The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Editorials

September 11, 2013

Net neutrality could be threatened by decision

Why it matters: Court decision could damage the concept that all legal Internet sites should get equal treatment and have equal access to users.

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The Obama administration has fully supported Net neutrality and its FCC believes it does have authority through the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to require Internet providers to give all creators a level playing field on the Internet.

If Net neutrality loses out in the courts, Congress needs to define that the FCC does indeed have authority to require it.

Unfortunately, that may be difficult to achieve. Many congressional Republicans oppose Net neutrality. Their indefensible opposition hinges on their idea that it is a unnecessary government involvement in private business.

Yes, Internet service providers are private businesses, but the Internet needs to be protected as a public forum where all voices — no matter how poor or wealthy — have an equal chance of offering content. The free market will decide if that content is worth viewing or deemed valuable.

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Editorials