Today’s the day. The day you help save the internet from being ruined.
(Long story short: The FCC is about to make a critical decision as to whether or not internet service providers have to treat all traffic equally. If they choose wrong, then the internet where anyone could start a website for any reason at all, the internet that’s been so momentous, funny, weird, and surprising—that internet could cease to exist. Here’s your chance to preserve a beautiful thing.)
Guys, this is extremely important. I know I haven’t been around much, and that this doesn’t really coincide with an rp blog, but if you use the internet and enjoy its present fast speeds, please, please, PLEASE contact your senator. If you’re American, you’re a potential voter, ie, you’re the one who GIVES this person their job, so your opinion, believe it or not, matters to them. Staff’s post is a little too vague about what ISPs are planning to do for my liking, so below I’ve pasted an editorial I read that pretty much nails it on the head in layman’s terms for those of you who still don’t know exactly what all this net neutrality business is about yet. PLEASE READ! Thanks, and best. :)
Want to check Facebook? It’s only $20 a month! Want to Google something? That’s 50 cents a search. Want to stream Netflix? Sorry, but they couldn’t pay their fees. Feel free to stream brand new Comcast Turbofast® Video, where you can watch a 30 minute show in almost 2 hours!
Don’t panic. This isn’t happening. Yet.
Netflix, Youtube, Skype, and many other wonderful resources of the Internet may be at risk due to a recent ruling by the Federal Communications Commission. According to the Wall Street Journal, the FCC rules say that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can legally charge the websites who use their service with a fee for a supposed “fast lane” of enhanced Internet speeds. This decision puts ISPs in position to control the data that goes through their wires. If ISPs have that power, they can dictate which companies can survive on the Internet, and that doesn’t bode well for any company that is a threat to either of the two major ISPs in the US.
Comcast and Time Warner are television and phone companies as well as ISPs. Naturally, they don’t play well with companies like Netflix and Skype, who potentially conflict with those TV and phone interests. Under the new ruling, Comcast could, say, slow Netflix’s streaming speed until Netflix pays for the supposed “fast lane.” Unfortunately, this is not a hypothetical. Comcast did just that, recently settling with Netflix for a monstrous fee that ultimately merely returned Netflix to its previous operating speed. ISPs have already targeted their internet-based competition and held them up for additional fees in order to receive “fast lane” service, and the FCC just made those shake-downs legal.
Under the paid prioritization system, startups and small businesses that lack the profit margins of their bigger competitors will be driven off the Internet when they are unable to pay for the “fast lane.” Those companies will be forced to offer frustratingly slow speeds to their customers, driving their customers to the established competition. Larger companies will be forced to charge for their services, even on an individual basis. This system will make the services of large corporations like Google and Apple more expensive, and it will stifle the creativity of small start-ups and niche websites that has made the Internet a great marketplace of innovation. If nothing is done, the Internet might stop being an open platform where anyone can access any source through their ISP. Instead, it may become more of a pay-to-play system, and you, the consumer, will have to pick up that charge on your end.
The key to a functioning free market is having as even of a playing field as possible. We need fair competition on the Internet as badly as we need it anywhere else. ISPs have already been angling for greater and greater control over every aspect of the Internet for years. There is already little to no choice in service providers, which is why Comcast and Time Warner can afford to offer some of the slowest Internet speeds in the developed world while still maintaining their customer bases. This latest FCC decision gives ISPs yet another weapon in their battle for monopolization. When ISPs have the power to discriminate in their bandwidth allotment, the Internet stops being free.
This brand of monopolization via selective service has come up before in industries like railroads, shipping, telecommunications, and other services that transport goods or information from Point A to Point B. Corporations in those areas tried to gain control over the goods they ship in order to increase their profit margins at the expense of the economy as a whole. The FCC and other government entities have prevented it in the past by classifying these kinds of companies as “common carriers.” The only ones who don’t think that ISPs, companies which transport data from a producer to a consumer, fit the definition of common carriers are the ISPs themselves and, apparently, the FCC.
If ISPs aren’t classified as common carriers, they can continue to conglomerate and to gain undue control over the Internet. Common carrier status for ISPs will be a huge step in protecting data equality and preserving a fair and open Internet. Net neutrality is one of the most important and overlooked causes of our time. Students have the opportunity to let their voices be heard on the matter. Call your representatives in Congress, and let them know that the FCC should classify Internet Service Providers as common carriers. The FCC is also taking comments from the public at fcc.gov/comments.
cough ”Er, uhhh… ‘Sup, Dragon-bro? Me? Oh, y’know, just deliverin’ a free pizza, ‘cuz surprise! It’s uh, free… pizza… customer appreciation month! Heh. Yeahhh…”
"I’ll just drop this and go. Like I was never here…"
Casey pumped his fist triumphantly. “YE-HES!”
"Trust me, Red, it’s worth it for the Lost Boys anyway. Both the vampires and the vampire hunters are cool. How sick is that? Let’s just forget about all that math junk.”
"You don’t have the luxury of forgetting it, Jones. Not when you’re this close from being dropped from the hockey team."
Sighing, April side-eyed him with the barest hint of an exasperated smile. “One movie. Then it’s back to the books. Deal?”
What would… turtles teach? Gee, um… I don’t know?
As for Irma, she would probably teach investigative journalism—for so many reasons. And Casey? Pain 101. (Don’t ask.)
Not sure what a splinter could teach you. Not to handle old wood, I guess?
"Okay, not really, but I don’t really have a favorite subject… Maybe Biology, but all the sciences taught at Roosevelt seem pretty fundamental when your dad read you bedtime stories from science journals as a kid."
"Yeah, well it ain’t like that’s anything new."
"Well it ain’t me fault that the stupid math thing sounds like socks and Krakatoa. Plus sock-Krakatoa makes no sense anyway.”
"That’s not what it—"
"You know what? Fine. Movie fest sounds good right about now. I think we could both use a break.”
"But the Lost Boys is next, Red! I can’t miss that! C’moooon!!!"
"Yeah? Because if you ask me, you’re already lost.”
"Really, Casey. We’ve been going over SOHCAHTOA for weeks now."
"How am I supposed to ‘clear my mind and concentrate’ to… that soundtrack?”
April gestured over her shoulder right as Raph chased a squealing Mikey by the doorway to the dojo, snarling threats like a raging bear. As if meditation wasn’t already difficult when it was quiet… “I don’t know how you do it, Leo.”
"Don’t ‘but Reeeed’ me, Casey Jones!"
"We’re not going to that monster movie fest until you finish this problem set."
April’s mouth twisted into an uncertain frown as she peered down the long, sloping sewer channel that plunged like a water slide into pitch darkness below. She didn’t fully trust it to be as “safe” as Mikey claimed it to be, but after stealing a timid glance at his proudly beaming face, she knew that as long as he was with her, she would never be hurt.
Blowing her bangs away from her eyes with a resigned huff, she coupled a weak shaka sign with a brave smile. Then, taking a running leap onto her trashcan lid, she whooped a playful ”Booyakasha!”—the last syllable pitching into a delighted scream as she flushed down the tunnel in a rush of exhilaration.