The number one reason the Caribbean must retain Net Neutrality is this….it simply cannot afford not to. Where we are in our #DigitalCaribbean development doesn’t allow for us to be short-sighted and give in to the demands of industry players who want to hold back the inevitabilities of technology innovations, so they can take their precious time to figure out how to keep making money from their infrastructure investments in this world of fast moving global changes. As we’d say in Jamaica – ah just so did ting set – for my non-Jamaican readers- that means, that’s just the way things are at the moment. Technology is disrupting every industry it touches and rightfully so since we are now living, working, playing and doing business in the Digital Age..how businesses respond to this is up to them and will determine their continued rise or fall.
So as the debate still rages in the United States, as we watch the Trump Administration seeking to prostitute Net Neutrality to a bunch of cuddled and lazy Capitalists, we have our eyes trained on those applauding here in the Caribbean so we can take note for future reference…hello Digicel…and ahmm why you so quiet Cable & Wireless- what’s your position on this?
That said, Net Neutrality is not that complicated. It comes down money and fairness and control.
It’s “mostly about who has the power to control the access that you and others have to the information and interactivity that drives our lives.” as Seth Godin has said and I agree with him.
If net neutrality in the US is taken away, “everyone will pay more, service will cease to be universal, the poor will lose something they need more than ever, and some lobbyists will be very happy.” And that will be the case here in the Caribbean also. If Caribbean governments say yes to the few…those anti-net neutrality brands and screw over the many…the rest of us citizens, voters, entrepreneurs then its not serious about Digital Innovation, Caribbean Startups, Open Data, eGovernment, Digital Skills and Opportunities for our Young People and us growing our Caribbean Digital Economy from the inside out.
If we lose Net Neutrality in the Caribbean here is what will happen.
- The Internet will become a closed network where Internet Service Providers ( ISPs) could block any content they don’t like.
- Competition will be destroyed since ISPs can block applications, startups, businesses that compete with their products.
- ISPs can split the Internet into packages, so you won’t be able to pay one price to access the internet.
As an Entrepreneur, Digital Strategist, Content Creator, Pioneer in the Caribbean’s Tech Startup Ecosystem – I call that HELL!!!
This is what the Anti-Net Neutrality people and companies want your access to the Internet to look like this. ( see pic below).
If you hear, read, watch any arguments that seek to promote this kind of dinosaur thinking…I beg you to squash it with a mighty NOT IN MY COUNTRY. NOT IN MY REGION. Let the Caribbean look to what countries like India has done and say yes to Net Neutrality, retain an Open to Everyone Internet and the inevitable rise of #DigitalCaribbean