From my article in the L.A. Times, June 19, 2014:
Providing access to early childhood education is not just something that California can afford to do; it is something that California can’t afford not to do.
Unfortunately, even with the clear socioeconomic benefits and strong public support, there is still one major political obstacle to making wide access to early childhood education a reality: In the immortal words of David Simon, “Kids don’t vote.”
But the FCC could change all of that by giving big Internet providers — corporations like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, and Verizon — the power to pick and choose which traffic reaches consumers quickly—and which doesn’t.
Net neutrality has made the Internet a platform for innovation and economic growth. For example, YouTube started as a relatively small outfit above a pizzeria in a strip mall. YouTube wanted to compete with Google, which had an online video product called Google Video (later Google Videos). Net neutrality guaranteed that YouTube’s and Google’s videos would travel to consumers at the same speeds. Google wasn’t able to pay for a fast lane or any other unfair advantage. Even though Google was a bigger, wealthier, more established company, it had to compete with YouTube on a level playing field. And YouTube ultimately won because it offered a better product.
That’s what net neutrality is all about. There’s not one Internet for deep-pocketed corporations and a separate Internet for everyone else — there’s the Internet, and it belongs to all of us. That’s the way it’s always been. And that’s the way it should continue to be.
There aren’t many places left where every American can participate on an equal footing with deep-pocketed corporate interests. Our campaign finance laws are in shambles, giving uber-wealthy, often-anonymous groups free rein to amplify their voices over those of the general population. Our tax code is littered with special benefits for special interests. The rules of our civil justice system have been rewritten to insulate corporations from wrongdoing against workers and consumers. But the Internet remains an arena where the quality of one’s products, the value of one’s services, and the persuasiveness of one’s ideas matter more than the depth of one’s pockets. The FCC needs to keep it that way."
— Senator Al Franken: Chairman Wheeler’s proposal would put start-ups and small businesses at a huge disadvantage. And the new costs created by this scheme will be passed along to consumers, who already are being squeezed by their cable and Internet bills. Big corporations will win; everyone else will lose. Americans never have tolerated this sort of thing, and we shouldn’t start now, especially as the biggest Internet providers are trying to get even bigger through mega-mergers. (via wilwheaton)