Net Neutrality And You - It’s a Big Deal

| Editorial

What You Can Do about Net Neutrality

So now that I’ve outlined all the shenanigans around broadband, what’s a person to do about it? Well there’s a few things.

First, you can sign the Net neutrality petition at Whitehouse.gov and remember, at 100,00 signatures, the White House must respond.

Send email to openinternet@fcc.gov (that link fills it all in for you) to express your concern about the need for an open Internet. Contact your representatives and tell them too. Below is an easy copy/paste email for the contact forms:

Hello,

I am writing to you regarding the current issues around net neutrality. I believe Internet access is a necessity of modern life, and it is going to be restricted by the current “fast lane” proposal by the FCC. Now ISPs have monopolies in many areas and want to be paid even more than they already are to maintain current levels of access, which would be considered substandard in most of the rest of the world. There is no reason for ISPs to modify traffic speeds or give preferential treatment to any group aside from further profit.

There are a number of suggestions from FreePress.net on their Net Neutrality site. Choose what you can do, from sending an email to coordinating volunteers or meeting with your representatives.

When you get your cable bill each month, there is a Local Franchise Authority listed on it. You can call them and complain. This is the organization that grants monopoly authority to broadband providers, and can take it away.

Each of these may not seem like much for just one person, but what if you did it and asked someone else to call or email too? That’s twice as many people right there. And if they tell two friends, and so on, then maybe something will actually change for the better.

Bryan Chaffin contributed to this article.

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Comments

CudaBoy

The web used to be free, literally - no commercial ISPs as you could log in from schools and colleges as well as home. Cable used to have only two tiers. As corps looked for more revenue streams the web became commercial TV and Cable/Wi-Fi/Satellite/Copper(DSL land lines) et al parsed the crap out of the bandwidth to make more money trading off speed. Not so in Europe. They also looked to cherry pick and ultimately have a conflict of interest in Content Providers, kind of like the Wolves guarding the hen house. If you are in doubt - I’d start by believing NO ISP anymore has your interests in mind as job #1 and go from there.
  Does a Tier 1 have an inherit right to sell services at different speeds or bandwidths as they choose? That seems to be question #1
Question #2 is, if I’m Netflix and I’m locked in at “x” bandwidth with a Tier 1, and I find out that I’m being throttled because some other client of the Tier 1 needs some bandwidth and pays more so he get’s it and I get screwed and lose customers, who is at fault? This is what is happening with Comcast and Netflix in CT where a lot of people can’t even get a decent broadband connect of N’flix without wicked hahd cache-ing pauses even with a 100 MB/sec download speed as opposed to me here in L.A. with no cache problems and only 6MB/sec d’load for less than $40 a month (e-link). .
This IS important. I hope people get online and do the petition thing.
I still say we will be screwed by the Man as usual, but I want all of us to sleep well knowing we tried.  I’d like to think Google’s huge data farms and Apple’s huge data farms will sprout alternate Web Universes from the current .www sooner than later. No reason they couldn’t you know. Screw the widget, they could start alternate competing online Universes or dog forbid combine and Rule - wait, no ease up crack-boy - I forgot, one company gives stuff away for free and the other doesn’t….oh well.

ibuck

From the Chicken post:

[T]hese ISPs simply view these arbitrary tolls as new sources of revenue for their last mile bottleneck monopolies or as a way to unfairly discriminate against content that competes with the content the ISPs themselves supply.

Our elected government officials are the ones who allowed these monopolies, over our public rights of way, and our Congress critters allow the politically appointed FCC officials to permit telecom companies to throttle usage. Ending the monopolies and preventing huge mergers like Comcast acquring Time Warner is a crucial piece. We should all have several TV cable and broadband providers to chose from. And both prices and service would improve if we did. But these big corporations were granted monopolies and make tons of money, part of which are used to bribe, err, make campaign contributions to our elected officials. So the system doesn’t change unless we turn up the heat.

 

Lee Dronick

See this story. The FCC’s web host throttled the Commission’s connection.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/web-hosting-throttles-fcc/#!LBtJp

Terrin

Why I don’t like about articles like this is although they draw attention to important issues, they seldom let readers know where to comment to the appropriate officials.

http://www.fcc.gov/comments

People can tell the FCC what they think on both Net Neutrailty and the Comcast Time Warner merger.

Kelly Guimont

Terrin, the second page is exactly that. I listed a number of ways to get involved.

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