Essay 3: Public Utility Internet?

In Chapter 6 of Becoming Digital, Vincent Mosco proposes the idea of a “public utility” Internet. Select one of the measures suggested by Mosco (e.g., new digital privacy and advertising regulations; ‘breaking  up Big Tech’; e-pollution controls; demilitarization; platform cooperatives; basic income, or other ideas  discussed in Chapter 6 of Becoming Digital). What would it take to institute the shift to a “public  utility” Internet around this issue? 

Make sure to address the following points: 

  • What are the key measures Mosco suggests need to be taken about the issue you discuss? What problems of platform capitalism are these intended to solve? 
  • How would the “public utility” reform you discuss differ from neoliberal policies for digital  network? 
  • Has any government or organization(s) already taken steps in the direction you discuss? How has the situation in regard to this issue altered since Mosco wrote in 2017? Overall, what are the problems of and possibilities for making this specific change to platform  capitalism? 

Since the time Mosco’s book was written there have been some significant developments around the issues at hand—especially in regard to anti-trust legislation and gig-economy regulation in the US. To get  a high mark on this paper, you must demonstrate that you have done some up-to-date research, beyond  the course lectures and materials, on the issue you address. 

Make sure that your essay has a clear thesis and defines its major concepts. You may take any of a  variety of positions in regard to the reform you discuss—for example, that it is possible or impossible,  desirable or undesirable—but you must back your position with logical argument and sound research  and demonstrate both research into the specific issue you are writing about and a grasp of the broad  themes studied in this course.  


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