Net Neutrality matters now, more than ever.
I’m sure you’ve seen the John Oliver clip about it back in May.
So why are we suddenly talking about it again?
Ajit Pai, the chairman of the FCC plans on having a vote on December 14th to repeal it. Pai cites that we currently have too much government control with the Net Neutrality in place and repealing it would give the free market a chance to work. It is important to note that it will still be under the rule of the FTC who have vowed to keep protecting users. But the fear of what corporations will do with the ability to throttle speeds for certain websites while giving it’s fastest speeds to others.
What Does this Mean?
For example, Disney announced recently that it will start its own streaming service, Now say they decide to pay Comcast more money than Netflix can afford for premium service. Comcast, in turn, gives Disney their fastest speeds and Netflix the slowest. Now according to Pai, what would happen is that the people would choose to switch from Comcast. But with most people in the US not having the ability to switch or only having one other option for internet, that seems unlikely. The more likely scenario, Netflix loses subscribers to Disney and newer streaming sites lose out as well. Also without Net Neutrality we can see different sites and services costing different prices and if you want to use the entire internet, you will have to pay an arm and a leg, like this example out of Portugal.
— David Gorman (@LDeeep) November 21, 2017
So what can we do?
Well, definitely not threaten the lives of congressmen and women or Pai himself. One man in New York threatened his congressman who left this on his voicemail.
Listen Mr. Katko, if you support net neutrality, I will support you. But if you don’t support net neutrality, I will find you and your family and I will kill…you…all. Do you understand?” The message continued: “I will literally find all…of…you and your progeny and t- just wipe you from the face of the earth. Net neutrality is more important than the defense of the United States. Net neutrality is more important than free speech. Net neutrality is more important than health care. Net neutrality is literally the basis of the new society. That even if you don’t understand, how important it is, net neutrality is literally the basis of the new…free…society. So if you don’t support it, I am willing to lay down my li- (recording ends).
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, the man who left the message could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250k fine. So it’s important to stay calm, there is a way to get your voice heard. Go to BattleForTheNet.com, and enter your phone number and get connected to your representative, but do not threaten. Use scripts provided by BattleForTheNet.com and be clear and calm. And if you are for the repeal of Net Neutrality, you can make your voice heard too.
Net Neutrality will shape the internet’s future, whether it’s repealed or kept in place. From streaming to gaming, everything we do online will be affected.