WASHINGTON, June 10, 2014 — The Federal Communications Commission Net Neutraility rule change would give internet service providers the authority to willfully discriminate against internet content, effectively ending Free Market politics on the web.
The plan, proposed by Tom Wheeler, would make it perfectly acceptable for an internet service provider (like Comcast, or Verizon, or AT&T) to charge a media content company (like Google or Netflix) for the privilege of faster download times and less content delay.
READ ALSO: FCC puts net neutrality at risk
The impacts of such a policy would be no less than the end of free market capitalism online.
Suppose you have an internet start-up company. You want to provide media online and you think that people are going to be really excited to check out your site.
The only catch?
You are a startup, so you don’t have the leverage to afford yourself a trip in the internet Super-Speed lane that was recently constructed by the FCC and the internet companies. As a result, nobody can buffer your content. That means nobody goes to your site. That means your company goes under.
Not because of a problem with what you are providing, but because of irresponsible government regulation.
The implications of the new rule would be detrimental to every aspect of 21st century life. Slowed connection, no connection at all, an inability to send a text message or email, websites suddenly not working: All of these could be in our near future if this rule goes through.
And the worst part?
Over the last several years the internet companies have set themselves up with a nice cushy monopoly on all of our business. Almost all Americans have access to 2 or fewer internet service providers, which means that if you don’t like the policies of the company in your area, you can’t do anything about it. Even if you are one of the lucky Americans who can chose between two different ISPs in your area, since they’ll all be playing by the new rules, it won’t matter.
Net Neutrality means that the Internet should enable and protect free speech.
ISPs should provide only one thing, an open avenue through which to communicate.
But these new rules would be one more brick in the growing wall that ISPs are building to cut off free speech.
The same way your phone company should have no say in who you call or what you say to them, your internet provider should have no control over what content you can view or post online.
But the FCC does not agree. The worst part of all this is that, nobody seems to care. Possibly because of a perception that it is overly complex, people have steered away from the issue while the FCC and the ISPs get ready to fundamentally change how we live our lives.
Unless there is an immediate response by the people, demanding Open Internet freedom and true Net Neutrality, everything is going to change for the worse.
The FCC is, because of legal obligation, taking comment on this issue on their website for the next few days.
They will then decide how to vote on the issue. If you do not want to live in a world where giant mega-corporations get to decide what you look at and what you post online, go and comment.
If you don’t want to live in a time when we shift from the internet as a bastion of free speech to a place where- it just so happens- your politically motivated Tweet “could not be sent” go and comment.
If you think there is something wrong with the government conspiring with companies to make regular folks’ lives harder, go and comment. The great thing about the internet is that, right now, you can still go and comment. You can let your voice be heard.
You can rail against the political positions of your ISP and nobody can do anything about it. So go to the FCC’s website, or email them at [email protected] and let them know how you feel.
Because if you don’t, you’ll wish you still could.