The first YouTube video I ever watched was of Ted Kennedy speaking about the importance of net neutrality. As I learned what net neutrality was through the video, it surprised me someone of Kennedy’s age had any grasp on the concept. But then I realized that net neutrality had nothing to do with technology and everything to do with money and power. And the Kennedy family knows a lot about money and power.
Net Neutrality means that the internet like highways, an information superhighway if you will. Highways are built and maintained based on tolls. Much like internet infrastructure is built, upgraded, and maintained by the monthly bill you get from your internet service provider (ISP for short). Nothing wrong there. Food, water, shelter, heating all cost money. Net neutrality is NOT about making the internet free of charge.
Net neutrality means that all data on the internet is treated the same. Checking email is the same as binge watching Netflix. Regardless of specific content OR bandwidth usage. Net neutrality is currently the norm for the internet you and I access from our computers, NOT from our smart phones.
Anti net neutrality advocates aka the telecomm companies and ISPs want all internet to be priced like smart phone internet access aka tiered by usage.
Pro net neutrality advocates aka anyone who isn’t rich as fuck, want to make sure the ISPs and telecoms don’t gain any additional power over the internet and its content. Why? Because absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is feared/believed that if a tier based charging system will be a floodgate to a labyrinth of tiered charges or a slippery slope.
Like how anti drug advocates say marijuana is a slippery slope to cocaine, heroin, homelessness, prostitution, robbery, prison, and spending $800 to attend an EDM concert. Pro net neutrality advocates believe tiered service is a slippery slope to customers being price gauged AND denied content. Not only will you be charged for certain amount of usage but you’ll be charged more to access Hulu, OR less depending on what ISP you have. If you have Comcast (who is part owner of Hulu) they might allow Hulu to load faster and cheaper on your computer but charge you more and/or completely block you from accessing Netflix, YouTube, etc.
Ask yourself, do you really believe if net neutrality is taken off the books permanently, will ISPs not charge more for service? Will they not cut deals with certain content providers? Will they not nickel and dime you, me, and every internet user in the world a little bit more every single year? Even more so than they do already that is, how much was your internet and cable bill ten years ago? Think it’s only increased because of inflation?
The end of net neutrality is literally the end of the internet as we know it. Plain and simple. This is a fight you can’t choose to ignore. Sign a petition, write a letter, attend a protest. Because if you ever want to watch cute cat videos for hours at a time again, for what you’re paying now, then net neutrality is for you.