I Support Net Neutrality

I see that a lot of people in my circle, this including both hearie community and deaf community are very concerned about Federal Communications Commission’s decision on repealing Net Neutrality. I am very glad that a lot of concerns going around because Net Neutrality is a serious matter for many of us, however I also seen many people who are either confused or misleading some others about what Net Neutrality is all about and what impact that it can do if Net Neutrality were to be repealed. First, Net Neutrality is not a law as some people seems to think they are and Net Neutrality is a policy made by Federal Communications Commission which is a federal agency that were founded by government to be the policymakers for the telecommunications. Federal government has several agencies to regulate some things, such as Federal Communications Commission were created by government to regulate television cable, radio, internet, wire, satellite and anything else that has to do with airwaves through the likes of satellites in space as they are what allows us to connect to some things through the airwaves such as internet (including cellular data), radio, television cable or others. Just like Health and Human Services is one of federal government’s agency to regulate healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid and anything else that has to do with our health or our wellbeing. So, you get the idea of Federal Communications Commission now and what authority or power they have which can be in a way good thing to limit the limitless power of the government under one roof to regulate everything – although they can but once they did they would have to go to these agencies to regulate them. Most of these agencies are meant to be independent but unfortunately, they assign anyone who has the same political party as the President or most of both senates and house.

Net Neutrality

Now, Federal Communications Commission who is in hands of a handpicked by the President Trump named Ajit Pai and Ajit Pai is a Republican himself which is the same political party as the current President of the United States along with the majority political party of both senates and house. Previous Federal Communications Commission chairman named Tom Wheeling who was appointed by previous President of the United States Barack Obama noticed that the internet providers begin to limit the customers access to the internet by either slowing down certain applications or websites or outright blocking their access to some things, before Net Neutrality became a policy there were a few internet providers in process of blocking their customers from using facetime on their iPhone or on their Mac computers because video conversation consumes the most data than any of others and the customers complained about their internet provider blocking an application that people use daily to have a face to face conversation with their family or friends. Previous Federal Communications Commission realized that the internet providers are being unfair to the customers, while at the same time forcing their customers to pay extra fees if they want their access back to certain things like Facetime and Federal Communications Commission decided to write a new policy named Net Neutrality to prevent the internet providers from taking any control of how their customers use their internet for whether it be to video chat with somebody or use the internet to stream some videos through a service like Netflix or Hulu. So, Net Neutrality was born with tons of support from tech giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Wikipedia and others while more than half of the internet providers against it because Net Neutrality puts a stop to their planning or future to find a way to charge the customers to have access to some of the things that they decided to block or to slow their internet to certain things which is called throttling.

Net Neutrality is there to make sure that the internet providers to provide the customers broadband internet with no controls of how the customers want to do with their internet – none whatsoever. The policy is there for the purpose to stop internet providers from limiting their access and while at the same time to stop them from having a control of their customers internet access in future. Some people says that the government shouldn’t put their hands in how to manage or to have a say in the internet. Guess what? That is what Net Neutrality is. The major thing about Net Neutrality is to make sure that no corporations or people to have a say or control the way or how we use our internet for.

Now with the new chairman in Federal Communications Commission named Ajit Pai, Federal Communications Commission is repealing the very thing that give us a such freedom over internet and the repeal is scheduled on December 14. What repealing Net Neutrality would means to us internet users? It would rollback to what it once was before Net Neutrality were put in a place, where the internet providers can get back to their planning of deciding how we use our internet for and what we use our internet for. It would also mean that the internet providers would be free to block Facetime once again as they did back in the year of 2014, a year before Net Neutrality were passed in Federal Communications Commission in the year of 2015 and I am sure that many of you remembered that the internet providers started to limit your bandwidth a while back then suddenly you have unlimited broadband internet again – thanks to Net Neutrality. That will happen again, limiting our bandwidth usage over our internet and even worse they can limit us only access to a search engine but block everything else.

Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+, Emails, Medium and others.
Video Streaming – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBOGo, YouTube and others.
Shopping Services – eBay, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Jet, Google Shopping and others.

So, in other word, we only have access to Google but if we find something in the search and it would likely block our access to these searches especially if they fall in the categories above such as social media websites or others. While offers us customers some options, if we want to have access to video streaming then we would have to pay for that option and this exclude subscriptions, so we would have to pay even more just to subscribe to a streaming service like Netflix. Think of it as like, if we want to have HBO for our television cable then we must pay for that so that we could watch HBO on our television cable and then pay for another channel such as Starz so that we could have two channels that we like (HBO and Starz) for our television cable. That exactly what will happen with the internet if Federal Communications Commission successfully repeals Net Neutrality and then we would have to pay each of these above (social media, streaming service, shopping services etc.) while paying the base price for the internet connectivity.

Who and What Impacts from Net Neutrality Repeal

Students and Educators

Students would be affected by Net Neutrality as the students heavily rely on the internet access for their research and studies by doing a search for vast information out there for many educational topics such as Math, Science, History, Biology and others. Because the students would more than likely use search engines to search for certain topics for their study or research on something, there are many different contents produced by many of people such as educators who wrote their researches for the students use or some articles by different outlets, so internet providers can block their access to certain sources that would be very important for the students’ research or study.

Bloggers and Journalists

News are very important thing for us, otherwise we wouldn’t have any idea what’s going on around us and in the world. As journalists or bloggers, internet providers would have the authority to block our access to our own blogs or our own local news website and or slow/limit our access to our own so that we could produce our articles for the readers to know what is happening in their area or outside their area such as current events. Internet providers can choose their preference of such outlet for us to use, they can even choose sources to fake news and block us access to real news.

Cell Phone and Tablet Users

Internet providers would have the right to slow, limit or block any applications we have on our smart phones or tablets. As there were some internet providers that blocked their customers from using Facetime outright, this was one of main reasons that the policy Net Neutrality were put in place so to make sure that we have access to everything or anything we wish to get access to with no limits whatsoever. By no limit, I mean even with 2GB data they can limit or block our access to Facetime or others while allowing us access to something else but at slow speed.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Deaf and Hard of Hearing rely heavily on the internet’s bandwidth more than the most because they use video relay service which consumes an insane amount of bandwidth and, they use Facetime to have a conversation with its peer using none other than their own language – American Sign Language. Besides Video Relay Service, Facetime is their way of calling people as just like the phone call for the hearing people. Repealing Net Neutrality would means that the internet providers can again outright block their access to Facetime, even outright block their access to their video relay service providers if they feel that they consume a lot of bandwidth which they do (more than ever) and even with American with Disabilities Act law in place the internet providers can say that they does not violate that law by only providing us access to one provider such as GlobalVRS while blocking other providers like Convo Relay, Sorenson, Purple, ZVRS and others. Deaf and Hard of Hearing rely on the internet at all time, so the impact of Net Neutrality repeal would be great for them and this will once again limit their communication hence they rely on the internet for communications purpose.

Developers and Designers

If it weren’t for developers and designers then there wouldn’t be a website, application and other services that we could use over the internet. It would also affect developers and designers as well especially that they are the ones who rely on the internet connection to connect the servers for them to build something that we use in our daily lives. Internet providers could as easily block or limit them from having internet connection to connect their servers for them to build and to maintain. In other words, the concept is same with the bloggers and journalists by limiting or possibly blocking their access to their work that help them to afford their family’s food on the table.

And many more others who would be affected by Net Neutrality repeal.

Keep Net Neutrality

I cannot fathom how important Net Neutrality is for everybody, repealing Net Neutrality would conflict with the United States ideology of “liberty and freedom” because repealing Net Neutrality would give all the internet providers scissors to snip our freedom over the internet especially our freedom to do what we want and how we want with the internet. I am one among many of people who uproars over the Net Neutrality repeal since the day one when we found out that Federal Communications Commission under Ajit Pai decided to call for Net Neutrality repeal and called for votes on December 14 so that means that we only have a few days to try everything we can to try to not have Net Neutrality repealed. If you don’t like the idea of giving the power back to internet providers to strip your freedom over internet and to control your internet usage, then there are a few things that you can do. Call your senators, representatives, federal communications commission and put pressure on them to not repeal Net Neutrality through social media like Facebook or Twitter. You can also file a comment at Federal Communications Commission with your thought of opposing Net Neutrality which I will show you how to do so.

These are the best four places for you to start, there are other ways but these four are the best place to start and then go from there. It is very important that we save Net Neutrality, let us forget if we are Republican or Democrat because without Net Neutrality in its place we wouldn’t have a such freedom that we at this moment have over the internet. It’s not just about us but also for our future generations to make sure that they still have fullest access to the internet as it is one of many ways that they can get some education while at home from school. I will not sugarcoat this but it’s going to be a very hard battle for us and without Net Neutrality, anyone who have access to internet will be affected.

Clarification or Question

If you have any question or need clarification, please do leave a comment below and let me know what question you have or what clarification do you need. Let’s get this ball rolling, I have already started, and I am joined with thousands of thousands of people along with tech giants fighting to keep Net Neutrality. Join the battle with us and in doing so this will bring more pressure to the Federal Communications Commission! Even there are few people who is on board at Federal Communications Commission begging us for our help to get them to keep Net Neutrality in place! You can find information about it in my last article under 11-24-2017 Snippets: http://www.joshiesworld.com/11-24-2017-snippets/

More information on Net Neutrality: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality

Joshua “Joshie” Sullivan

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