The F.C.C. Announces Plans to Gut Net Neutrality
The New York Times is reporting that the Federal Communications Commission is moving ahead with plans to repeal rules that ensure equal access to the internet. The rules, commonly known as “Net Neutrality,” were put in place by the Obama administration in 2015 to prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or slowing down the delivery of certain websites, or charging extra fees to content providers and subscribers to have their material and access delivered faster. The rules also classified broadband internet as an essential service, the same classification as phones and electricity.
The repeal is being led by F.C.C. chairman Ajit Pai, a Trump appointee. The proposal is expected to be approved along party lines during a December 14th meeting.
Why is this important? And why are we posting about it on MetalSucks?
If the FCC gets rid of net neutrality protections, the Internet will never be the same. It will mean we all pay more money for a worse online experience. It affects every single person who uses the web, no matter who they are or where they live. Cable and phone companies want to get rid of net neutrality protections because if they can control what sites people use, they can abuse that power to hold popular websites hostage — saying if you don’t pay us we’ll destroy your ability to reach people. If ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner and AT&T can speed up and slow down sites for money, and force small businesses with websites to pay exorbitant fees, that’s a tax on everything. It hits all of us in the pocket, and will mean we all pay more for less.
For independently owned sites like MetalSucks, that means we could be forced to pay a fee to ISPs to have our site delivered to users at the same speed as bigger companies. Like thousands of other independent websites, we quite simply wouldn’t be able to afford it and we’d be stuck in the internet slow lane.
In the coming days and weeks leading up to the December 14th vote we’ll be participating in an effort to encourage Congress to strike down this proposal. We’ll update you as soon as we have more information.