether you go to google.com, or your friends travelblog, both sites are treated as equals. It makes sure that start-ups get the same chance online as established corporations.

This basic principle is called ‘net neutrality’, and although it has had some attention over the last couple of years, only recently has net neutrality been thoroughly discussed. Although a lot of big corporations lobbied against net neutrality, a petition signed by thousands of Americans, nearly 4 million public comments submitted to the FCC and a presidential message in favor of net neutrality won the FCC net neutrality vote on the 26th of February, 2015. The FCC vote applies Title II (common carrier) of the Communications Act of 1934 to internet service providers and reclassifies broadband access as a telecommunications service, thus ensuring that the internet remains open to everyone.

But although net neutrality seems very logical, especially Comcast lobbied heavily against it’s implementation. The American Civil Liberties Union also lobbied but, in contrast with Comcast, in favor of net neutrality. Could either one of them have succeed in convincing some key players against or in favor of the concept of net neutrality? By searching through the whitehouse visits database for important senators, house members and lobbiest this site tries to give an insight in when and where lobbiests might have influenced senators or house members and tryed to steer the outcome of the vote.

The site can be viewed at neutrality.willemkempers.nl, but has been made specifically for Safari on my macbook. It might render differently on your system.