The Death of Net Neutrality…
While you were all busy thinking about something else the FCC made the tragic (even if inevitable) decision to allow ISP providers, or content providers, who pay more to give speedier access to customers. That is really how they are describing it to people. So you might think, hey great! I can pay for faster download speeds for my streaming content. Here in America what we really want is to be plugged into our various pleasure devices as the world literally collapses around us. But that is who we have become. That is what we are. So no one is going to protest this if they actually want this change to take effect. But those of us who have become comfortable with the freedom of choice — the freedom of speech — the equal access for all just lost big. Really big. What’s depressing about this? How few people give a shit. The only way to stop this if people get mad. Really mad. Like protesting with signs and pitchforks mad. Is that going to happen? I doubt it. Maybe Anonymous or 4Chan can do some serious damage to block this or protest this. But other than that, Americans don’t give a damn.
From Mother Jones:
The Federal Communications Commission plans to propose new open Internet rules on Thursday that would allow content companies to pay Internet service providers for special access to consumers, according to a person familiar with the proposal.
The proposed rules would prevent the service providers from blocking or discriminating against specific websites, but would allow broadband providers to give some traffic preferential treatment, so long as such arrangements are available on “commercially reasonable” terms for all interested content companies. Whether the terms are commercially reasonable would be decided by the FCC on a case-by-case basis.
…The FCC’s proposal would allow some forms of discrimination while preventing companies from slowing down or blocking specific websites, which likely won’t satisfy all proponents of net neutrality, the concept that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. The Commission has also decided for now against reclassifying broadband as a public utility, which would subject ISPs to much greater regulation. However, the Commission has left the reclassification option on the table at present.
So Google and Microsoft and Netflix and other large, well-capitalized incumbents will pay for speedy service. Smaller companies that can’t—or that ISPs just aren’t interested in dealing with—will get whatever plodding service is left for everyone else. ISPs won’t be allowed to deliberately slow down traffic from specific sites, but that’s about all that’s left of net neutrality. Once you’ve approved the notion of two-tier service, it hardly matters whether you’re speeding up some of the sites or slowing down others.
This might have been inevitable, for both legal and commercial reasons. But that doesn’t mean we have to like it.
This is simply not right. The blocking of sites they say won’t be allowed? That’s coming next. This is a slippery slope and once the freedom is controlled by money the freedom ends. I have been online since 1994 and I remember when there was diversity among internet service providers. Think about it, though. Time Warner and Comcast are merging. There isn’t going to be diversity or competition among service providers – there will be one source of information and that source threatens to become controlled by the same thing that has crippled our Supreme Court: money.
Sign a petition if you can. Have a fit publicly. DO SOMETHING.
Here are a few things you can do:
Write to the FCC and tell them you simply do not accept any action that hinders, controls or limits the freedom available on the internet:
This site has a lot of useful action you can take as a citizen to prevent this from happening.