One Last Push to Protect a Free and Open Internet
New information out this week suggests attempts to revoke net neutrality are based on inaccurate information from a study commissioned by a PR group that specializes in promoting policy for AT&T, an Internet service provider that could benefit if open Internet rules are reversed.
That crucial misinformation combined with the concern that revoking net neutrality will inevitably hamper online privacy makes it more important than ever to protect a free and open internet. Today is the deadline to submit comments to the FCC on the importance of protecting net neutrality.
Need a quick review on net neutrality?
Net neutrality is the idea that the web is open to everyone, meaning that internet service providers can’t block content or intentionally slow down load times for particular websites. The principle, which was initially approved by the FCC in 2010, essentially states that web access is a human right that should be available for all.
Why would internet service providers want to change that?
Because ISPs like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T could make a substantial profit by charging users to access certain websites or by charging extra for “fast lanes” that allow internet companies willing to pay to bypass slower bandwidth.
What could happen if ISPs got their way?
The general fear from advocates of net neutrality is that ISPs could fracture the web into two different internets — one faster version for the major companies who could afford to pay fast lane fees, and slower version for everyone else. Proponents additionally argue that rolling back net neutrality could lead to an increase in internet bills for everyday web users and dent the innovation that can sprout from an open, available web — smaller startups with new ideas might not be able to afford the ISP fees.
But those who support the FCC’s rollbacks believe that an excess of data from companies like Netflix and YouTube are slowing down the overall functionality of the internet. Charging fees to the biggest bandwidth-users could lead to a more efficient and swift connection. The end of net neutrality could also halt the illegal downloading of content and media on sites like BitTorrent.
CALL TO ACTION
- Send a comment to the FCC on its plan, called “Restoring Internet Freedom,” TODAY to voice your support for net neutrality and the online privacy and freedom it protects. Simply click here to submit a comment and enter Proceeding number 17-108.
- Email your Members of Congress today to protect net neutrality. Use this link to start sending your emails now.
- Tweet your support for net neutrality to @senorrinhatch, @SenMikeLee and your representative (@RepRobBishop @RepChrisStewart or @RepMiaLove).
(Adapted from Fortune)