The FCC has announced they plan on ending Net Neutrality and that spells doom for a free and open internet. We have always supported Net Neutrality and are asking you to do so as well. A vote is set for December 14, but we have the ability to make our voices heard to Congress who might be able to prevent what will be a disaster and corporate giveaway.
There are many different definitions of what exactly Net Neutrality is, but it’s basically the ability to the go where you want and do what you want on the internet without extra charges, artificially slow accessibility or blockages.
Net Neutrality protects us the consumer as well as benefits creators. It stops internet providers from slowing down, degrading, or even blocking content or access to online content. It also prevents deals where those with deep pockets can pay to be heard over start-ups or other competitors. When over 70% of Americans have only one option for internet providers in their area, this is a big deal.
But here’s possible scenarios in a world without Net Neutrality, and outlines why this is important:
- Your internet provider provides you the option to buy voice over internet from them, so they decide to degrade or block the competition, making them the only real option,
- Your internet provider owns some of the content it delivers (for example Comcast and NBC) and block other services to watch the same or similar content so you have to use their video on demand service,
- An exclusive deal is struck where a service, say a video game platform or digital comics platform, pay and become the only distributor or platform of that content through your internet provider,
- Business pay, or people have to pay, to have their content delivered quicker, in an age where ever millisecond counts (think stock trading or online ticket buying). The haves can outpace the have-nots when it comes to online activities.
We don’t need to imagine what it’ll be like, we can just look towards Portugal to see our future.
Comic creators too should care about Net Neutrality.
- In today’s business world scripts and art are sent around the globe and without protection expect slower upload and download speeds and paying more to conduct business. Enjoy going back to sending files on CD or hard drive.
- Your ability to chat through video such as Skype might be diminished.
- And, say goodbye to digital and web comics as consumer speeds are decreased to the degree that there’s no point in attempting to download a file or wait for images to load and that’s after paying for the privilege to do so.
I can go on and on with these types of scenarios, and Comcast and Verizon have been fighting to end Net Neutrality and the internet as we know it. And with the consolidation of of internet service providers and content the scenarios become even more bleak.
The idea of Net Neutrality is to keep the internet a free and open platform for innovation and expression.