The new FCC Chairman, fully on board with taking money from the industry to line his own pockets and those of his patrons regardless of the cost to the rest of us, has opened the proceedings that will remove Net Neutrality.
You need to contact the FCC at the above link and log a comment. Take the time, because if you don’t, there might not be time later. It’ll be too late. America can survive many things, but one of the things that will let us do that is the ability of the modern internet as we know it to talk to one another. That starts with simple communication, and goes all the way up to ordinary fun activities that let us all blow off steam and live our lives recharging for the next battle.
One of those battles is here, now. Public pressure must come to bear on the FCC, if there’s any chance to defeat paid prioritization. The internet has to rise up and make it clear we’re not going to sit quietly by while Comcast, AT&T, and the other American ISPs place themselves as the sole deciders, and sole moneymakers, of the rest of the 21st Century when it comes to online commerce. Because make no mistake; that’s what’s at stake here. It’s not just Netflix, it’s Google and Reddit, it’s Ebay, it’s Facebook, it’s Amazon, and it’s the millions and millions and millions of other sites that are less known, or haven’t even been started yet. They’re all at stake when the ISPs are allowed to position themselves as the gatekeepers to the internet, and deny — or extract tolls from — those sites ability to access the internet’s end user.
Which is you.
Below is the comment I logged with the FCC. I really hope you will take the time to log a comment. Now is the time. Stop bitching, start a revolution.
The internet as we know it today would not exist with paid prioritization. Including the Internet Service Providers who are currently using their weight, money, and power to ensure paid prioritization is allowed.
Net Neutrality removes the ability of any of the service providers, from front-line ISPs to the backbone providers, to put their fingers on the scale. Which is exactly what Net Neutrality is supposed to prevent, and what paid prioritization will enable.
Upcoming sites, of any shape or type, will have to come up with additional money before they have the same chance as the ones which came before them to continue growing their audiences. Their businesses. The next Reddit, Amazon, Google, Netflix, has a costly unnecessary hurdle to clear under paid prioritization. In addition to everything else, now they have to pay the toll or their service looks inept and unreliable in the eyes of consumers.
Further, paid prioritization allows ISPs to pick and choose which services, even well-established services, succeed. If an ISP begins their own video streaming service, under paid prioritization they can simply refuse to allow that prioritization to any external services. No matter how big or able to pay that service might be. When AT&T or Comcast wants to make sure their service has a clear advantage, they simply side track all service coming from their competitors. Suddenly the only viable provider for that service to AT&T or Comcast customers is the one their ISP offers.
The paid prioritization rules also allow ISPs to easily retaliate against critics and those competing with it. Comcast customers trying to get to AT&T’s website to switch service (should you be one of the few American customers who actually lives in a location that has competing ISPs); and suddenly the site just won’t load. A newspaper or other journalistic website has been critical of the ISP; suddenly their site is unreliable to the ISP’s customers. The users of certain “internet watering hole” sites, such as Reddit or other message board forums, start becoming hostile and “difficult” for the ISP; those sites stop working on the ISP’s service.
Nothing good, nothing useful to the market, arises from paid prioritization. Nothing at all. At best it is an unnecessary tax, that goes into ISP pockets, on the entire internet. At worst, it is a way for the ISPs to take full control over the entire American internet and throttle, literally, all of it to their whim.
Again, the internet that is a primary driver of the American 21st Century economy WOULD NOT EXIST with paid prioritization. Google doesn’t become Google, Amazon doesn’t become Amazon, and Facebook doesn’t become Facebook. Paid prioritization might as well be called pay-to-play. It flies in the face of everything that has built the internet up to what it is today. Which is enabling anyone with computer access to go online and communicate with others.
Communicate for fun, for commerce, or for informative purposes. Paid prioritization is armed guards on the corridors all that communication must travel upon, shaking down or turning back anyone as they’re directed by their thuggish masters.
The FCC needs to prove they understand they work for the citizens of America, not ISPs. American citizens are not benefited, only harmed, by paid prioritization. Vote no on paid prioritization. Prove you have America’s interests front and center in your duties to act as FCC commissioners.