Net Neutrality: Insights from Glendale’s 2009 Cell Tower Controversy


FiberOpticThe FCC’s failed 2009 attempt to enact net neutrality occurred as the City of Glendale was updating its wireless facility citing rules. Covering developments and exploring the issues in context, I observed that net neutrality supports the expansion and commercial viability of wireless networks.

Wireless networks are limited by bandwidth and signal strength, and lots of video streaming can lead to slowdowns and overload. Wireless networks are also vastly cheaper and easier to install that fiber optic networks. This week’s news on net neutrality developments includes the fact that Google Fiber can bypass net neutrality because its wired network isn’t strained by video streaming.

Fiber optic transmission has far more capacity, is more secure, and does not emit radiation. This is only one aspect of the net neutrality debate. But, if most households in America had a fiber optic, wired internet alternative, the debate over net neutrality would be focusing on a different set of issues and a different set of companies. Video streaming bottlenecks wouldn’t be the problem.

Photo credit: Manchester-Monkey.