Remember when we discussed how the recent elections will impact the arts? If you aren’t the patient sort then today’s you’re lucky day as politicians are drawing ideological lines in the sand over Net Neutrality. If you’re just turning into this and need to know why Net Neutrality matters for arts orgs (spoiler: it does in a big way) you can catch up via a series of posts on the topic.
But back to the latest developments; President Obama clarified his earlier position on wanting to protect Net Neutrality in its current form by releasing a plan that would reclassify telecommunication companies (Comcast, Verizon, time Warner, etc.) as Title II services under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He announced his plan via a video message posted on 11/10/2014.
“In plain English, I’m asking [the FCC] to recognize that for most Americans, the internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life.”
Shortly after the announcement went live, the response from opposing political party was swift and although it may seem confusing, know that when you hear one party talk about keeping government out of Net Neutrality, that is actually a position which encourages changes that would lead to nothing but bad news for arts organizations.
It seems as though this issue is shaping up to be a defining topic following the recent post-election shift in political control but don’t expect action until early 2015. For now, the smart move here is to hedge your bet and be prepared regardless the outcome.
Postscript: there was a wonderfully entertaining exchange on this topic today involving Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas who posted a tweet about Net Neutrality that is perhaps best summed up as ignorance on parade. Within hours it was met with a response from Matthew Inman, perhaps one of the sharpest satirical minds generating a regular stream of creative content, in the form of a cartoon at his site, TheOatmeal.com. If you’ve been less than certain about what is going on with the whole Net Neutrality debate, Inman’s post should go a long way toward clearing everything right up. Enjoy.