And yes, this is a thing.
As it should be.
You see the people at battleforthenet.com created a campaign awhile back to raise awareness about the pending FCC decision about net neutrality. So if you encounter a loading symbol on some of your favorite sites today (including Netflix) it stands a pretty good chance of being part of this movement.
Now I’ve written about this a lot recently, and in the past, because this is probably the single most important issue that not only directly impacts you but that you can also actually influence democratically. It’s probably the one thing you can, unless you are the Koch brothers or Comcast’s Roberts family.
Look, I know this shit is boring at best and arcane at worst, but it really does matter. And it matters mostly to you! And you probably don’t care as long as you can still log onto whatever silly social media platform you consider the Internet to be.
But it’s not what the Internet is and it’s not what it was designed to be.
Now, if you are gonna prattle on about how the Internet was created in conjunction with the military industrial complex and how all the big Internet players collude with the government to provide them your pertinents and what not, you’re better off tuning into Alex Jones or your favorite Breitbart show (FYI, big companies have always done this, all the Internet has done is make it easier and less legally complex for governments to get the information you freely give away).
Yes, the Internet was created with the government, but it was not created for the government. Big difference. Ask yourself, would the government actually allow something like this to be created and remain free (yes, the Internet is free, access to it is not) for this long? And THAT is what is at stake.
The FCC wants to divide the Internet.
Imagine you are at a stop light getting ready to get on the highway. You are in your Honda Civic and a suddenly a bright shiny Maserati pulls up next to you and suddenly out of nowhere a cop pops up. The cop faces you and stands right in the middle of your Civic and the shiny Maserati. The cop then sticks his right hand up with his palm facing you, indicating you to stay and raises his left hand to motion for the Maserati to move on. The shiny Maserati peels out and hops onto the highway and tears off into the horizon.
The cop still has his right palm facing you and after about 15 minutes, the cop motions for you to move forward and that you can now go onto the highway. Inexplicably, there are now three dozen cinder blocks tied to your bumper and you can’t move nearly as fast as you used to.
But you finally get onto the highway and notice there are tons of Civic’s with cinder blocks tied to them moving on the highway and periodically a shiny Maserati comes zig zagging in and around all the Civics and jets off into the horizon.
That’s the metaphor for what is at stake. The speed at which you and I can access and use the Internet.
Put more bluntly, the FCC will decide whether it is in the public’s best Interest to divide the Internet into two. One super fast Internet that companies will be able to purchase access to and the other one for you and I which, unless we are privately the Koch brother or Comcast’s Roberts family, we won’t be able to afford. This is not in our best interest at all.
If that seems a little anti-capitalist…well, it is. How is the next tech start-up, who would need the faster Internet to compete, going to be able to compete with the Google’s, Facebook’s and Amazon’s?
America already is way behind speeds at which we access the Internet now! We simply can NOT afford to further divide an already mediocre system any further. Dividing the Internet won’t force the access providers to address the shitty infrastructure we currently have.
So, join the battle and notify the FCC. This actually matters, you can, and should, make a difference. Because this really does matter.