On November 21, 2017, FCC chairman Pai unveiled plans to repeal the net neutrality policy in the United States. A vote will be held on December 14, 2017, with a 3–2 party-line vote expected to approve the repeal.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.
A widely cited example of a violation of net neutrality principles was the Internet service provider Comcast’s secret slowing (“throttling”) of uploads from peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P) applications by using forged packets. Comcast did not stop blocking these protocols, like BitTorrent, until the FCC ordered them to stop. In another minor example, The Madison River Communications company was fined US$15,000 by the FCC, in 2004, for restricting their customers’ access to Vonage, which was rivaling their own services. AT&T was also caught limiting access to FaceTime, so only those users who paid for AT&T’s new shared data plans could access the application. In July 2017, Verizon Wireless was accused of throttling after users noticed that videos played on Netflix and Youtube were slower than usual, though Verizon commented that it was conducting “network testing” and that net neutrality rules permit “reasonable network management practices”.
It should be noted that current acting chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai, was a Verizon lawyer!
My Example of how this works.
To put this in a simple example. Imagine your water line coming into your residence. You get 50psi of water pressure to do with as you please for almost a set monthly rate, we will say $80/mo. You can take a shower, use the water dispenser on the fridge, flush the toilet, wash your car, water your garden, do the dishes, do your laundry, fill your pool, and water your yard, among other things.
Now imagine a world where if you wanted to shower it would cost you $2/mo. extra, and if you wanted to flush your toilet $2/mo. extra, wash your car $5/mo. extra, do the dishes $5/mo. extra, use your water dispenser on the fridge $5/mo. extra. I think you get the picture. Now lets take this a little further. If you signup with AT&T Water, you can use the shower and flush your toilet for free, and they will deliver fresh spring water to your fridge water dispenser along with a choice of POP, and one additional flavor. The price is included in your water bundle of $80/mo., but to use your other water outlets to wash your car or do dishes it is still $5/mo. extra. If you signup with Verizon Water, you still pay $80/mo. but they will give you spring water in the fridge water dispenser, but all other charges still apply. If you signup for Comcast Water, you still pay $80/mo. and the water you get delivered to your house may not be drinkable.
Now imagine the same scenario but another added twist. Imagine if you will that there is a quality of pressure scale that is controlled by your chosen water provider. -10 to 10, with 0 (zero) being neutral. -10 would be 5psi of water pressure and 10 would be 100psi of water pressure and 0 is the neutral/default 50psi. Your chosen water provider has now decided that you need to pay more to get priority water delivery, you decided not to do this but all your neighbors did. Now when you take a shower all your neighbors get 100psi of water pressure and you get 5psi. They have prioritized the delivery of the water to those that chose to pay for the premium delivery of high pressure over those that did not choose to.
Not only that, but imagine that the water provider actually has the ability to completely prevent you from showering, watering your garden or flushing your toilet as they see fit. The only requirement is that they let you know they are going to do it. Beyond that they are allowed to turn things off/on as they see fit. Maybe they got mad at a refrigerator manufacture for using too much water in their dispenser, so they decide to shut that service off.
If you think this scenario is a nightmare and not possible, think again. This is precisely what Net Neutrality is preventing and why it is so very important to make sure it stays in place and is not repealed on December 14th. Currently ISPs are regulated like a public utility just like your water provider, but if Net Neutrality is repealed the a fore mentioned scenario will become a reality.
It is imperative that everyone call their congress representative immediately and let them know you want Net Neutrality to stay.
Call your Senators and Representatives. Tell them to support net neutrality: 202-224-3121
This is a great link for contact information and banners.
Another link to resources for contact info.
Here is a link search for the image we discussed. This image has made the rounds on social media and is a glimpse of what possibly could be coming. Sorry no link directly to the source image.