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The FCC is now pretending to back down from its controversial net neutrality plan(r/news)
Please don’t let up on voicing your objections and feel free to share this with everyone:
EDIT: Thanks everyone who has upvoted or shared, and especially those that gave gold! The mods were really quick to respond and very helpful on why this comment was deleted earlier, but returned – I had been sharing this info too spam-ily. So please, copy pasta this everywhere in life – but follow the rules!
Net Neutrality is extremely important, but it’s not yet established. If you don’t want to pay more for less service read on further, or jump down to WHAT YOU CAN DO!
Wiki definition: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality Comic for picture learners: www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&…
Basically, ISPs (Comcast, TimeWarner, Cox, Verizon, etc.) will be able to control the type of content you have access to and charge services you love (Netflix, Pinterest, Steam, Facebook, your website) more in order to get “preferential” treatment – in other words, they will have to pay the ISPs to not be blocked or slowed down to a useless crawl when you use those sites when they don’t want you to. This will result in ALL OF US having to pay more (once simply to gain internet access, and again to then access sites we love quickly and clearly). And as the quality and scope of technology continues to become more prevalent in our lives, we’ll need more broadband usage in the future.
The FCC recently proposed a “fast lane” option – named after the lanes on the highway where, after you already payed to build and maintain the highways in taxes, if you have more money, you can avoid other traffic and go faster (gizmodo.com/to-be-honest-this-is-the-way-pricing-s…). DATA IS NOT A FINITE RESOURCE, unlike water or oil. To compare the internet to a highway again, the telecom companies are trying to squeeze more(data) traffic onto (broadband cable) roads that they did not completely pay for to gain more profit. And instead of building or improving current roads (broadband networks) that they got at a discount, they are just trying to squeeze the public for more money. The internet is destined to become a nightmare metropolitan traffic jam where telecoms are the toll collectors with little to no restrictions on who they collect from and why.
How it started: www.wired.com/2013/11/so-the-internets-about-to-lo… Quotes from the article (emphasis mine):”The CEO of AT&T told an interviewer back in 2005 that he wanted to introduce a new business model to the internet: charging companies like Google and Yahoo! to reliably reach internet users on the AT&T network. Keep in mind that users already pay to access the internet and that Google and Yahoo! already pay other telecom companies — often called backbone providers — to connect to these internet users. [Disclosure: I have done legal work for several companies supporting network neutrality, including Google.] But AT&T wanted to add an additional toll, beyond what it already made from the internet. Shortly after that, a Verizon executive voiced agreement, hoping to end what he called tech companies’ “free lunch”. It turns out that around the same time, Comcast had begun secretly trialing services to block some of the web’s most popular applications that could pose a competitive threat to Comcast, such as BitTorrent.”
“…the FCC would be unable to stop cable and phone companies from taxing innovators or providing worse service to some sites and better service to others. Since we know internet users tend to quit using a website or application if it loads even just a few seconds slower than a competitor’s version, this no-blocking rule would essentially have enabled the phone and cable companies to discriminate by picking website/app/platform winners and losers.”
The reality is that much of the infrastructure for internet was payed for and subsidized by taxpayers, but then exploited by telecommunications companies. It was intended to bring quality access and affordability to rich, poor, urban and rural communities. Short Summary of how WE payed for the internet they are now charging us more for: www.newnetworks.com/ShortSCANDALSummary.htm. Many of you have already conceded to your wireless provider (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) that you’re willing to pay more for less internet access (how often do you have to decide whether to use the $200+ phone and service you already paid for, or wait until you get home to use the $400+ computer and internet that you already paid for? How much more are you willing to pay just to decide which one you’ll have to use less?).
Bandwidth caps aren’t meant for what they say: socialmediacollective.org/2011/12/05/bandwidth-hog… & www.techdirt.com/articles/20130118/17425221736/cab…. What you need to know is that bandwidth caps (overage charges past a certain number of GB of data you use) are not in place because it costs the ISPs more money, it simply MAKES THEM MORE MONEY. Just like text messages (which cost them almost NO money, but cost us A LOT of money: www.topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsui…) A book on the matter: www.amazon.com/300-Billion-Broadband-Scandal-ebook… & some snippets: www.newnetworks.com/broadbandscandals.htm PBS interview: www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_20070810_0… More here: gigaom.com/2012/10/01/data-caps-chart/ Tired of deciding whether google maps or your email is more important when you’re running out of data? Go here: stopthecap.com/
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?:
The internet in its current form is mostly free and open. Just as everyone needs a phone line to participate in our modern society, everyone needs access to the internet to function as well. If we don’t work together to establish better rules for the internet then our middle class, low income, rural, small businesses, churches and more will have less access to the vital communications and services that the internet currently offers. Everyone will simply be charged MORE for LESS service.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Sign the Petition to tell the FCC that “fast lanes” won’t work for net neutrality (you’ll have to sign up with whitehouse.gov – a good thing for future issues!): petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/maintain-true-ne…
Then email current FCC leadership and tell them about your issues (quote above if you need to): www.fcc.gov/leadership
Most importantly contact your elected officials and tell them we need common carrier status for ISPs (search by state and area): www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml More on common carrier status: arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/drop-regulator…
WHAT YOU CAN WRITE:
To your representatives: My name is _ and I am from __.
Protecting Net Neutrality is important to me because I believe that internet access is a necessity for modern life, but will be restricted if we don’t establish common carrier status for ISPs. Data and information are not finite resources, and we need to keep access to them open and affordable to all. Recently, the FCC has proposed to allow a “fast lane” for Internet Service Providers to charge more for services that are currently included in most data packages. This will cripple many people’s ability to get the content and communication they need for everything from building small business to improving community involvement. ISPs were subsidized by taxpayers for a broandband infrastructure meant to provide access and affordability to all citizens, however, they are now strangling taxpayers to pay again for services businesses and citizens have already paid for. Companies already pay for the bandwidth they use, consumers already pay for internet access, and now ISPs are trying to get consumers and companies to pay double because they are unwilling to invest their large profits in their own networks. Ending net neutrality will do irrevocable damage to economic and social growth in America. I urge you to reject the FCC’s “fast lane” proposal, and instead begin the process of establishing ISPs as common carriers just like phone service and public utilities. Ignoring this problem will devastate the public’s ability to communicate and contribute to your campaign, and any number of other public goods. Thank you very much for your time, and again, I urge you to defend and protect net neutrality.