If you find yourself reading my blog tomorrow, and I hope you do, you might notice a few of the posts replaced with a “Still Loading” spinner because I will be participating in the Internet Slowdown day of action on September 10th to help fight for Net Neutrality, and to demonstrate what life will be like on an Internet that features dreaded slow lanes if big cable providers and the government get their way.
Net Neutrality means that cable and broadband providers must treat all Internet traffic equally. Whether you’re loading a blog post on WordPress.com, streaming Orange Is The New Black on Netflix, or buying my book “Free Love” on Amazon, your Internet provider can’t degrade your connection speed, block sites, or charge a toll based on the content that you’re viewing. (Not yet.)
As WordPress states, “Net Neutrality has defined the Internet since its inception, and it’s hard to argue with the results: the Internet is the most powerful engine of economic growth and free expression in history. Most importantly, the open Internet is characterized by companies, products, and ideas that survive or fail depending on their own merit — not on whether they have preferred deals in place with a broadband service provider. Unfortunately, the principle of net neutrality, and the open Internet that we know and love, is under attack.”
But now New Neutrality is under attack. The FCC has proposed rules that would, for the first time, expressly allow internet providers — like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T — to charge Internet companies like Netflix for access to their subscribers. This means there could be “fast lanes” for companies who are able to pay providers for preferred Internet access, while everyone else gets stuck in the “slow lane”… which means applications won’t perform as quickly, webpages will load slowly, and of course, buffering. A slow “still loading” spinner will be an unfortunate, but common sight on the new, closed Internet that the big providers want.
Unsurprisingly, the large telecom companies who stand to benefit from the FCC’s proposed rules fully support their passage. They have nearly unlimited funds and hundreds of lobbyists in Washington to promote these harmful new rules.
Now is the time to fight back and publicly support a free, unthrottled, open Internet and to preserve the Net we’ve always known.
When you see the symbolic “loading” icon banner here or elsewhere on the Interwebs tomorrow reminding us all what an Internet without Net Neutrality would look like, please take a moment to click on it (or the image below, right here, right now) to show your support for this cause, and send a message to Washington that Net Neutrality must be preserved.
And please be sure to Like & Share this post with others so they can show their support too. Together we can make a difference in this important battle for the open Internet.