Web democratization, which basically guarantees that users, whether rich or poor, will have the same access to information, is at risk. Communications companies and Republicans would like to change the system we currently have.
They want to eliminate the concept of “net neutrality,” under which all users are treated the same. By opposing federal regulations, they seek to manipulate how quickly information goes through the internet in order to earn more.
For example, an internet communications companywhether AT&T, Verizon or anotherwould be able to charge Netflix a special rate to give it priority and faster speed compared to other websites. Meaning, a company would decide which content gets priority (based on revenue) and slow down access to content it considers less productive. This puts consumers in second place, depending on a company’s strategy and their ability to pay.
This change hurts the average consumer, who will be unable to pay for the express lane and will be left behind in the slow lane. Today, information is mostly accessible to everyone the same way. Changing net neutrality can stop community organizations and advocates from having the same access they currently have.
The industry has said it needs this change in order to grow, while Republicans would rather protect businesses instead of consumers. Senator Ted Cruz, unsurprisingly, said that net neutrality “is Obamacare for the Internet.”
President Obama did the right thing yesterday when he publicly supported net neutrality. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will soon have to make a decision about the future of net neutrality.
We hope that the FCC declares the internet to be similar to a public utility, like water and power. This will protect neutrality and equal access for everyone.
The internet has reached around the world, giving individuals access to huge amounts of information. We can’t let the private sector take control of it and decide who has access to which information and at which speed. Allowing this would be a big step backwards for the technology revolution