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Defend Net Neutrality: Stop the War on the Internet

The cable companies with the help of the White House, and some in Congress, want to completely turn over the Internet to big business. This would effectively destroy the Internet as we know it. The corporations already own much of the World. We musn't allow them to completely control the Internet. It is our only way of fighting them on an equal basis.

What is Net Neutrality

Battle for the Net
  • Net neutrality is the idea that everyone should have equal and unfettered access to every website on the Internet. (source)
  • Net Neutrality is the Internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. This is the definition of an open Internet.
     
    Net Neutrality means an Internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn't decide who you can call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn't be concerned with the content you view or post online.
     
    Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the Internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP could slow down its competitors' content or block political opinions it disagreed with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open Internet. (source)
  • Tim Wu, 41, a law professor at Columbia University, isn’t a direct participant in the rule making, but he is influencing it. A dozen years ago, building on the work of more senior scholars, Mr. Wu developed a concept that is now a generally accepted norm. Called “net neutrality,” short for network neutrality, it is essentially this: The cable and telephone companies that control important parts of the plumbing of the Internet shouldn’t restrict how the rest of us use it. (Source)

The Internet is Threatened

  • If the government doesn't act soon, this open internet — and the "network neutrality" principles that sustain it — could be a thing of the past. Profits and corporate
    Keep the Internet free
    disfavor of controversial viewpoints or competing services could change both what you can see on the Internet and the quality of your connection. And the need to monitor what you do online in order to play favorites means even more consumer privacy invasions piled on top of the NSA's prying eyes.
    (Source: ACLU)
  • Yet the Federal Communications Commission insists that its priority as a regulatory agency is to ensure the rights of the largest telecommunications companies to profit where profit can be made. The FCC isn’t proposing Network neutrality, it’s legalizing discrimination. As a nation struggling to close historic racial and economic gaps, I’d say we’ve had enough of that. (Source)
  • F.C.C. has signaled its intention to grant cable and telephone companies the right to charge content companies like Netflix, Google, Yahoo or Facebook for speeding up transmissions to people’s homes. And this is happening as the F.C.C. is considering whether to bless the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which could put a single company in control of the Internet pipes into 40 percent of American homes. (NY Times article, May 10, 2014)
  • When we log onto the Internet, we take lots of things for granted. We assume that we'll be able to access whatever Web site we want, whenever we want to go there. We assume that we can use any feature we like -- watching online video, listening to podcasts, searching, e-mailing and instant messaging -- anytime we choose. We
    Net neutrality
    assume that we can attach devices like wireless routers, game controllers or extra hard drives to make our online experience better.
What makes all these assumptions possible is "Network Neutrality," the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet. Net Neutrality means that Internet service providers may not discriminate between different kinds of content and applications online. It guarantees a level playing field for all Web sites and Internet technologies. But all that could change.
The biggest cable and telephone companies would like to charge money for smooth access to Web sites, speed to run applications, and permission to plug in devices. These network giants believe they should be able to charge Web site operators, application providers and device manufacturers for the right to use the network. Those who don't make a deal and pay up will experience discrimination: Their sites won't load as quickly, and their applications and devices won't work as well. Without legal protection, consumers could find that a network operator has blocked the Web site of a competitor, or slowed it down so much that it's unusable.
The network owners say they want a "tiered" Internet. If you pay to get in the top tier, your site and your service will run fast. If you don't, you'll be in the slow lane. (Source)
Congress is trying to kill Net Neutrality

Who's to blame if we Lose Net Neutrality: The FCC

  • This wouldn't be as much of a threat to the open Internet if there were genuine competition among providers, so you could take your business elsewhere if your ISP was turning the public Web into its own private garden. In the U.S., there's no practical competition. The vast majority of households essentially have a single broadband option, their local cable provider. Verizon and AT&T provide Internet service, too, but for most customers they're slower than the cable service. Some neighborhoods get telephone fiber services, but Verizon and AT&T have ceased the rollout of their FiOs and U-verse services--if you don't have it now, you're not getting it.

    Who deserves the blame for this wretched combination of monopolization and profiteering by ever-larger cable and phone companies? The FCC, that's who. The agency's dereliction dates back to 2002, when under Chairman Michael Powell it reclassified cable modem services as "information services" rather than "telecommunications services," eliminating its own authority to regulate them broadly. Powell, by the way, is now the chief lobbyist in Washington for the cable TV industry, so the payoff wasn't long in coming. (source)
  • Despite their earlier opposition, two Democrats on the Federal Communication Commission joined with the third, chair Tom Wheeler, to move forward with his proposed rule that would allow broadband companies to create, and
    charge for, a fast-lane of service for companies delivering content over the internet. That breaks net neutrality. The vote opens up a 120-day comment period, until July 15, when the FCC will vote on a final rule. (source)
  • "CNBC's Closing Bell hid its own conflict of interest and the industry ties of the telecommunications industry front group Broadband for America while providing co-chairs of the group a platform to attack government regulations of the Internet and broadband access." (source)

Loss of NN Means Less Innovation

  • "Of course, Internet providers have long offered different qualities of service to consumers for varied pricing. For example, a small business that makes extensive use of video conferencing has the option of paying more for a more robust connection, and that's fine. Problems arise, however, when instead of allowing consumers to choose what quality of service they want to receive, ISPs decide to make choices for their users, playing favorites and providing faster or slower connections to certain
    websites. At that point, user choice becomes a smaller and smaller driver for innovation." (source)

Organizations fighting for NN

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