Today I wanted to break from music content to share on an important current event. As many people know, members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are working to repeal the current legislation in favor of net neutrality.
Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all data on the internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.
In simpler terms, net neutrality is what allows us to go on and use the internet freely as we please. Below is an excerpt from a post by Paul Sieminski to help explain the concept:
“Net Neutrality” is the simple but very powerful principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. Whether you’re reading a blog post on WordPress.com, streaming Game of Thrones on HBO GO, or browsing handcrafted tea cozies on Etsy, your Internet service provider delivers the Internet to you at the same speed, without blocking, throttling, or charging extra tolls based on the content you’re viewing.
Net Neutrality gives all online businesses, large and small, a chance to reach customers and succeed. It also protects important free speech rights online by prohibiting Internet providers from slowing or blocking sites or messages they don’t agree with.
Net Neutrality means an Internet where businesses, products, and ideas thrive or fail based on their own merit — not on whether they have a preferred deal in place with a broadband service provider.
In the coming weeks, the FCC will vote on a proposal that aims to destroy net neutrality and free up power and control of the internet to ISPs, such as Verizon and AT&T. If this notion is seen through, the internet and social media as we know it could drastically change.
Looking at things from a larger perspective, the government is basically trying to mandate some sort of control over the internet by making it like TV. The companies with power will get to choose which websites and services operate at a faster speed and which ones work at a slower speed – a tactic that will most certainly favor other companies whom the ISPs have strong financial relationships with.
It’s possible that we could end up paying fees to access the apps, sites and services that we want.
While I am hopeful that the legislation supporting net neutrality will be upheld on December 14, if the proposal to repeal the principle is accepted, I can’t help but be extremely upset thinking about the negative impact that could result from it. Millions of people have used the internet to build up their brands and achieve their dreams, and many others, like myself, use the web as a means of still chasing those dreams in hopes of creating something special.
To learn more about Net Neutrality and why it’s important, visit battleforthenet.com.