You may not know it but you should be freaking out right now.
In one week’s time everything is going to change. The Internet as you know it will be gone. The net is poised to be taken over by massive corporations who will use it for their own good (making MORE money) on December 14th. This is not a joke, it is not an alarmist response, it is not heresy. It is happening.
And I’m going to explain to you why ending Net Neutrality is bad. Firstly, what IS Net Neutrality? It’s the idea that the Internet should be a neutral ground accessible equally to all. That’s the way it is right now.
On December 14th the FCC will vote on whether to kill what we’ve come to know as “Net Neutrality”. That means the Internet will no longer be neutral ground accessible to all. How so?
Internet Service Providers will legally be able to regulate what information is shown to who and how long it will take for that information to pop up on your screen. There will be the Internet FAST lane (for huge companies who can pay money to be in the fast lane, just like pay for use lanes on the highway).
And there will be Internet SLOW lanes where Internet traffic basically grinds to a halt and is so slow it’s unusable. These are the lanes everyone other than the huge companies will be in. Your favourite bloggers, small companies, your own business website that you use to promote your goods or service; Relocated to the slow lane and the back of the line.
So if you search for a “DIY holiday greeting card” instead of seeing thousands of posts about the topic from your favourite bloggers or small businesses, you will instead see a “DIY holiday greeting card” kit being sold by a huge company that’s owned by a massive corporation. They will be given first priority. That’s a basic, basic example.
Ending Net Neutrality means turning the Internet into a pay per use commodity. If you can pay enough money, your information will be seen before anyone else’s. If you can’t pay, then your information won’t be seen at all.
Understand? I’m trying to keep this as simple as I can so you can understand how ending Net Neutrality will in fact affect you.
So. Freaking out yet? Do you want to keep the Internet the way it is? Read on.
During the FCC vote in one week, there will only be 5 people voting on the future of the Internet. 3 are Republicans and 2 are Democrats.
- The 2 Democrats who are voting are expected to vote AGAINST ending Net Neutrality. Democrats want the Internet to stay exactly as it is now. Accessible to all.
- The 3 Republicans who are voting in the FCC vote are expected to vote to end Net Neutrality. The Republicans who are voting want to end the free and open exchange of information on the Internet as we know it. Even though everyday Republicans in regular old society, do NOT want the Internet changed.
Here are the 5 people at the FCC who are deciding on what’s best for you:
Ajit Pai, Chairman (Republican) – Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov – WILL VOTE TO END NET NEUTRALITY
Brendan Carr (Republican) – firstname.lastname@example.org -WILL VOTE TO END NET NEUTRALITY
Michael O’Rielly (Republican) – Mike.ORielly@fcc.gov -WILL VOTE TO END NET NEUTRALITY
Mignon Clyburn (Democract) – Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov – WILL VOTE TO KEEP NET NEUTRALITY
Jessica Rosenworcel (Democrat) – Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov – WILL VOTE TO KEEP NET NEUTRALITY
As you can see I’ve included their email addresses. I’ve also included this short note you can send to them. Just copy and paste it.
Dear __(insert name here)___,
I oppose the ending of Net Neutrality. I want the Internet to remain an open site for the sharing of information.
Sincerely a voter,
____(insert your name here)____
But the BEST thing you can do if you’re an American is to contact congress.
THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN STOP THIS MADNESS IS CONGRESS.
PLEASE GO TO BATTLE FOR THE NET and write to your member of congress. It’s easy. They have it all set up on the website, all you have to do is add in your name.
Then on the same website you can CALL your member of congress.
Please do it now. Leave this blog post and click on the Battle for the Net link. Then come back here and finish reading.
So how did we get here? Comcast, Verizon and AT&T who are Internet Providers, have paid millions and millions of dollars to ensure this vote to end Net Neutrality will happen on December 14th. Make no mistake, this is a business deal with 3 major companies benefiting from it. You and I get screwed in the meantime.
VERIZON HAS ALREADY ADMITTED THAT THEY WILL INDEED IMPLEMENT FAST LANES FOR PEOPLE WHO PAY AND SLOW LANES FOR EVERYONE ELSE.
So if you’re at home cruising the Internet and you use Verizon, Verizon will only show you the sites that have paid a fee to be shown to you.
Do you read Nicole’s blog Making it Lovely? Well she doesn’t have enough money to pay to be in the fast lane of the Internet. Too bad. The Nester is gone. Design*Sponge doesn’t have the cash to pay to be in the fast lane either? Yeah, too bad, Design*Sponge is gone too. And Centsational Style, Apartment Therapy, and your beloved Bloggess. Say good-bye to A Pinch of Yum and any other sites and bloggers you’ve come to love following. Including The Art of Doing Stuff. Because we won’t be able to afford to pay to be in the fast lane. And without readers we’ll simply cease to exist entirely.
This vote isn’t about what’s best for consumers. It isn’t even about making money. It’s about greed. The kind of epic greed you normally only find in a Dickens novel.
I hate to be so dramatic about all of this but I not only make my living as a blogger, but I LOVE the Internet. I read it, I share it and I have bloggers I’ve never met but who have taught me so much. I met my good friend Lynne Knowlton and her husband Michael through the Internet. I found out how to properly give my little cat Cleo fluids when she went into renal failure from a little site on the Internet. I’ve learned a lot from the Internet.
If you have too, please share this post. Email it to everyone you know. Pin it. Post it on social media with the hashtag #netneutrality today. While you still can.