If Ajit Pai and Donald Trump have their way, the FCC will dismantle the internet as we know it in December. They will dismantle net neutrality. Here’s what that means:
- Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be able to throttle your internet traffic. This means a company like Comcast could make Verizon’s sites slow to a crawl, so you won’t want to switch, or they could charge Netflix a fortune to have regular internet speeds, because it competes with cable TV and Comcast’s Hulu. Small companies would be unable to pay this fee and driven out of the market.
- ISPs will be able to completely block whatever they’d like
- Consumers will have no choice in ISP in most areas, they’ll be forced to deal with throttled speeds
- ISPs will be able to block websites unless consumers pay up. They could decide the internet into packages, as they have with cable and as they have in other countries. $49.99 for basic service, $9.99 to add social networks. $19.99 to add gaming. A Triple play for just $119.99/month.
- ISPs will be able to throttle out of network access
This would spell an end for a free and open internet. Going to Reddit to complain about Verizon? Good luck, the site’s been blocked. Trying to organize a protest? Blocked. Real news slowed in favor of propaganda. Small businesses unable to pay the fee for unthrottled internet are left in the slow lane, and wither and die. Startups and small businesses suffer. Consumers are trapped with an internet that looks as though it’s been censored by the government. Think about it. Verizon and others overwhelmingly support Republican candidates. They’ll be able to throttle the websites that aren’t in favor of the politicians they’ve paid off in the form of campaign contributions. This will turn the United States into a corporate controlled nation. We won’t have free speech if we don’t have a free internet.
So, here’s what you need to do:
Ajit Pai. Credit: AP
What’s good for huge corporations is often bad for “the little guy,” that is, smaller businesses and individuals. However, the little guy, the individual, does have a way to piggyback off of the successes of those huge corporations. They can become lobbyists, politicians, or, in this case, the FCC Chairman. Pai graduated law school, worked on the Telecommunications Task Force, approving (or blocking) mergers and acquisitions, worked for the Department of Justice, and left government work for a time to be the Associate General Counsel at Verizon. He was only there two years before going back to government, where he’s been strongly pro-big business.
That brings us to net neutrality. Net neutrality protects you and I from being gouged for our internet service any more than we already are. It forces all internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all data equally. Imagine if phone companies didn’t have to do that with who you talked to. They could notice you call your girlfriend a lot, and start charging your double for calls to her. Or perhaps they don’t want you talking to Comcast customer service for very long, forcing you to get frustrated and switch to their service. That’s what they have planned for the internet, fast and slow lanes, data that doesn’t count against limits for their own services or partners. It’s a way to gouge both other companies and end users, controlling the services we can use. Net neutrality protects small businesses from being pushed out of the market by these giant bullies like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner (Spectrum). But net neutrality forbids these large corporations from taking advantage of their size for profit. That’s why they hate it. It’s why they lobby about it and push conservative politicians to fight against net neutrality and privacy. They’re against complete internet freedom, and we just elected their mouthpieces to the highest positions in government.
That’s why Ajit Pai just released his plan to dismantle net neutrality this week, making internet freedom a thing of the past.