Yesterday (today as I am writing this) was hard. 12/14 marked a sad day for people that spend a lot of time on the internet. I am one of those people, so it hit especially hard.
I will not lie that I wasn’t watching the vote at work. I was compulsively checking twitter to see if there was something new to be sad. I needed to know if the world as I knew it was falling apart in front of me.
The fact of the matter was that it wasn’t…and it was.
Net neutrality is incredibly important. It allows us to get access to things without having to pay more money. Free apps like Snapchat or Facebook or WordPress wouldn’t be free for us to access with just our typical internet payment. Instead, we’d have to pay for access like we do for channels on TV.
That’s terrible. And it’s something that some other countries see. They already know how shitty it is.
But the worst part of this is the attitude behind this move. The claim is that people will be able to vote with their money for their ISP. The FCC and the ISPs know that this isn’t true.
In the US, this is a huge issue. Sometimes whole cities are covered by only one ISP. There may be a smaller one in there, but you can’t actually use them because they’re too slow or unreliable or too pricey when you compare them to the bigger ones. And in some big cities, some apartment buildings will sign agreements with ISPs to only use that service for all of their tenants.
So there is no way to vote with your money. We can’t not have internet. That’s just not an option in this day and age. We need to be able to communicate with a number of different people at many different times.
The FCC vote was the first part of the process. But so many politicians and courts are already raising flags about the issue. People are going to try to take it down from elsewhere. It’s important to keep pushing for it to be repealed.
This may label me as one political affiliation or another, but many of the Republicans are touting this as something that’s going to boost the ISPs and everything that they do. They’re actually not paying attention if that’s what they think is going on. These industries are making tons of money right now. People need the internet and phones and things like that.
This move is meant to rip a little bit more money from us and pad their pockets a little bit more. All the while, they’re literally tearing apart the internet for us. Some ISPs have said that they won’t change anything. Others have actively tried throttling services in the past or promote some services by not having it count towards your data. But they are going to use this ruling to their advantage. They may not take it as far as many are suggesting because of the literal outrage and bad PR that will come from it. But they will still use it.
This is not the end. This is the beginning. Keep fighting for an internet where you can do anything.