Community Broadband and Privacy

A number of communities have sprung up spanning the United States to protect information access and privacy rights for their residents. The impetus has been the federal jolts to Internet freedom. These include the decision by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to repeal net neutrality protections. The decision by Congress during early 2017 to delete the user privacy protections have also helped matters.

Counter-argument and fallacies

The other side has offered a number of arguments where they say that market pressures will compel Internet providers to give users their desired access. This may not happen as the 2016 edition of Broadband Progress Report by the FCC noted that only one high-speed Internet connection is the mainstay of most US residents. It follows that the service providers may not bother to democratize the system at all.

The Internet Service Providers or ISPs have the technical ability or financial incentives to slow users' access or block them completely. They can offer preferential treatment to select services or websites if they enjoy financial benefit from them. They can also insert proprietary content on most visited sites without being asked for. All these became possible after the net neutrality rules were broken. The previous scenario assisted to create a landscape of new ideas where services could flourish without thrown out due to political pressure. The present condition may have prioritized fast lanes paid by cash-rich companies.

Fighting back

It is no wonder that a number of communities across the United States have begun to construct infrastructure so that these concerns could be answered. Local administrations have poured money into constructing community-financed broadband programs. The programs permit high-capacity access creation for both businesses and residents. They will also improve high-speed broadband access service to the community members who suffer from minimal resources.

Building a community broadband imports a number of benefits. Since policies were written to which the ISPs should adhere to so that a community-owned network can be accessed, the advantage of gaining the ability to proscribe the manner of sharing user information is gained. Access to a particular website may or may not be manipulated. Baselines should be set-up for balanced information policies. A few of such policies may guarantee that the ISPs must not sell, provide access or use the Personally Identifiable Information of the customer without the opt-in consent of that customer.

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