The FCC wants to change Net Neutrality rules and destroy your internet
Cable companies and other large conglomerates are spending heavily on their war chests. Whether you know it or not, there is currently a war going on with the internet. It is the battle over Net Neutrality. The FCC is currently proposing changes to Net Neutrality rules that will strip away provisions and have a deep impact on your experience of the internet, and it won’t be good.
Taken as a direct quote from Wikipedia, “Net neutrality (also network neutrality or Internet neutrality) is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.”
Over the last few years the FCC, heavily lobbied by cable companies, has proposed changing the net neutrality rules. The FCC’s proposal would be a huge boon for the cable companies, and would undermine the Internet as we know it. Under the proposed rules, cable giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to create a two-tiered Internet, with slow lanes (for most of us) and fast lanes (for wealthy corporations that are willing pay fees in exchange for fast service). Cable companies would have the power to discriminate against online content and applications — they could pick winners and losers, shake sites down for fees, block content for political reasons, and make it easier for Internet users to view content the cable companies own.
This new proposal would require Internet service providers to provide a vaguely defined minimum level of service to all legal applications and websites, but it would not prevent ISPs from charging companies for faster access to Internet users. Net neutrality advocates argue that so-called “fast lanes” will divide the Internet into different tiers, with deep-pocketed companies having unfair advantages over smaller ones. But the FCC isn’t allowed to issue stronger restrictions on fast lanes unless it takes the controversial step of reclassifying broadband as a utility or “common carrier” service.
The FCC received more than 1 million comments from the public, with “around two-thirds of commenters object[ing] to the idea of paid priority for Internet traffic, or division of Internet traffic into separate speed tiers,” according to the Sunlight Foundation. Reply comments are being accepted by the FCC until September 15.
The Internet Slowdown Protest
To combat the proposed Net Neutrality rule changes, some of the biggest tech companies will lead a symbolic “Internet Slowdown” protest. It will happen on September 10. It won’t be a real slowdown; instead, sites will install widgets “display[ing] prominent messages that include an infinitely-spinning ‘site loading’ icon—or the so-called ‘spinning wheel of death’—to symbolize what surfing the web could be like without net neutrality,” Fight for the Future said. “These alerts will direct the sites’ users to call and/or e-mail policymakers in support of net neutrality.”
If you are interested in joining the protest, go to battleforthenet.com where you can download the website widget, send push notifications to mobile app users, change your social media profile picture, or share their photos.