Why Net Neutrality is so important
When you use the internet you expect Net Neutrality.
Net Neutrality is the principle that prohibits internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from speeding up, slowing down or blocking any content, applications or websites you want to use. Net Neutrality is the way that the internet has always worked. In 2015, millions of activists pressured the Federal Communications Commission to adopt historic Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open — allowing you to share and access information of your choosing without interference.
But right now this win is in jeopardy: Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wants to destroy Net Neutrality. And on May 18, the FCC voted to let Pai’s internet-killing plan move forward.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online.
Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open internet.
What would happen if we lost Net Neutrality?
The internet without Net Neutrality isn’t really the internet. Unlike the open internet that has paved the way for so much innovation and given a platform to people who have historically been shut out, it would become a closed-down network where cable and phone companies call the shots and decide which websites, content or applications succeed.
This would have an enormous impact. Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to decide who is heard and who isn’t. They’d be able to block websites or content they don’t like or applications that compete with their own offerings.
Without Net Neutrality, how would activists be able to fight against oppression? What would happen to social movements like the Movement for Black Lives? How would the next disruptive technology, business or company emerge if internet service providers only let incumbents succeed?
Didn’t we already win strong Net Neutrality rules?
Yes. After a decade-long battle over the future of the internet, the FCC adopted strong Net Neutrality rules based on Title II of the Communications Act, giving internet users the strongest protections possible.
But ever since then opponents have done everything they can to destroy Net Neutrality. And Chairman Pai — a former Verizon lawyer — is moving fast to destroy the open internet. He must be stopped.
Who’s attacking Net Neutrality?
Big phone and cable companies and their lobbyists filed suit almost as soon as the Net Neutrality rules were adopted. Free Press jumped in and helped argue the case defending the FCC — and on June 14, 2016, a federal appeals court upheld the open-internet protections in all respects. However, the ISPS are still trying to challenge these rules in court.
Meanwhile, industry-funded Net Neutrality opponents in Congress have done everything they can to dismantle or undermine the rules. Legislators have introduced numerous deceptive bills and attached damaging riders to must-pass government-funding bills.
The 4 million people who spoke out in support of Net Neutrality in 2015 are fired up and ready to fight back — and you can join them here.
Why is Net Neutrality important for businesses?
Net Neutrality is crucial for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open internet to launch their businesses, create markets, advertise their products and services, and reach customers. We need the open internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation.
Net Neutrality lowers the barriers of entry by preserving the internet’s fair and level playing field. It’s because of Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online,.
No company should be allowed to interfere with this open marketplace. ISPs are the internet’s gatekeepers, and without Net Neutrality, they would seize every possible opportunity to profit from that gatekeeper position.
Without Net Neutrality, the next Google or Facebook would never get off the ground.
What can we do now? It’s Official: Trump and Pai Plan to Destroy Net Neutrality
The Trump administration has officially launched its attack on Net Neutrality — if it succeeds, the internet as we know it will be gone for good.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has unveiled his plan to dismantle Net Neutrality.
Here it is in a nutshell: Abolish Net Neutrality. Cross our fingers that the phone and cable companies promise to be good.
Yeah, right. These are the same companies that promise to be at your house between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and don’t show up until the following week. The same companies that were caught repeatedly violating Net Neutrality before strong rules were on the books.1 The same companies that admitted that if it weren’t for Net Neutrality they would discriminate against websites and content.
Tell Chairman Pai, the Trump administration and Congress to LEAVE NET NEUTRALITY ALONE.
We’ll be sure to file your petition signatures and comments in FCC docket 17-108.
#NetNeutrality is a little boring but something everyone should care about. If you want your Internet to get more expensive and slower then you don’t deserve the #Internet anyway. Sign the #petition now @ battleforthenet.com #Comcast, #Verizon, #AT&T have spent over half a billion dollars lobbying the government to kill net neutrality rules. That’s more money spent on lobbying than the defense, automotive, or banking industries over the same period. Only the pharmaceutical? and oil industries have spent more to date. Don’t let the #cablecompanies steel even more of your money. It’s your internet protect it! ? ?
1. “Net Neutrality Violations: A Brief History,” Free Press, April 25, 2017: https://www.freepress.net/blog/2017/04/25/net-neutrality-violations-brief-history
2. “Verizon’s Plan to Break the Internet,” Free Press, Sept. 18, 2013: https://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/2013/09/18/verizons-plan-break-internet
3. Save The Internet: