Why Net Neutrality matters to you.

By on September 10, 2014 - Opinion

Many people seem to believe that the battle for Net Neutrality is a geek matter that won’t concern them. In reality, the loss of Net Neutrality is an important issue that will cost everyone significant time and money.

If the proposed legislation passed, it explicitly authorizes Internet access companies to charge you more to access sites that haven’t paid them as well. Yes, that’s right, the Internet access company would get paid by both sides for the same bytes. However, the most important part of the legislation is that it allows them to block and slow down sites which haven’t paid them. Let’s discuss what this means to you:

1. You would face slowdowns to access sites that matter to you.
2. If you ran a website, you would have to negotiate with and pay each and every Internet provider on the planet to serve your content to their customers.
3. Site and services you use could be blocked if they compete with a service provided by an Internet access company.

Today you pay your Internet access based on bytes transferred, or bytes which could be transferred. This is fair and reasonable “pay for what you use” billing. This legislation allows and encourages Internet access companies to double dip, to get paid many times for the same bytes.

There is absolutely nothing in the legislation that requires the Internet providers to be reasonable, or to provide a base level of service to sites. If this legislation passes, it would be in the economic interest of every Internet provider to make exclusive, high-value deals with providers of services to ensure all their competitors are blocked.

This means you will have access only to services that your ISP decides you can access.

Today, September 10th, is the very last day that the FCC is accepting comments. Go there now, and speak your mind. This link might work, but sometimes fails: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/upload/begin?procName=14-28&filedFrom=X

If that link fails, do this:
1. Visit http://FCC.gov/comments
2. Find the title “14-28 Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet.”
3. Click the number “14-28”
5. Express how this will affect you
6. Make sure to click “Confirm” on the following page to submit your comments.