For a while last fall we switched to a bargain internet provider hoping to save some cash. But it turned out with two high-volume users both working from home not to mention streaming music while working that provider didn’t have enough bandwidth for our news and we switched back to a larger company.
Companies that provide us the content we stream into our homes also want to reach us more quickly so they’ve been lobbying the Federal Communications Commision to create, basically, internet “fast lanes.” This would mean a company would be able to pay more to have their content reach you more quickly.
That sounds awesome, right? We all want a faster Netflix. Why shouldn’t Netflix be able to pay more to make sure we get Orange Is The New Black all that much faster?
Except, if you create a fast lane, you also create a slow lane and traffic backups. And who will suffer? The small and medium businesses that employ roughly half the country. And, of course, your blog. Then there’s the consumer perspective: if net neutrality is eliminated, internet providers can charge you more for certain services. Want to use Amazon Prime or any other video streaming service? You’ll have to pay up.
So why is this coming up now? Back in January, a federal appeals court ruled that the FCC didn’t have legal ground to enforce net neutrality. So the FCC drafted a new set of rules that are being distributed currently and will be voted on May 15th.
If you care about the internet and if you’re reading this, chances are you do it’s time to add your voice to the discussion. Here’s how you can do it:
Reach out to your federal representatives and let them know we need net neutrality
Email the FCC chair, Tom Wheeler, and encourage him to keep net neutrality.
Contact the White House and let them know we still want net neutrality.
This is critically important. Even if you aren’t the type to take a stance, you might want to reconsider. Because the beauty of the internet is its equality. I’d hate to see that change.