Ok, so we might be losing Net Neutrality. That’s a thing that really might be happening. But what does that really mean? It means this:
Currently, the internet is open: anyone can access virtually anything, and the cost and accessibility of internet is fairly distributed. Losing Net Neutrality would mean the end of the open internet. Companies like AT&T and Verizon would be able to control whose voices are heard and what platforms and websites succeed and which don’t. Any political views that a company disagrees with could be blocked from being heard, and therefore online social movements would be nearly impossible to carry out.
Internet Service Providers would also be able to control the speed at which certain applications and websites run, and could slow down or even attempt to block competitors or views that they disagreed with. The freedom with which we currently enjoy the internet would no longer exist.
So that doesn’t sound too good, does it? Okay, so on Wednesday July 12th, 2017, many websites and apps decided to take part in a “Day of Action” to protest the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to roll back Net Neutrality regulations. That’s good, right? But GOP-affiliated FCC chairman Ajit Pai is still attempting to roll back the original 2015 regulation system. And on Tuesday, July 18th, 2017, The White House came out supporting the FCC’s plans to change these internet rules. In her statement, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also expressed the administration's belief that the best way to attain equal rules for everyone is to have Congress be the one to “take action and create regulatory and economic certainty.”
Pai’s “Restoring Internet Order” plan aims to undo Net Neutrality rules that were imposed during the Obama Administration--rules that keep our internet free and prevent Internet Service Providers from slowing or blocking our content.
So, yeah, we might be losing Net Neutrality. Stay up to date on this issue if you can: you should know, as an internet user, what your rights are on the internet.
Want to get involved? Contact your Congressional representatives (here’s how) and tell them to reject the FCC’s anti-Net Neutrality plan!