An update on the fight to save Net Neutrality
by Brett Schultz
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – led by Chair Ajit Pai, a former Verizon employee whom opposes Net Neutrality and voted to repeal it in December – just released the text of the order to hand control of the Internet to AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Time-Warner, and other networks
What is Net Neutrality?
In case you haven’t read my last article, in short, Net Neutrality is a framework of rules for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to follow, ensuring that data and content on the Internet is not slowed down (throttled), prioritized over other data (fast lanes and slow lanes), and no data is censored by an ISP or paid to be censored by another person or company (blocking). The February 2015 Net Neutrality framework was, and still is, supported by over 80% of Americans to ensure politics can’t influence the content of our Internet. Currently, Net Neutrality also ensures that ISPs cannot charge extra fees and price gouge consumers. Without Net Neutrality, there’s nothing stopping them.
The FCC voted on December 7, 2017 to repeal this framework, arguing that if the Internet has literally no framework of rules to govern pricing, data handling, or censorship; then ISPs can make even more money off consumers. This is quite unfair and is being heavily lobbied by greedy corporations. If Net Neutrality is repealed, the corporations would be given the keys to the Internet and are free to do as they please.
Protecting Free Speech
Thanks to a free, open, and fair Internet: we can learn about the events happening in our world the moment they occur. We can see the raw videos of both wonderful and tragic events, and our emotions are not steered by commentary and edited footage to show only what the media and corporations want you to see. The real news is what you can experience for yourself. The Internet is that experience.
Thanks to a free, open, and fair Internet: small businesses can advertise and add competition to monopolistic markets. Startups can get a launch (like when Snapchat took the world by storm). Organizations, minority and activist groups have a platform to access the whole world.
But if the FCC has its way, the rules of the Internet no longer protect us. The Internet will evolve into a large advertising platform that only the richest can use, and everyone else is left behind.
If Net Neutrality is repealed:
· Legislation will start to reflect big money’s interest instead of the People’s;
· People’s voices won’t be heard;
· Businesses will be silenced by larger competitors;
· Innovation from small startups ceases;
· Organizations on either side of the political isle will suffer, depending on the views of censorship by the ISP and big money;
· The Internet will be run by corporations, not people, and so it becomes another advertisement platform – like a TV channel with too many commercials.
Your Future Bills without Net Neutrality
It could soon be legal for companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Time-Warner, and other networks to block, censor, and categorically bill our online activities. Using streaming services? Pay the streaming fee of $12 to get the same quality of service as you do now, or face throttling. Using social media? Pay the $8 fee. You get the idea. By April 23, the Net Neutrality rules will be repealed if no measures are successfully taken to stop the FCC.
Battle for the Net, an organization that spearheaded the movement #OneMoreVote Day of Action, partnered with Burger King to make a video that teaches people about Net Neutrality by using Burger King’s Whopper sandwich.
How do you get people to understand the impact of the end of Net Neutrality? Burger King hid cameras in one of their stores and recorded the reactions of customers being told that they’d have to pay up to $26 to get their Whopper served faster.
The video is hilarious and even tells people to speak up by signing petitions.
Change.org is one of many organizations along with Battle for the Net, that sparked the #OneMoreVote social media movement that officially started on February 27, 2018, marking the three years that Net Neutrality has protected the Internet. Operation #OneMoreVote populates social media with the hashtag as a platform for consumer’s and business’s voices to be make their views clear: keep Net Neutrality to protect our Internet.
In the weeks since the December vote to repeal Net Neutrality, the voices are growing louder. And they’re being heard.
The CRA – Net Neutrality’s last hope for survival
The clock started running on the 60-day legislative deadline for the Senate to vote on a resolution to overturn the FCC’s decision and restore Net Neutrality by using a measure called the Congressional Review Act (CRA). A resolution has been proposed by Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.), that will leverage the CRA and hopefully stop the FCC’s terrible, one-sided repeal. Fifty senators pledged their vote to reject the FCC ruling using the CRA. That means we only need #OneMoreVote.
People can raise awareness and be that voice the Internet needs to save itself, so post and use that hashtag #OneMoreVote! Tweet to senators, sign petitions, call them, write letters – get their attention! Save the Internet we know and love, because it may change if we don’t speak up. Below is a list of petitions you can sign to make sure Congress gets the message: keep Net Neutrality.
Congress is using the momentum kickstarted by Febraury 27th’s #OneMoreVote Day of Action to send the strongest message possible to the FCC that Net Neutrality is here to stay!
Download the “Loading” graphic as seen at the top of this page to grab attention here: https://act.boldprogressives.org/survey/Rapid_Response_Tweet_2018_NN/?source=e180215_1657-fin-don&amount=10&refcode2=51494&t=13&akid=51494%2E3311299%2EFpKgur
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