Net Neutrality is back in the news. Here is what is going on and what you need to know.
Net Neutrality is a thing.
When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, he didn’t need to ask Comcast, Verizon, or other internet service providers (ISPs) to add Facebook to their networks. He also didn’t have to pay those companies extra fees to ensure that Facebook would work as well as the websites of established companies. Instead, as soon as he created the Facebook website, it was automatically available from any internet-connected computer in the world.
That’s network neutrality. It’s the idea that these companies should treat all internet traffic equally. It says your ISP shouldn’t be allowed to block or degrade access to certain websites or services, nor should it be allowed to set aside a “fast lane” that allows content favored by the ISP to load more quickly than the rest.
Timothy B. Lee, 9 questions about network neutrality you were too embarrassed to ask, Vox
President Obama said important things about Net Neutrality.
It actually might have been better if he hadn’t have said anything, because now opponents of net neutrality can say “Look! Barack Obama is for it so it sucks! You should hate it!” Actually, that is exactly what happened.
Ted Cruz is a pretty smart guy, I’m sure. He knows that Obamacare and Net Neutrality aren’t really anything like each other or that the President is not even really in control of the FCC. This was purely “Obama said he likes it, so I hate it. Retweet me.” Like I said before, I’ll be glad when Obama is gone, not because I don’t like him, but because it means that campaigns will have to be about the issues as opposed to Obama.
Net neutrality is not the best issue to pick a fight on however, seeing as though John Oliver can spur internet commenters to get turnt up to the point of breaking the FCC Webpage.
Experts have weighed in, too:
Look. Net Neutrality is important. You might not think so now, but just wait until whatever you are trying to download gets there a whole lot slower. The cable companies have lobbyists and other people who get paid to do this so we need to fight on our side as well. If you don’t think that this is an important matter then I respectfully disagree. Information travels over the internet and has been used for good things like OWS, Citizen Reporting of Police Contacts and plenty of things other than cat videos. How we get our information is vital and important and doesn’t need to go to whoever has the best lobbyist or most money.
Let me also say that this is an important reason why you should vote. Just like Ted Cruz said something, you voting will say something to Washington about this. While the FCC is an independent agency, you can send a statement to Washington about it by who you vote for. There’s plenty of time between now and the next elections to get your voting stuff in check for it.
Learn about Net Neutrality and take action.
Net Neutrality by the NYT