The past 1 year, 168 days, 22 hours, 10 minutes and 38 seconds (as of this writing) has seen a cavalcade morons march (or goose step, take your pick) into Washington. You might even say Washington is home to a League of Morons.
It’s also no secret that the current administration, regardless of educational pedigree or class status, has the intellectual wisdom of an article in Highlights Magazine, the emotional depth of a rain puddle and the political savvy of a rabid monkey.
With all of that AND the seemingly endless parade of crappy news, it can be easy to forget about net neutrality. With all due respect to the myriad of other issues, net neutrality is one of the more insidious. A closed internet, or no net neutrality, will impact every American.
That’s not hyperbole.
In the past month, has your internet speed changed? Some people I have spoken to have noticed their service “seems a little slower”. Personally, my service becomes frustratingly slow from about 8:45-9:45p, which coincides with peak usage in my area. To be fair, that has always been an issue for me, it’s just longer now.
On June 11th, net neutrality disappeared. In other words, internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T can now legally “throttle” your service. Those companies “promised” they wouldn’t throttle service and clearly we should believe the corporations. Right?
Can I prove that ISP’s are throttling service? Probably not. Will they admit it? No.
Well, wait. They have to. One of the stipulations on the reversal of net neutrality states that if they ever did limit service, they would notify customers.
In typical Comcast dysfunctional bravado, the update to their mobile “unlimited plan” plan states Comcast is “ … putting speed limits on mobile video content … videos will be throttled … on all Comcast mobile plans unless you pay extra …” They also have the testicular fortitude to tell customers this is good for them! “At this speed, you’ll conserve data so that it takes longer to reach the 20GB threshold …”
Perhaps Comcast should re-visit the definition of unlimited (hint: “not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent.”)
Don’t kid yourself; this is just the beginning.
I know we’re tired. We don’t need another polarizing political topic. And I understand that our political climate is such that it feels like any effort to change the path of a topic feels like a fool’s errand.
BUT, this is TRULY a bi-partisan issue and on restoring net neutrality we simply cannot waiver.
Do I honestly think the will of the people can trump the money spent by the ISP’s lobbying Washington (to date +/- 45 million)? I’m guardedly optimistic (perhaps naively).
In May, the Senate voted to restore net neutrality. Now, the House of Representatives must vote on it. Provided they uphold the Senate vote, and the will of 86% of Americans (see, bi-partisan), it will then go to the president. Here, I am less optimistic. BUT, if President Trump has proven one thing, it’s that he’s wildly unpredictable.
With the current hurricane of polarized political absurdity crashing through Washington, it’s possible that net neutrality will get overlooked. Don’t let that happen.
Remember, a vote AGAINST net neutrality is a vote FOR the corporations. And that shouldn’t be okay with anyone.
A version of this was originally published at TheLatest.com, July 7, 2018.