Speak Up Against the FCC’s Plan to End Net Neutrality

Speak Up Against the FCC’s Plan to End Net Neutrality

The way things stand at this present moment in time is that everything occurring on the internet occurs at the same speed, so regardless of wealth, opinion, location, regardless of anything everyone has the same speed of receiving the desired data: “As written, the [net neutrality] rules prevent Internet providers… from deliberately speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps. In short, they’re intended to prevent providers from playing favorites (http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/24/technology/fcc-net-neutrality/?iid=EL).” Phrased another way, net neutrality is our norm, it is the only way we have known the internet: “Net Neutrality is the basic principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked…. When you use the internet you expect Net Neutrality…. When you go online you have certain expectations. You expect to be connected to whatever website you want. You expect that your cable or phone company isn’t messing with the data and is connecting you to all websites, applications and content you choose. You expect to be in control of your internet experience” (https://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-what-you-need-know-now).

While the internet has always functioned with net neutrality, this did not become law until 2015 – when due in part to millions of activists who protested, wrote comments and put pressure on the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) – the FCC established net neutrality as law. The FCC did this by classifying internet providers as public utility companies, meaning that the FCC had the right to legislate them. Trump’s appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has stated that in regards to the net neutrality law, “It has become evident that the FCC made a mistake,” (http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/28/technology/fcc-net-neutrality/index.html) and thus he intends to un-due the classification of internet providers as public utility companies, meaning that the FCC will no longer have legal say over internet providers – the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC, would become the governmental agency overseeing internet providers (see blog post form April 12, 2017 for more info on the FTC and how it is regarded as being a low enforcement agency). It is unclear if the FCC under Chairman Pai’s leadership will allow for some skeletal form of net neutrality or not (Sources for the paragraph: https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/23/15681434/net-neutrality-how-to-comment-fcc-proposal-released, http://thehill.com/policy/technology/334743-fcc-opens-public-comment-period-for-net-neutrality).

The FCC has put forth their stance against net neutrality in a proposal entitled “Restoring Internet Freedom”, which can be found at: https://www.fcc.gov/restoring-internet-freedom. The FCC states that through “market-based policies” and “…  [reducing] needless red tape, the Commission hopes that these proposals [ending net neutrality] will spur broadband deployment throughout the country, bringing better, faster Internet service to more Americans and boosting competition and choice in the broadband marketplace” (https://www.fcc.gov/restoring-internet-freedom). The concept that certain aspects of society are present for the common good seems alien to the current FCC as does the fact that ‘the market’ cannot solve all problems or protect foundational rights.

If net neutrality is removed, many believe the openness and fairness of the internet will be chipped away at and that ‘fast lanes’ as well as ‘slow lanes’ will be created. It is though that internet providers will keep the ‘fast lanes’ for delivering their own content or will give access to the ‘fast lanes’ to the highest bidder, which would not be small businesses, entrepreneurs, the up-coming or individual citizens (http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/24/technology/fcc-net-neutrality/?iid=EL). It seems so tragically un-American to destroy the equal playing field that is net neutrality… and it is so very American to speak up about it.

The FCC has to and is accepting public comments on its intention to remove the net neutrality law. If you would like to comment here is how:

Go to www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express and enter filing number 17-108 or type in Restoring Internet Freedom, in the Proceedings box, then fill in the form – you are the filer. Know that what you write will become part of the official government tome on this issue and can be viewed by the public; your address will be shown on the form the public can view.

If you would like a step by step on how to file a comment that shows pictures of the FCC page: https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/27/how-to-comment-on-the-fccs-proposal-to-revoke-net-neutrality/ – this site also gives you some thoughts on how to compose your comment

http://www.businessinsider.com/fcc-net-neutrality-rules-how-to-comment-instructions-photos-2017-5/#the-first-thing-you-need-to-do-is-find-the-filings-page-for-the-proposal-in-the-first-place-1 – this is another site on how to file

If leaving a comment with the FCC seems too daunting then you can sign a public letter at: http://act.freepress.net/sign/internet_nn_trump/?source=sti-menu

 

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