Why you should care about net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the federal agency responsible for implementing and enforcing America’s communications law and regulations. Recently, they had a vote and decided they wanted to roll back “net neutrality” regulations that put utility-style requirements on internet service providers. This means we have a rule that prevents those ISPs from exploiting the public’s critical need for internet access.

Most people who understand the importance of the internet prefer for it to be free and open. They think that internet should be provided more like a utility, rather than a completely “free market” good.

Without Net Neutrality regulations, an internet company like Comcast could decide to make some websites move faster or slower based on whether they give Comcast money. Think about that – the websites that you visit could be slower than others, if the owner of the website doesn’t want to pay additional money to the internet companies. Let’s discuss why this matters to everyone.

If you support small businesses (or pretend to), you’d care about net neutrality. Big businesses would have no problem paying whatever internet ransom that Comcast charges, but small business would suffer to keep up. If you prefer the corporations instead, then you are probably at the wrong blog anyway.

If you support freedom of speech, you’d care about net neutrality. Without it, an internet company like Time Warner (which owns a lot of media companies) could make it’s own businesses have quicker websites than others. Smaller, independent websites and media will suffer losses as people leave them for better performing sites.

If you use videos, music, or games online, you’d care about net neutrality. An internet provider like Verizon could decide to slow down media streaming services, and make you pay some kind of upgrade charge to have faster downloads or streaming. For no reason other than profit-obsession, you’d potentially pay more just to maintain your service. And if the internet companies make the content providers pay extra, the costs will make their way back you.

If you dislike our growing income inequality, or at least understand its potentially dreadful impact on the future, you’d care about net neutrality. If the internet becomes less useful and less accessible to the middle and lower socioeconomic classes, we will lose learning opportunities compared to people who can pay extra for their internet to work correctly. The FCC pretends that this is about choice & job creation, but it’s really about establishing a corporate choke-hold on a very important resource.

If you use the internet, you should care about net neutrality. Why would you possibly want a corporation like Comcast, home to some of the worst customer support ever, to have unrestricted control of your internet? They would be able to manipulate the websites that you visit, simply by making others too slow & painful to use.

What normal person would support a repeal of net neutrality? I’m pretty sure the chairman of the FCC supports this mess because he is a former employee of Verizon, an internet service provider. And watch: when he leaves public “service,” he’ll likely end up lobbying, consulting, or managing money for some huge internet company.

This isn’t a partisan issue. There are no valid political talking points here, other than pointing out that this is a blatant act of oligarchy; it’s an attempt to ignore the voices of most Americans so that big businesses can make a buck. Trump may have been the one to designate the current FCC chair, but all 3 commissioners were nominated by Obama. Just like with all of our most critical issues, our so-called leaders & representatives are failing us all.

Comcast, AT&T, and other service providers are out there on social media, pretending that they also care about an open & free internet, even though they’ve been shoveling major lobbying dollars in support of repealing these protections. Comcast, which is often considered one of the most hated companies in America, wants you to believe that they have your best interests in mind. At this point, the only way you can believe that, is if you have been fooled or well-paid.

Join the fight: www.battleforthenet.com

First comment deadline: July 17th