Can We Not Wreck The Internet, FCC?

It’s easy when you’ve got all the information.
Inside help, no investigation.
No questions in the House, no give and take.
There’s a big bang in the City.
We’re all on the take…
“Shopping”, Pet Shop Boys

Today, July 12th, 2017, is notable for being few things:

  1. A Wednesday, which means you’re gonna need a nice big cup of coffee;
  2. One of the few days without any major sporting events in America (only Wimbledon); and
  3. A day of action to support the idea of Net Neutrality.

So, I know what you’re all thinking… what is ESPN going to talk about apart from Wimbledon? Don’t worry – they’re probably talking about Lavar Ball and how he’s trying to perfect the foot sandwich. Maybe Carmelo Anthony will get traded by dinner time tonight. Oh, there’s also the Mayweather/McGregor fight.

Oh, and also, about that net neutrality thing.

Basically, Net Neutrality argues that all net traffic should be treated equally. Netflix? Facebook? The Review Nebula? Under this principle, all are treated equally by the interwebs. It’s a beautiful, egalitarian system that has allowed so many businesses, so many individuals, to thrive. (Not me, but still.)

Well, somebody at the FCC is thinking of changing the rules. Done to support “business freedom”, it instead gives power to massive ISPs (read, Verizon and Comcast) to mess around with both internet providers and users. Want to access Netflix, or Amazon? Well, you could have to pay mundo amounts of moolah to your ISP to get these websites. And I do mean Netflix, for these sites are taking a small but still noticeable hit against cable television. (By the way, Comcast? They own NBC. AND MSNBC If only they didn’t own Premier League rights…) The chances that they are going to be rather “benevolent” with their choice of “fast lanes” and “slow lanes” is rather slim.

(Again, I’ll admit that this silly little blog probably wouldn’t be actively throttled, but I doubt it’s getting into the fast lane, so to speak.)

And do you really think this money is going to go to infrastructure repair, to improve your service quality? Methinks that Comcast Board Chairs are already shopping for houses in the Philadelphia Area.

To basically cut a long story short, it’s a few rich and powerful businessmen trying to get even more rich and powerful at the expense of you and me.

So, let’s try and stop them in their tracks. I sent a letter out via the link above basically telling the FCC they would be making a big, big, big mistake. Also, I intend to contact my representative today, saying the exact same thing.

But here’s the thing. Next year, America has midterm elections. Every representative will have to defend their seat. Should net neutrality be axed, and should your local representative have played a role in killing it, well, you have the power to remove them from office. I don’t care if your incumbent is a Republican or a Democrat – if they fail to support net neutrality, remove them, whether in the Primaries or in the General Election. Vote third party, if you must.

Remember my last review, when I alluded to democracy and leadership? Well, this is a fine time to prove that we are a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people… even if our beef is more directly against a government organization and some executives rather than our elected officials.

(And yes, I am aware that song quoted above is about buying stuff. Just not in the way we normally buy stuff…)

(Edited around 4:00 to mention Wimbledon, because I am an idiot.)

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