At That Hashtag Show, we don’t normally do political pieces, but this affects everyone.
It’s December 14th, 2017 and for Christmas, the FCC just killed the internet as we know it.
The FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, found this move best for Americans and ISP’s alike for the free market and “it hurts innovation” reasons.
The issue withstanding here is simply this: Why do we need to fix something that isn’t broken?
A Small, Brief History of Net Neutrality
Net neutrality in the spotlight has been around in passing since about roughly 2010. Verizon’s has been attempting to fight it since 2005 over P2P file sharing (Verizon lost that case). In 2010, The FCC came out with something called the FCC open internet order. These 6 items kept the internet free and open. This included:
- Transparency: Consumers and innovators have a right to know the basic performance characteristics of their Internet access and how their network is being managed;
- No Blocking: This includes a right to send and receive lawful traffic, prohibits the blocking of lawful content, apps, services and the connection of non-harmful devices to the network;
- Level Playing Field: Consumers and innovators have a right to a level playing field. This means a ban on unreasonable content discrimination. There is no approval for so-called “pay for priority” arrangements involving fast lanes for some companies but not others;
- Network Management: This is an allowance for broadband providers to engage in reasonable network management. These rules don’t forbid providers from offering subscribers tiers of services or charging based on bandwidth consumed;
- Mobile: The provisions adopted today do not apply as strongly to mobile devices, though some provisions do apply. Of those that do are the broadly applicable rules requiring transparency for mobile broadband providers and prohibiting them from blocking websites and certain competitive applications;
- Vigilance: The order creates an Open Internet Advisory Committee to assist the Commission in monitoring the state of Internet openness and the effects of the rules.
In 2015, Americans could breathe a sigh of relief, as the former FCC chairman made the internet a title II utility. This created a highly regulated system that kept the internet free and open for anyone who may use it. Title II was seen as it’s own game changer and a win for consumers, it practically guaranteed the internet as an equal right for all Americans. Which in our current climate, is indispensable.
Today, they removed the utility designation and will soon allow the ISPs to do what they will with it.
What Happens Next? Nothing Good for Anyone Who Isn’t an ISP. Here’s What Can Affect You.
With an unregulated internet, ISPs like Comcast and Verizon have Carte Blanche to control just about everything you do online.
This list is not what will happen. It’s an example of what will be possible without title II regulations
Do you like how Cable runs?
Imagine having to buy internet packages like you do cable packages. Agin, this is just a mockup of what these packages could look like as we don’t yet fully know what the ramifications will actually be.
You can also read up about this type of pricing here where it exists in other countries
Do You Love Independent Media (Like That Hashtag Show)?
Independent Media could take a major hit, as ISP’s will upcharge sizable groups to keep their speeds up. All the Nexflix’s and Amazons, Steams of the world will end up needing to pass that surcharge to its consumers, a double hit to your wallet. Many independent media groups will have to be forced to go into paywall or subscription to stay afloat. Many others will end up dead in the water. This can put thousands of content creators out of a job.
THS has no current intention of doing anything involving paywalls or moving to subscription-based content.
Are you a Gamer?
You may find yourself having to buy a Data cap, and a “gamer package”.
Do you like to binge watch shows?
You may have to purchase a Hulu Package, and HBO package, and a rise in your brand new monthly data plan.
Do you have multiple devices?
Be prepared to potentially pay for separate data plans for anything that uses the internet.
Do you believe in IoT (The Internet of Things)
will go against data plans. That awesome toaster that can also give you the weather and your favorite song will end up more trouble than its worth.
Etsy, small business types?
If small business owners have to pay for “isp overhead” to stay in search engines or keep the net open, many of them will end up going bust. Or will extinguish growth for a good amount of months or years. This could put several thousands of people out of a job.
Are you a Twitch watcher or Live Stream Viewer?
Unless you are paying for that unlimited data plan (if it exists) you’ll find yourself capped out in a mere matter of days. This can put several content creators out of a job.
Free Information On The Internet?
That free coding course your taking? That essay you are putting in quotes? That article you’re doing research for? All of it could end up needing to be monetized.
Cutting off the free flow of information will set us back further in inequality in America.
You could end up paying double or more for the same internet services you currently get and have half the internet closed off to you.
What’s The Other Side Of This Story?
ISP’s believe that Congress, not the FCC should be making these decisions.
Comcast was quoted in a press release saying
“Title II regulation and net neutrality are not the same thing.”
Comcast in the same press conference, also believes that consumers have nothing to worry about.
“While some seem to want to create hysteria that the Internet as we know it will disappear if their preferred regulatory scheme isn’t in place, that’s just not reality.”
The problem that entails with this line of thinking is that even if the ISP’s go after the bigger fish, those bigger fish pass those extra costs to us consumers. Not to mention that Verizon has already said that they would make people pay for prioritization lanes if it wasn’t for Net neutrality. And to kick Net Neutrality to Congress would open up partisan laws to regulators trying to take advantage of internet policy. FCC Title 2 regulation keeps the internet away from special interest groups. And now it’s dead (for now).
This Sounds Terrible! I Need Monies! What Can I Do To Stop This?
the Fight is far from over. Several lawsuits have already been filed to fight this, which will tie it up for months, maybe years, and many people in Congress are not in favor of this ruling. Ajit Pai has ignored the public comment, but Congress still can weigh in on the matter. Call your representatives, and tell them that Net neutrality directly effects your quality of life.
LINKS TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES HERE
numbers for direct representatives: https://www.house.gov/representatives
Fax and emails: http://www.conservativeusa.net/mega-cong.htm