Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality
You may have heard the term "net neutrality" before and assumed it was yet another political issue you didn't have time to contemplate. Well, let us break it down for you because it's important. Like, really important.

Net neutrality means that internet service providers (those big communications companies that send you a bill every month) cannot prioritize certain companies or types of data. They can't charge you more to access certain websites and apps, or charge businesses for preferred (aka faster) access. The Obama administration implemented net neutrality rules to prevent the big guys from taking advantage of the little guys (aka you). 

Guess who cares about the big guys more than you? Yes, our President. Trump nominated Ajit Pai as the FCC Chairman and Pai now wants to undo net neutrality rules. Here's an example to show what this means:

Cable giant Comcast owns NBCUniversal's movies and TV shows and recently launched a streaming-video service called Xfinity Instant TV that features various cable channels. With current rules, Comcast can't provide more reliable access to its own service or slow down rival streaming signals. With current rules, there's a level playing field for all online services. It's, you know, fair.

With the proposed changes, Comcast would be free to slow down service from companies like, say, Netflix. They would be able to charge Netflix more for reliable signals. And they would be able to charge you more to access Netflix. 

Portugal serves as an example of a country without net neutrality. What's happened there is people choose whatever the big company (say, Comcast) offers because doing otherwise costs more. This means the rival players can't even get their foot in the door. Ultimately, the big companies win and the smaller companies lose. Ultimately, you have less choice and less control over the content you enjoy. Ultimately, there is less freedom for all.

If the goal is to make America great again, our President should ensure there are no threats to liberty. Allowing big companies to manipulate our access to content is a huge threat. 

So what can you do? Speak up. Tell your Facebook friends what's going on, reach out to your representatives (download the '5 calls' app to learn who your representatives are and how to call them. It's as easy as reading a pre-written script on a voicemail), send messages of concern to your internet service provider. And keep tabs on your freedoms. Don't take them for granted.