Today is a really crappy day for everybody that doesn’t work for an internet service provider (ISP). The FCC just voted to remove net neutrality restrictions on ISPs. What this means is that ISPs will have more freedom to extract funds from customers in order to provide the same service. This kind of profit-maximizing behavior has been displayed time and time again in the past, from Facetime blocking to Netflix slow downs. Starting today, however, ISPs are free to throttle those connections as they see fit. They are allowed to charge customers to prevent throttling as they see fit. They are allowed to throttle the connections of competitors as they see fit. The goal of companies like Comcast and Verizon is to maximize their bottom line, so you can bet to see this kind of behavior in the near future.
The good thing is that the decision can still be appealed. The FCC’s decision will be challenged in court. Congress can still create net neutrality rules that aren’t subject to FCC decisions. I spent about 10 minutes of my day (not including writing this post) supporting net neutrality. It’s pretty easy to do:
- Go to https://www.battleforthenet.com/
- Put in your information: name, address, phone number.
- Type a letter explaining why you do not want net neutrality to be repealed. There are a ton of reasons. It doesn’t have to be complicated:
- you don’t trust ISPs
- you don’t want your connections throttled
- you want the freedom of services to use
- you don’t want your ISP to pick and choose what services are available to you
- it will hurt your income, etc.
- Click “write congress” and your letter will be sent.
- Agree to having an automated machine call your phone. It is an extremely easy service that connects you with your local representatives. You don’t have to dial any numbers, and you don’t have to do any research. Don’t be nervous about talking to these people, they are just going to take a note of your opinion and say good bye.
- Talk to your local representative using the automated machine. A real person will pick up your call and ask you what you want. Tell them that you want to formally declare your opposition to repealing net neutrality. Tell them that the goal of ISPs is to extract money from customers as much as they can and it is against your best interests. Make it clear that you want net neutrality laws to stay.