In December of 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal Net Neutrality on June 11 of this year.
It’s important to note that the FCC Commissioners are politically appointed. Also important to note, is that the current FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, is a former lawyer for Verizon Communications. More importantly, this issue is a completely bipartisan issue; it’s neither an Obama nor Trump thing, 86% of American people want to keep Net Neutrality.
To be blunt, three of five non-elected officials at the FCC, led by Pai, voted to repeal something that 86% of americans want.
Very briefly, Net Neutrality means that we all have the same access to the Internet. The public has the same level of access as monolithic multi-nationals like Amazon, Facebook, Google, etc. Unless Congress votes to reverse this repeal, shortly after June 11, we won’t.
Still confused? Burger King released a video that explains Net Neutrality perfectly:
Who wins with the repeal of Net Neutrality? Verizon, Comcast and AT&T, the companies that provide Internet access. Period.
Why? It will allow them to create different levels of access to the Internet, “paid prioritization”, and new revenue streams. Of course, “Comcast Corp, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc have all pledged to not block or discriminate against legal content …“
In March of this year, Comcast EVP David Cohen said that he sees a way where “paid prioritization” could take place.
Who loses with the repeal of Net Neutrality? Everyone.
We will, invariably, end up paying more for less. As of August 2017, the United States ranks ninth in the world for Internet speed. And since cable bills have ONLY ever moved up, that won’t change. In 2016, the average cable bill was over $100 (admittedly, this often includes bundled services like Internet, cable TV and phone). That’s a lot of money for service that barely makes it into the top ten.
The argument that this repeal will be good for the free market is seriously laughable. If the open Internet is repealed, how could a start-up compete with an already established company that is paying for better access? That pretty much flies a middle finger at the face of the free market.
There is the potential that this critical vote could come next week (current thinking is Wednesday, May 16).
Let me be very clear, unless your elected official is voting AGAINST the repeal of Net Neutrality, they are voting FOR the corporations. Let me ask, did you elect your representatives to represent you or a large multi-national corporation?
Don’t misunderstand this, the repeal of Net Neutrality would be a huge win for the continued corporatization of America and a tremendous loss for Democracy and the free market. Contact your lawmakers now!
The FCC does not have the public’s best interest in mind.
To reiterate, three out of five non-elected people went against the will of 86% of the American public. Yikes!
If Net Neutrality is repealed, gird your loins.
Originally published on thelatest.com, May 12, 2018.