July 15 is the closing date for comments on the FCC’s proposal to let ISP’s create fast lanes to the internet — charging people for faster service, while likely deteriorating the service of those who can’t or won’t pay more. From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
Unfortunately, the FCC is considering a plan that would allow some Internet providers to provide better access to some websites that pay a fee to reach users faster. This kind of “pay-to-play” Internet stifles innovation. New websites that can’t afford expensive fees for better service will face new barriers to success, leaving users with ever fewer options and a less diverse Internet.
There are many ways ISPs may discriminate against how we access websites, and we stand firm in our opposition to this kind of behavior:
In 2007, Comcast was caught interfering with their customers’ use of BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer file sharing.
We’ve seen discriminatory traffic shaping that prioritizes some protocols over others, like when a Canadian ISP slowed down all encrypted file transfers for five years.
The FCC fined Verizon in 2012 for charging consumers for using their phone as a mobile hotspot.
If the internet is supposed to be key to how we live, work and learn, it doesn’t make sense to let a few grab better broadband service at the expense of the rest. What this would do is let these providers off of the hook for making the kind of improvements to broadband that has given Europeans faster and cheaper broadband (this is worth reading in its entirety — the Europe’s governments haven’t invested anything here. They’ve just insisted on more competition. ATT and Verizon are beneficiaries of this in Europe. Here, they are part of the cartel looking to kill competition.)
John Oliver has famously gone on a rant on his show re: Net Neutrality — one that led to the breaking of the FCC’s public comment system for a day or so. At the time, there were 45K comments, now it is more than 71K. There’s more than 300K emails to the FCC inbox set up to take comments on this.
So how to comment? You can email the FCC at email@example.com. Or you can go to the FCC’s Public Comments page for this docket item and post your comment there. The CREDO people have put together a response form that will send your comment directly to the FCC mailbox. This site helpfully suggests wording for your response that you can use in its entirety or modify as you want — but I think it also puts you on their mailing list.
And while you’re at it — be sure to contact Senator Carper and Coons and Representative Carney to tell them your opinions of Net Neutrality. July 15th is the last day for comment.
Here’s John Oliver brilliantly explaining the stakes involved (this has almost 5 million views!):
Tags: Net Neutrality