Net Neutrality is important. Here’s why:
- Neutrality means that Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T cannot block or throttle internet traffic based on what kind of website you’re looking at.
- Without Net Neutrality, it would be legal for ISPs to discriminate. They could offer basic plans that allow access to only a small portion of the internet—powerful companies like Facebook, Amazon, or any of the ISP’s own services (Remember how AOL worked? People abandoned that for good reason.)—while either putting everything else behind a paywall, or making it extremely slow to load.
- For marginalized communities, like the asexual community, this will have a chilling effect as fewer people are able to access services. If this happens, a lot of ace people who rely on the community may be left with a severely reduced support network.
- The ace community is already dominated by white people. If this happens, it will very likely become even more so, because POC will be more likely to be affected. I worry that the association between asexuality and whiteness will be even more strongly reinforced.
- If fewer people are able to access Resources for Ace Survivors, how will we continue to provide support to those who need it most? For that matter, if we end up having to pay much more both to access this part of the internet (dwindling our pool of potential volunteers) and to keep the site running, there is a real risk that we may not even be able to keep working on it—or at least, not in the same way we do now. We’ve already been facing severe burnout and most of us have been on hiatus for the past year. It could still get worse.
- This will also have a chilling effect on free speech in general and make it much harder to organize resistance to the Trump regime and whatever new horrors await us in the future.
- Verizon has already been caught illegally throttling Netflix and YouTube. Imagine what they would do if these protections disappeared!
- ISPs are already doing this in Portugal. This could really happen here.
- So, like Sara K., I have also been re-evaluating how much I need and use the internet this year. This, among many other things, has partially been to blame for how much less I’ve been posting here.
If you are a U.S. citizen, please consider calling your representatives today or tomorrow. I know this is daunting for many of us, including myself! To make it easier, 5calls.org provides all the numbers you need and scripts to help you know what to say. Battle for the Net also provides info on who to call and what to say.
A deluge of calls has worked before, to stop the health care bill. We shouldn’t give this one up without a fight.
We only have two days left to make an impact. The vote will happen on December 14th. Spread the word!
UPDATE: In a stunning show of jovial viciousness, cavalierly ignoring the massive outpouring of support for net neutrality, the Republican-controlled FCC did vote 3-2 in favor of eliminating it. This was not unexpected, but it’s still a huge blow. It will have major negative consequences in the years to come.
In case you are freaking out about this, keep in mind: things are not going to change overnight. This will be a gradual, slow change. And we’re not giving up.
The fight is not over. This decision will be challenged in court, and congress can also overturn it (hopefully, we will be able to elect enough Democrats to do so in 2018).
Read more here:
- Read the dissenting statements of the Democratic FCC commissioners slamming net neutrality repeal
- Malkia Cyril Explains Exactly Why the Loss of Net Neutrality Matters—and What’s Next
- In Protests of Net Neutrality Repeal, Teenage Voices Stood Out