Yes, my American friends, it’s that time of year again: raise your voices, shout, throw nerf balls… do whatever you have to to help preserve an open and free internet. For starters, we suggest taking a look at battleforthenet.com.
In case you need a refresher on what this is all about:
Back in May of this year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 2-1 along party lines to begin the process of reviewing and probably replacing the net neutrality rules set in place in 2015. These rules were designed to protect the consumer by forcing internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all website and internet services (like Netflix) equally. No slowing, regulating, or capping your data stream to serve only the best interests of the ISP monopoly. This type of regulation is absolutely essential to freedom of choice and access to information in our modern society. And, honestly, even if the 2015 regulations survive this latest attack, it will remain far too vulnerable.
The FCC made their ruling despite the millions of pro-net neutrality messages received over a few short weeks. John Oliver’s goFCCyourself.com and other efforts made the issue widely publicized, raising awareness about the severity of the threat.
What happens next? Well, the FCC’s glorious leader Ajit Pai will likely call for a vote to kill off the 2015 net neutrality protections later this year, perhaps as early as November 22 according to this Reddit post. Now is the time to contact your representatives in congress, let them know that ending net neutrality protections is quite possibly the worst idea ever. EVER.
The end of net neutrality would likely herald dark times indeed. Imagine a world in which you pay to access pre-selected bundles of websites like you do cable channels. Yes, this can really happen. And this is what it might look like. Even bigger still are the potential ramifications for the U.S.’s internet/tech industry, which will flee our borders en masse for more lucrative and open internet pastures elsewhere. The loss of tech entrepreneurship and overall brain drain will reverberate hard and fast throughout the economy.
Oh, and have fun renting movies through the mail again… heck, maybe even Blockbuster will make a comeback.