What is Net Neutrality? From Battle for the Net:
“Net neutrality is the basic principle that protects our free speech on the Internet. “Title II” of the Communications Act is what provides the legal foundation for net neutrality and prevents Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from slowing down and blocking websites, or charging apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience (which they then pass along to consumers.)”
The Donald Trump appointed Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, repeal it’s 2015 decision to reclassify broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. This essentially provides ISPs (Internet Service Providers) with the ability to regulate how you use the Internet. Worst case scenarios include:
- ISPs charging Netflix and Hulu more for people to access their sites
- Comcast slowing all traffic to Netflix to promote their own streaming service
From NPR, “One key element at stake is the idea of paid prioritization, which would give Internet providers the ability to strike deals with content companies to give some apps and websites, or their own services, special treatment.
This is particularly a sensitive matter to Vimeo, a video service smaller than Google’s YouTube or other companies that offer video like Netflix, Amazon and now Facebook. Vimeo’s general counsel Michael Cheah says paid prioritization would “cable-ize the Internet” and hurt independent and small creators.”
If ISPs can speed up and slow down sites for money, and force small businesses with websites to pay extra fees, that’s a tax on everything. It costs all of us more, meaning we all pay more for less.
How can you help? Start by writing a letter to the FCC letting them know that you support a free and open Internet. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created an incredibly simple tool to help you do that: https://dearfcc.org/ A more fun, but less user-friendly, the alternative is gofccyourself.com. This is a weblink that John Oliver made. Beyond that, contact your Senators and representatives in Congress.
Stand up for an open Internet, tell the FCC to protect Net Neutrality!