July 14, 2017
Fun fact: the rules that regulate broadband internet were written in 1934.
“But I thought Al Gore invented the internet in the ‘90s,” you say? That’s not exactly right, but the basic idea is: why is modern technology bound by rules written 83 years ago?
Those rules, by the way, are called Title II — 100 pages of regulations written when a phone was, well, just a phone. Flash back:
1. This was a Phone.
If you were lucky enough to have one, you could talk on it. But sometimes your party-line neighbors were using it. And you had to stand in one place…
2. This is how you kept in touch with your friends.
No email. No video conferencing. No texting. And it could take days, weeks or even months to send or receive a message.
3. This was a smart home.
Ok, Ok. Not 1934, but we couldn’t resist. Imagine having to actually set your thermostat or use a key to get into the house. Smart thermostats, smart door locks, connected homes all brought to you by broadband.
4. This was your one and only screen.
There is something kind of retro charming about a black-and-white TV from 1934. If you had it in your living room today, it’d be a total statement piece.
5. This was how you worked from home.
Yup, we’re talking to you with the laptop on the couch in your yoga pants.
We’ve come a long way since 1934. Communications are sleeker and faster and help us do a whole lot more than we ever thought was possible.
Modern technology deserves modern rules. It’s not the software, your browser or the operating system that need an update. But our broadband policies could sure use a legislative reboot.
Learn more about net neutrality.