Should Internet service providers be able to charge companies more for smoother, faster streaming of their content?
It’s a wonky question that has nonetheless inspired widespread online protests and a record-breaking deluge of public comments since the Federal Communications Commission announced earlier this year a proposal allowing service providers to charge for priority access, rather than treating all online content equally.
The issue of “net neutrality,” as it is known, has split telecommunications giants like AT&T and Comcast, who argue that the deregulation would ultimately benefit customers, from many Internet companies, including Netflix, and technology advocacy groups, who say that smaller websites couldn’t afford to compete under the new system.
Local Democratic Rep. Doris Matsui is bringing the debate to Sacramento with a public forum on the implications of the net neutrality proposal, 10 a.m. in Room 4202 of the Capitol. FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel are scheduled to participate.