This post has been updated since original post date Dec 4th to account for recent news.
What is Net Neutrality?
You’ve heard the term so many times, as it pertains to American politics and all of your favorite social media’s cries. You’ve heard about it for good reason!
Think of any time you go on Facebook, YouTube, even your favorite forum– does Comcast or AT&T block you in any way to go on those websites? No. That is how it is now. Net Neutrality says that so long as you have access to an internet connection, all have the right to access an open Internet and access to all communications. After a decades-long battle, the federal agency that regulates communications, the FCC, protects consumers by regulating and enforcing laws that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can use to abuse the system.
To see a timeline of Net Neutrality policy and previous abuses of ISPs, see Freepress’ Brief History of Net Neutrality
What is Happening now?
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As of this year, President Donald Trump named Ajit Pai, a former Verizon executive, his FCC chairman. (Trump and the FCC are hypocritical!) Pai and his supporters advocate for less regulation, notably voting against the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. Many ISPs say that they will not participate in such anti-consumer practices, but there’s evidence that there have already been violations— including activity by Verizon, Pai’s ex-employer.
Pai is not the only one to blame: several representatives, shown for public record, have been influenced by special interests, namely ISPs currently trying to influence the votes.
At this time, you might have heard that the FCC vote occurred on December 14th and had in fact, passed 3-2 votes, honoring party lines. In a strange turn, along with the FCC website being flooded with “spam commentary”, the FCC has reportedly been using dead people’s social media accounts (Josh Shapiro, started a website to confirm and report it), which the public is growing suspicious of his continued propaganda, their lack to cooperate with the investigation of fake comments and charging forward with their plans. To add to part of the final blow on December 14th, a video was released, which I can only be described as a patronizing video created as a joke. He thinks this is a joke…
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And as a reminder, it seems like Comcast, is taking the lead and already showing hints that they’re keeping their “options open”. As of this year, evidence proves that their language about committing to an Open Internet are anything but empty promises. And I’m sure with the upcoming vote, more are to follow. In my personal opinion, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announcement to sue the FCC to block the repeal of Net Neutrality is simply not strong enough action to follow. Many are jumping board, but the public need to fight as well.
This means that now, our only hope of keeping net neutrality is if Congress votes not to appeal it. Net neutrality is incredibly important and we should fight for the right to an open internet! Our final chance to make sure the repeal of net neutrality does not pass is if we all ensure to speak with our representatives and encourage them to vote for what their constituents want. After all, all polls suggest that the importance of maintaining net neutrality is a bi-partisan issue. Here are some resources to make your voice heard:
- FreePress: Net Neutrality Wake Up Call
- Battle for the Net: We have until Dec 14 to save net neutrality
- Call My Congress
- Defend Our Internet
Are you worried? What action have you taken? Comment below and tell us more!