Don’t Let Net Neutrality Die

Okay, we’ve all just seen the “Red Alert for Net Neutrality” banners pop up everywhere, which you can grab here to put on your own website. The fight is getting real.

The FCC just voted to do away with Title II net neutrality regulation. We’re one step closer to ceding the little bit of consumer power we have and allowing ISPs what amounts to complete control of the information superhighway.

Jesse von Doom, in his Medium story from July 15, 2017, puts it like this:

“But ISPs are talking about fast lanes for the internet. Aren’t fast lanes good for consumers?” Good question. I’m glad you asked. No, you stupid bastard. ISPs aren’t talking about fast lanes for you, they’re talking about fast lanes for corporations. Actually they’re not talking about providing fast lanes for anyone. They’re talking about making corporations pay more to access the speeds they have access to right now, and putting anyone that doesn’t pay into a slow lane like the New Jersey Turnpike on a perfect August beach day.

Jesse’s focus in that article is on the negative effect the repeal of net neutrality will have on musicians. It’s important for us all to realize that this is going to be bad for everyone but the ISPs and the wealthiest of companies. Every small to medium-sized business on the net, from indy game studios to data aggregators to Medium itself has a place on the firing line.

They will have to pay higher costs, and we, the consumers, will see those expenses passed on to us.

Big ISPs like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon are all content owners now, having acquired brands in a frenzy over recent years:

So if you’re a customer of one ISP, they will have leverage to actually make it cost more for content owned by other ISPs to be available to their customers.

And that’s you. And me. And everyone.

The smallest businesses and individual proprietors will be unable to spend enough to keep up with the competition, and many will fold or be forced to sell to bigger businesses.

The very essence of what makes the internet great — its accessibility and endless variety — will be sucked up and away into a voracious tornado-like mouth never to be seen again.

So when you see that banner that asks you to take action and do something to try and preserve Title II net neutrality, do whatever you can. For yourself. For your friends. For your kids. And for me.

Because I really want to keep my internet as the internet it was always meant to be.

Thank you for reading and sharing.

Startup product manager. Sci fi, Fantasy and Science writer.

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