Net neutrality is a hot topic this week and rightfully so as the future of the Internet is at stake. While most of the dialogue has focused on what this means for consumers, let’s not forget the big losers will be small businesses and independent contractors who will be strangled by an unfair online marketplace.
In short, President Obama’s administration put into place specific protections to ensure equal access to the Internet. Service providers could not speed up, slow down or block content, applications, or the websites you visit. Trump’s administration wants to remove these protections, and his toadies are set to do just that.
The FCC is scheduled to vote on the rule December 14 which would allow powerful corporations to serve their content on “superhighways” while relegating the rest of use to the slow lane. Consumers would likely have to pay separately for reliable email service, streaming, cloud storage, etc. driving up costs and forcing even more advertising on you. It is everything you hate about your cell phone provider plus cable television multiplied by bad service times ten.
Scared? You should be.
This isn’t only about playing your favorite online game or watching movies. It is about how American business communicates. Imagine if you’re on a Verizon service trying to web chat with a customer who uses AT&T, and one or both of these massive corporations decide to slow your conversation and force you to pay for the privilege to conduct business. Now imagine if that conversation was crucial to you earning a living.
And if that doesn’t scare you, imagine being unable to access your work schedule online, apply for a job, or learn a new skill through an online video because you can’t afford the access costs. Or your GPS program is slow when you need to find an Emergency Room nearby. Or being prevented from researching self-treatment because you lost your health care. Or having your customers blocked from accessing your website because you don’t have a pricey subscription to all the primary service providers.
Not sufficiently motivated? Imagine how these new rules will influence future elections. Do you think that you would be able to read this?
I know each week I urge you to get involved, but this is important to our ongoing mission. Please contact Congress, and educate your coworkers and family about net neutrality. We need this victory.
My name is Brianna Westbrook, and I am running for the US House of Representatives in Arizona’s District 8. I want to protect your access to a free and fair Internet. Help me do so.
Contributing Editor: Brianna Westbrook
As a courageous leader and Democratic U.S. House Candidate for Arizona's 8th District, Brianna Westbrook fights for social and economic justice and environmental preservation, as she works to return America to a nation of equal opportunities for all.