The Federal Communications Commission announced today that they are going to vote on December 14th to put an end to net neutrality rules next month. If passed this will be a disaster for both consumers and democracy. Conservatives and the Republican party have once again championed profits and private property rights in the name of “freedom.”
Despite their claims, the reality is that the end of net neutrality would be a direct path to corporate censorship and the end of the free flow of information online. The internet would be packaged just as propagandist cable television currently is- monopolistic, price gouging, speed throttling, swamp of customer service and frustration. The internet should be treated as a public utility and ought to be recognized as one, no different than electricity, gas or water.
While there are many valid arguments for market based ISP’s given the current costs, problems of infrastructure, access to information, and extremely limited competition- ending net neutrality is not a reasonable solution to the problem. Perhaps in the future when satellite and 5G networks become commonplace and these issues slowly dissipate there will be room to experiment here, but this terrain should be tread carefully.
So what can we do today? Tell the FCC why Net Neutrality is important to you. Speak with your relatives this Thanksgiving about Net Neutrality and why it’s important. Research more, and get informed. Stop taking the internet as we know it for granted.