The Net Neutrality Debate in 3 Minutes
Indie filmmakers and citizen journalists: Now is the time to act!
The FCC has proposed a system that would allow broadband providers to discriminate against you!
Read it for yourself: On April 24th, 2014, Tom Wheeler, the Federal Communications Commission Chairman, proposed new rules allowing internet providers (e.g., Comcast, Verizon, etc.) to charge content providers additional sums to reach customers with speeds that would support video-streaming without buffering.
Instead of an equal playing field, the web could become like TV - with a few large corporations favoring content they have created or control.
The rest of us? Relegated to a second tier of low-quality slow-streaming.
And what about small companies that potentially offer better solutions and need access to online video viewers?
As one of the founders of Reddit, Alex Ohanian, told the Wall Street Journal (in an article from April 30th, 2014): "What so many of us fear, if we lose net neutrality, is that the best ideas might not win because they're the best... The incumbents may stay on top because they've cut deals with this oligopoly."
But the big companies have all the money and lobbyists: What can we do?
And the time to raise our voices is NOW!
Activists are in the early stages of organizing a massive online protest for May 15, 2014!
But don't wait until May 15th.
If you care about Net Neutrality, email the FCC <firstname.lastname@example.org> and your representative in Congress NOW and tell them that allowing a "fast lane" for those who can pay (big media companies) will hurt innovation and could lead to the effective silencing of millions of online voices who can't afford the "pay-for-priority" prices that the telecoms will be allowed to charge under the FCC's proposed system.
Don't accept reassuring double-talk. The FCC chairman must explain how giving preferential treatment to a few big companies won't "degrade the service for all for the benefit of a few."
The ISPs are relying on their lobbyists to push these changes through. This is an important battle for the future of the internet - and our voices need to be heard.
If the FCC uses its discretion wisely, for example, to reclassify broadband providers as common carriers as a way to ensure net neutrality, then the ISPs will NOT be allowed to give certain content providers preferential treatment.
Tell the FCC to protect net neutrality and treat ISPs as common carriers.
Thanks to Hank for debating himself so effectively.