You may have heard that Leonard Nimoy – most famous for portraying Spock in Star Trek – died earlier today. He was 83. I’ve never been a huge fan of Star Trek, but Nimoy portrayed one of the most iconic and most beloved sci-fi film characters of all time. He will be missed.
The FCC finally approved net neutrality by voting to treat the Internet as a public utility after years of protests and activism. In practice, not much should change for users, but this decision allows the FCC to prevent internet service providers from controlling how users use the Internet and what they see. Neutrality (or at least a close approximation) has been how the Internet has largely operated anyway, but this potentially codifies the principle into federal regulations. While some have argued against it, net neutrality is popular with many different groups. It helps keep the internet accessible to all content providers. It seems like it should be hard to argue that the Internet is not a utility, since most ISPs operate as monopolies or near-monopolies in many areas, and the Internet is also now one of the most, if not the most, important way that many people access information. It is not much different from television or telephone, which are already seen as utilities. With this ruling, people now need to watch the regulators to prevent the industry from taking control of any oversight.