This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Where Is the Debate Over the Internet?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- We're all familiar with the incredible changes that have taken place in society over the last two decades as a result of the Internet and digital communications.

Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), (AMZN) and others have emerged as great American brands, and this burst of innovation has made all our lives easier in a myriad of ways.

Still, we're only at the beginning of the digital revolution. For everything the Internet has done, it still has yet to really replace other important media, like our telephony, broadcast and cable networks, all of which remain central to the way most Americans live.

That will change. It's only a matter of time before people start using the Internet as their sole medium of communication and source of information and entertainment.

That transition means many more profound changes to our way of life are on the way, but there's very little discussion of how we should be reacting to that from a public policy standpoint.

This concerns me because a small handful of private companies -- cable and telecommunications companies includinge AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and Comcast (CMCSA) -- control the pipes over which most people get access to the Web, giving them inordinate power over how the medium evolves.

The companies can be counted on to pursue an agenda that will further their business interests, which may or may not align with the public interest in terms of the future of the Internet. The situation demands better journalism and a more vigorous and informed debate over this crucial aspect of our society.

It's no coincidence the concept of free speech is enshrined in the very first amendment to the Constitution within the Bill of Rights. Speech -- communication -- is fundamental to the health of democracy, and I think the woeful state of the content on mass media in the U.S. is largely responsible for the woeful state of American democracy.

The rise of the Internet, meanwhile, offers the prospect of a communications overhaul in our society that could right this wrong and revive democracy and enrich our culture.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $130.28 0.00%
FB $81.53 0.00%
GOOG $565.06 0.00%
TSLA $218.42 0.00%
YHOO $44.52 0.00%


DOW 18,080.14 +21.45 0.12%
S&P 500 2,117.69 +4.76 0.23%
NASDAQ 5,092.0850 +36.0220 0.71%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs