On December 14th, 2017, the most important vote of your life will take place; the vote to repeal Net Neutrality (NN).
Held by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), three of the five seats are controlled by Republicans giving the FCC, the majority needed to pass any new rule they see fit.
The FCC hasn’t expressed any interest in hearing Americas plea, making the vote on December 14th likely pass. At this point, the handful of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) which control residential internet in the US, will be able to control what we view and how fast we view it.
NET NEUTRALITY, SO WHAT IS IT?
Net Neutrality dictates that ISPs treat all data delivered to customers equally, prohibiting Internet providers from blocking, throttling nor allowing paid prioritization of websites.
Paid prioritization means, that ISPs cannot provide “fast lanes” or paying for higher allotted bandwidth. While non-paying websites are limited to slow lanes or slower allotted bandwidth.
An example, streaming companies like Netflix can’t get an advantage over Amazon’s Prime Video by paying ISPs to stream their videos at a faster rate. This keeps ISPs from breaking up the internet into packages like cable providers do with television.
Net Neutrality is protected by Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, an ACT to provide for the regulation of interstate and foreign communication by wire or radio, and for other purposes. This directly includes common carriers, utilities such as landline phones and electricity. The 2015 Open Internet Order reclassified broadband internet service under Title II (it was previously classified under Title I as an “information service), which provided the legal basis for the FCC to enforce net Net Neutrality.
Currently, consumers have open and equal access to all content on the internet; making high speed internet a public utility. Repealing these regulations means that providers can discriminate Internet traffic and impose limitations (or favoritism); until December 14, 2017.
NET NEUTRALITY & HOW IT’S GOING DOWN
In January 2016, President Trump appointed Ajit Pai as FCC chairman. This makes him the third Republican needed to pass any laws due to having the majority vote. Mr. Pai voted against the 2015 Open Internet Order and is now back at it to gut Title II Net Neutrality protections. These prevent ISPs from controlling what we do online with throttling, censorship, and extra fees. Mr. Pai has proposed the following:
- First, it’ll reclassify internet providers as Title I information services;
- Second, it’ll prevent the FCC from adopting any Net Neutrality rules to practices that internet providers haven’t thought up yet;
- Third, it’ll open questions about what to do with several key Net Neutrality rules — like no blocking or throttling of apps and websites — that were implemented in 2015.
“Earlier today I shared with my fellow commissioners a proposal to reverse the mistake of Title II and return to the light touch framework that served us so well during the Clinton administration, Bush administration, and first six years of the Obama administration,” – Ajit Pai
It’s perplexing that our government welcomes the idea of controlled data. Because this is exactly what his proposal entails, the freedom of ISPs to control your data. This clearly violates his oath to uphold the Constitution, as the government is not to suppress ideas and opinion — First Amendment.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP TO PRESERVE NET NEUTRALITY
Come December 14, 2017, there isn’t anything you can do. The FCC is ignoring all attempts for preserving Net Neutrality and Title II. This doesn’t mean that we are without fight… We can rise and unite against this attack; and this will take about 5-15 minutes of your time to complete a few steps:
- First, research, learn and inform yourself on the upcoming situation. You need to fully understand what is at stake and realize what your ISP package deals will look like in the upcoming months (No NN in Portugal).
- Secondly, head over to GoFCCYourself.com, click on “Express” and enter the following:
- [Proceeding Number]: 17-108.
- [Your Name]
- [Email Address]
- [Street Address]
- [Comment]: “We need to preserve Net Neutrality and Title II. I specifically support strong Net Neutrality backed by Title II oversight of ISPs“.
- Third, sign the “Do Not Repeal NN” petition. The more we voice our opinions as a nation, the better the response will be.
- Fourth, sign the “We The People Call for The Resignation of FCC Chairman Ajit Varadaraj Pai” petition. Without the mastermind, we will never have to fear for a regulated internet.
- Fifth, write to your congress which is made easy by navigating to “Join the Battle for NN“. This is very simple by entering your information and then click the “write congress” button.
- Lastly, spread the word, re-post this blog as many times as you can. Share on Facebook, the exact reason why you need fight for your right to the Internet.
At this moment, our only hope for pushing back the vote is with Congress. In order to do that, we MUST unite as a nation to preserve our rights, privileges and especially our First Amendment, the right to freedom of speech; the time is nigh!
Here is a much needed, eye-opening video and another website to research (NN II: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver) (If You Want To Protect The Internet, Look To Congress)