Is Net Neutrality Really Dead?
Some say Net Neutrality is now DEAD. On Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overruled the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stance on Net Neutrality.
Huffington Post explains “Why You Should Be Freaking Out About the End of Net Neutrality“:
- No more net neutrality means ISPs can now discriminate against content they dislike…
- No more net neutrality means ISPs can now force websites to PAY for faster content delivery…
- Destroying net neutrality is bad for small businesses…
- Without net neutrality, entire types of online traffic (like Netflix) may be in jeopardy…
- Without net neutrality, your ISPs can make even more money without actually improving the Internet…
Right now, America’s broadband is slow. It’s slow because ISPs can already make gobs of money by charging the rich a ton for high-quality Internet while leaving the rest of America with subpar (or no) service.
Now, with net neutrality gone, ISPs will be able to make even more money off their existing customer base. They won’t need to improve service or bring broadband to rural areas because they’ll be able to keep growing (financially, at least) by charging content providers more for faster delivery and charging customers more for faster access. In all likelihood, Tuesday’s ruling means the problems with America’s Internet will be magnified.
Other critics of the ruling think Net Neutrality may yet have a slim sliver of hope. For instance, Michael Winship advises writing the FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler.
But there will be congressional opposition. And the FCC has a long, sad track record of spinning pro-industry positions to make them sound good and good for you. It’s too soon to tell on which side Wheeler, a former lobbyist for the mobile phone and cable TV industries, ultimately will come down. Which means that once again, as has been the case so many times since this fight began, people have to stand up and be heard.
You can start by contacting the FCC chairman’s office and demanding that he and his colleagues stand resolute and forthright in favor of net neutrality, an Internet open to all.
Send an e-mail at the FCC’s website. Or tweet @TomWheelerFCC.
My Letter To Chairman Wheeler
Net Neutrality is something I really care about. I took Michael Winship’s advice, and wrote to Chairman Wheeler. My letter is below. I hope you will do the same.
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Dear Chairman Wheeler,
Many of us are afraid that Net Neutrality is in danger because a federal appeals court recently overruled the Federal Communications Commission. In his January 15, 2014 article at Moyers & Company, “Door Closes to Open Internet, But All May Not Be Lost“, Michael Winship quotes Craig Aaron:
In an official statement, Craig Aaron, president and CEO of the media reform group Free Press added, “[The court’s] ruling means that Internet users will be pitted against the biggest phone and cable companies — and in the absence of any oversight, these companies can now block and discriminate against their customers’ communications at will… They’ll establish fast lanes for the few giant companies that can afford to pay exorbitant tolls and reserve the slow lanes for everyone else.
Please. Stand firm on Net Neutrality.
The oligarchy of ISPs did not invent the Internet. and they have provided little innovation. Let them come up with new and useful ideas that enable them to earn more money. Don’t just hand it to them.
The Internet is not free in terms of access. I pay over $90 a month for a land phone and DSL Internet service. Other people pay more, if cable TV is included in their package. The ISPs already sit on a golden egg. Please, don’t let them crack it.
I am an Internet user, contributor, and consumer.
- I use the Internet for entertainment (I subscribe to Netflix) and some online shopping. But mostly I use the Internet for research. I look for independent news sources. I look for knowledge, ideas and creative inspiration.
- I publish original articles and share informative news (always crediting and linking sources). I run a free blog on WordPress.com, as well as a self-hosted website (I pay for hosting). I use the Internet extensively to learn web design and site management skills.
- I hope my hosted website evolves into an online business where I may sell my own original digital media. I already purchase various website apps and services – and when my media products are ready, will pay more for faster web hosting and will need to purchase a Content Delivery Network (CDN) service at which to store the media.
Access to the Internet is very valuable to me – with Net Neutrality in place.
But if we were to lose Net Neutrality, I’m out of the game.
And, I would no longer purchase Internet service just to visit mainstream news media and big corporate websites filled with propaganda and marketing. Why? You don’t need the Internet to access the ubiquitous. And I can buy everything I need in local brick and mortar stores. And I can borrow books and DVDs from my Public Library.
In a country of ever-increasing inequality, the Internet provides a more level playing field. So far, the Internet is an avenue to learn, create, share, collaborate, publish or even launch a small online business. In fact, Net Neutrality may be the last vestige of the American Dream.
Please. Continue to support and protect Net Neutrality.