On the 12th of July, websites (including this one), Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.
Before we go into why this is very bad, we need to cover a couple of things:
- Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular services or websites, and,
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a U.S. Government agency that regulates communications systems, including the Internet.
Right now, the new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer, Ajit Pai, has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies (we call these ‘ISPs’ in the UK) immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach their audience.
If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favourite websites are forced into a slow lane online, whilst deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritisation” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favour.
But on the 12th of July, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall, and sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.
Why is destroying Net Neutrality a bad thing, we hear you ask?
Watch this quick video produced by Fight For The Future, which sums it up pretty well.
How are we affected in the UK?
Many services that you interact with online—social media, enterprise systems, shopping, news—are based in the U.S., and in U.S. data centres. If the FCC destroy Net Neutrality, the Internet will slow down for all of us.
So, it’s important that we all take action: head to Battle For The Net to join in!