Vol. 3 No. 1, Fall 2011; The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules and Mobile Networks: Who Really Rules the Air?
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The Internet has become an essential part of almost every American’s life. The livelihood of many people and business are tied directly to the availability of the Internet. The Internet gives small businesses access to a market that allows them to reach customers all around the world. Many of these businesses have survived only because they are able to reach markets outside of their geographical area. More importantly, the Internet has become the primary platform for the expression and dissemination of ideas. Using the Internet, literally anyone can express themselves while reaching an audience that is unparalleled by any other form of media. Mobile internet is expected to become the primary method of Internet access in the near future. However, internet providers have huge incentives to commercialize the Internet. This commercialization will bring an end to the days of the open and free Internet. Commercial content will dominate, with the wealthy companies paying to stamp out their small business competition. Free speech will be suppressed and innovation stifled. Recognizing this danger, the FCC’s net neutrality rules were intended to preserve the open and free internet. However, they fall far short of accomplishing the task. This Comment will explore why the FCC’s rules are unenforceable and why it is essential that action is taken to ensure mobile networks are protected from these threats.