On December 14th, 2017 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality rules put in place in 2015 under Title II to encourage and protect an open and free internet. The repeal comes as both a surprise and a concern to many American citizens who are unsure how the repeal will affect them, and what the consequences are of eradicating net neutrality protections.
So what is net neutrality, and what does it mean for the millions of Americans who use the internet and its many services and applications, such as videoconferencing or movie streaming? We’ll cover the basics and how you can help keep the internet free and fair for everyone.
What is Net Neutrality?
First passed in February 2015 by the FCC, net neutrality regulations reclassified broadband as a common carrier; in other words, the internet was to be treated like a utility. This meant internet service providers, also known as ISPs, would have to:
- support an open and free internet by promising not to censor or discriminate against any content, and
- treat all legal internet traffic equally.
Thanks to a free and open internet, we can currently access our favorite websites, movies, shows and games at a reliable speed.
Why is Net Neutrality Important to Me?
Unfortunately, ISPs have a track record of abusing open internet rights prior to net neutrality. In 2013-2014, Comcast and Verizon famously took advantage of their power by throttling Netflix speeds for users to bully Netflix into paying sky-high rates for prioritized access.
Without net neutrality, large companies such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T will be in charge of our access to the internet and can control:
- what we view, read or say;
- how (and how quickly) we view, read or say things; and
- different ideas and opinions.
A loss of net neutrality can easily lead to a loss of freedom of speech, ending with all content you see or read carefully controlled by a handful of corporations.
How Can I Help Protect a Free and Open Internet?
Currently, the net neutrality repeal vote can be challenged and reversed by congress. You can help restore net neutrality regulations and fight for a free and open internet by:
- contacting your lawmakers and showing your support for net neutrality,
- urging lawmakers to file a resolution of disapproval on the repeal, and
- spreading the word to family and friends about the importance of net neutrality.
The FCC and ISPs must be shown citizens and customers not only expect an open and free internet, but deserve it as well. The internet is for everyone to enjoy and by working together we can protect it.
Finally, How Does This Affect SecureVideo Customers?
If passed, this ruling would effect everyone, including us. We can’t predict the extent, but we stand by our customers and we are dedicated to upholding the highest standards in the industry. As a SecureVideo customer, you’ll continue to have reliable service from us.
One thought on “What You Need to Know About Net Neutrality”
CNN reports that the official end of net neutrality is set on April 23 this year! The Verge.com says that States and other parties will be able to sue. So I guess in with the bad, comes the good also.