All broadband is local. If the Internet pipe that reaches your home or small business is too slow (or too expensive), then all the net neutrality regulations in the land won't help citizens avoid the Netflix spinning wheel (or the logy load times of valuable Internet services for education, employment, communications, and banking).
Companies -- both technology leaders and marketing leaders -- should care about the quality of broadband to homes and small businesses. Why? Because your ability to deliver great digital customer experiences is hampered when broadband speeds are low.
I'm all in favor of a robust national discussion about net neutrality, particularly if the discussion balances market conditions for Internet services against market conditions for broadband providers, a challenge that begins with transparency and competition rather than controls. (See this for some ideas on the importance of transparency, market forces, and local competition.)
And I'm certainly massively in favor of Internet-driven "human rights, innovation, and progress" as Tim Berners-Lee espouses. But I am not convinced that over-regulating our country's Internet pipes will solve our spinning wheel problems. Ask yourself these questions:
- Why did the Internet at home slow to a crawl during the Boston blizzards?
- Why does Google invest some of its massive profits to provide 100 gigabit bandwidth to homes in Kansas City, Austin, and Provo, with 34 more cities coming?