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Protect Internet Neutrality – Time to do Something

  • Blog

Internet Neutrality is in danger.

In the coming weeks the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will consider a proposed new set of rules governing the use of the Internet in the United States.

Simply put, the proposed new rule is a disaster.

At the bottom of the post are three things you can do to help stop this disaster.

Internet Neutrality Means Free Exchange of Information

The new rules as proposed are a disaster for competition, creativity and entrepreneurship. By ending Internet Neutrality, the equal playing field that has allowed the Internet to blossom and revolutionize the way we communicate and do business, the FCC will kill the Internet as we know it. At least for Americans. This is a disaster for all of us but a particular disaster for non-profits, blogs, free news and science sites, discussion forums, you consumers and people like me who run small, online businesses. The Internet must continue to be a free market. True Internet Neutrality means the free exchange of information between people and organizations. Information is key to a society’s well being.  It is key to our democracy.  It is key to our economy.

“The new rules, according to the people briefed on them, will allow a company like Comcast or Verizon to negotiate separately with each content company – like Netflix, Amazon, Disney or Google – and charge different companies different amounts for priority service.”

Thus far the Internet has been run in the concept of “net neutrality”, the idea that all of us have equal access to the Internet. These new rules will do away with that and will instead create an Internet where content providers like myself would be charged a premium by Internet service providers in order to get my content in front of you.

Pay, and you get more bandwidth, a bigger tube to send yourself out. Don’t pay, you’ll be last on the priority list for having your content distributed.”

The result will be that small business’s like myself would not be able to pay the premium fees and therefore your ability to access my site for example would virtually disappear. My business would be dead.  The free flow of information would be crushed.

Bad for you. Bad for me.

Ultimately, you will only be able to get content from the big guys who can afford it.

“It could create a tiered Internet where consumers either pay more for content and speed, or get left behind with fewer choices,” warned Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union. […] “The proposed approach is the fastest lane to punish consumers and Internet innovators,” video streaming company Netflix said Thursday. The plan would be particularly bad for smaller businesses and their customers, said Patrick Clinger, founder and chief executive of ProBoards, an online forum service.”

This is nothing but a corporate attempt to take over the commons.  In Europe and much of Asia there are very strong Internet Neutrality rules that have created an Internet that is faster than what we have in the USA and and fostering real competition.

Average internet speeds in South Korea and Japan are many times faster than ours, and cost far less, and also use plenty of streaming services. In Tokyo for example, you can get 2 gigabit internet speeds (TWICE google Fiber) for $50 a month. The only reason we can’t have that here is because ISPs are greedy and don’t want to establish faster networks if they can charge you more per month and give you 1% what someone in Tokyo can get……

internet neutrality

Let’s do something about it

There is some opposition forming to this.

Fine but without some serious pushback from those of us who use the Internet these giant companies who are out and out taking away our democracy via our system of legalized bribery will exert so much pressure on the rule makers that these rules will become law and you and I will be screwed.

The full committee that will vote on the new rules has got to hear from us NOW. they need to hear that these proposed rules are unacceptable before they meet on may 15. Instead they need to get to work on a new rule that ensures true net neutrality.

Please go and sign this petition to the White House.  Then go and sign this petition.  Next, go here and contact both your Congressperson and your Senator and send them a polite but firmly worded letter demanding true Internet Neutrality and not the new rules as currently proposed.

Finally, spread this around.  Get it on Twitter, FB and G+.  Let everyone know what is going on.

In the future, there will be other actions to take.  I will stay on top of that and let you know what else you can do to help.

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