FCC

FCC Voted To Repeal Net Neutrality

The votes are in and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted in favor of repealing the Net Neutrality Rules.

This decision will pull back the restrictions that internet providers have concerning how they treat their customers looking to get online. Now, companies like AT&T and Comcast are no longer prohibited from actions like blocking websites or charging for things like higher-quality service/speed or certain content.

These regulations first went into effect in 2015, through the Obama administration, as a way to protect US citizens who have turned to the internet for everyday use. 

That said, it was also Barack Obama who appointed Republican Ajit Pai, the current chairman of the FCC, as a way to bridge the gap between party lines.

Unfortunately, that seems to have backfired as Pai's time in the FCC has been nothing but problematic.

As reported by the New York Times:

The discarding of net neutrality regulations is the most significant and controversial action by the F.C.C. under Mr. Pai. In his first 11 months as chairman, he has lifted media ownership limitseased caps on how much broadband providers can charge business customers and cut back on a low-income broadband program that was slated to be expanded to nationwide carriers.

Despite Pai's plan to repeal Net Neutrality being hugely controversial and opposed, he backed up the idea recently in a video (where he also mocked those crying against the repeal).

Sadly, it seems that Pai won in the end as the vote became very party-biased and ultimately ruled 3 Republicans for the appeal (Pai, Brendan Carr, and Mike O'Rielly) and 2 Democrats (Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel) against it.

As you can imagine, the internet (or, at least Twitter) is not taking this decision well.

“We’re disappointed in the FCC’s decision to gut the net neutrality protections that ushered in an unprecedented era of innovation, creativity and civic engagement. Today’s decision is the beginning of a longer legal battle. Netflix will stand with innovators, large and small, to oppose this misguided FCC order.” - Netflix in a statement to Variety.

But this isn't the end of our fight for freedom on the internet.

First:

Second, you can bet there are several advocacy groups who are already setting up lawsuits to fight this repeal of Net Neutrality. One such person, who's been vocal about his plans, is New York State attorney Eric Schneiderman.

As with Trump's ban of transgender service people in the military, the FCC's act can be taken back by other branches of government.

But what does the FCC have to say about all this controversy its caused?

 

Net Neutrality Is At Risk

When you log on to the internet, be it on your phone, computer, or other device, you expect to be able to access all websites, applications and content of your choice. As the user, you want to be in control of what you are personally viewing or experiencing. That means if you check your email and then want to check Facebook and then want to peruse your favorite porn sites, blogs or even dating apps—you hope to do so without interruptions or interference. This, my friends, is Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is the foundation of internet use that protects our rights to communicate freely online—an internet that preserves our freedom of speech and privileges to all websites and applications without blocking or discriminating the content.

Without Net Neutrality, phone companies such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon could have the power to place the internet into what they consider to be fast and slow lanes. An Internet Service Provider (ISP) could block or slow down the access to a competitor’s content based on its own opinions or even charge extra fees to access more content—allowing only those who could afford it to view. Like those pesky premium accounts that already exists on apps, but worse!

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was pressured by millions of activists to instate Net Neutrality rules that keep the internet free and open for all—but now the Trump administration and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai have threatened to dismantle Net Neutrality.

If this succeeds, access to your internet browsing could be limited or disappear! No more unlimited streaming videos, no more entry to your daily dose of news or even, dare I say it? Reading this post or other Instinct Magazine content, etcetera etcetera.

On July 12thmany of the world’s biggest internet companies came together in protest against the FCC’s attack on Net Neutrality.

Here are how some giants made their voices heard:

Do you want to continue to freely access your favorite websites, apps and content wherever and whenever you want? You can help do your part to battle the regulations of Net Neutrality by sending a letter to the FCC and Congress HERE