Usually I use this post to give you guys a glimpse at my life and wind down from a particularly hard week. unfortunately this week I find no solace in that and I find myself breaking the self-imposed taboo on political content on this blog. But, I assure you that the issue I fight for is of the gravest of import to warrant the break in character. I speak of course of Net Neutrality
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the cornerstone of an open internet in the United States. Under federal law, at least for the moment, the average person cannot be told which sites to visit nor are we hounded by advertisements where ever we go. Furthermore, under its protection as a Title II utility we are allowed to view whatever we wish regardless of our Internet Service Provider (ISP) or package. Thus, we are granted the freedom to stream or otherwise exchange information as we see fit. Indeed the very freedom of information itself is what I’m fighting for.
The FCC MUST be Stopped
This motion is being imposed by the Federal Communications Commission under the leadership of Ajit V. Pai. While this is normally the proper governmental body to regulate and oversee the internet I seriously doubt the legitimacy of Pais claim that rolling back Net Neutrality would lead to a faster, safer internet for small businesses and consumers. In fact, Mr. Pai did a pathetic job of defending this regulatory shift on a recent episode of PBS’s News Hour the transcrpt of which can be read here .
One of the issues here is whether or not we treat broadband like a utility. And if it’s treated like a utility, the requirement is that you as the provider are not allowed to put your finger on the scale and slow one person down or speed somebody else up.
And I just want to pose a hypothetical to you.
Let’s just say Comcast created a new TV series, and it just so happened that that competed with a Netflix series very similarly.
If these rules go away, how is there not an incredible incentive for Comcast to slow Netflix down coming into my house and make their video, the Comcast video, very robust?
So, under that hypothetical, one of the things that’s important to remember is that it is a hypothetical.
And we don’t see evidence of that happening in the marketplace on a widespread level.
Reading that, I Immediately got a sense of how evasive Pai was in answering hypothetical questions like the one above. This outright evasion of a well thought out question points to some motive of which we are unaware. In my opinion, he is selling this snake oil to the people thinking his policy can be sugar-coated. He’s a man making a pitch and it is clearly one even his own commissioners will not buy. This is best exemplified by commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel in her open letter to the LA Times that urged us to ““Tell them they can’t take away internet openness without a fight.” She is apparently one of many opposing Pai from within.
“There is something not right about a few unelected FCC officials making such vast determinations about the future of the internet. I’m not alone in thinking this.”
FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel via Huffpost
Even exiting the FCC and looking over the businesses in direct opposition to the current policy it is obvious that the elimination of Net Neutrality would only serve their interests. Comcast, AT&T, and Verizion are all large telecommunications corporations who stand to gain by plugging their services over what would be a “slower competitor for reasons I will mention later. Remember that these companies, Comcast, suffer from horrid customer service and are currently taking large subscriber bases (See below). Yet Pai’s FCC would have the aforementioned companies essentially help regulate.and control this new internet. I am no economist to be sure but it seems that this roll back is a product of the same collusion, price control, and monopolization Title II was meant to defend against.
Change in Cable Subscriptions (November 2017)
|Companies||Change in Cable Subscribers|
Statistics provided by Fortune Magazine
What this Loss Would Mean:
Imagine if you will you’re visiting a website here in the US. It could be mine or any other, but instead of a hompage your met with’ We’re sorry, but you require our All-access to view this site.’ If we allow the Net Neutrality roll-back to take place messages like that will becom commonplace. In addition yheir will likely be speed-throttling and slowdon for many sites we love such as Google, Youtube, and even WordPress itself. It would generally lead us down the path to a slower, more limited browsing experience that may well hinder consumer use and the growth of small bussiness sites as a whole.It would, in a sence, bind the internet in the same red tape as any other medium of communication.
What YOU Can Do:
I advise anyone who wants to fight fo Net Neutrality to visit advocacy websites such as change.org or https://www.battleforthenet.com and lets let representatives know. how you feek We have until December 14th to save this great freedom we share. If you are not a Us citizen, I implore you to share and blog this oist in the hopes of reaching others. I thank you for your help and your time. Have a good Friday.