On Thursday, December 15, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality – which are basically rules and regulations put in place under the Obama administration that keep internet service providers (ISPs), for lack of a better word, neutral. Net neutrality makes sure that ISPs don’t unfairly prioritize online content, overcharge their users, or filter certain websites and applications. For example, this prevents ISPs from jacking up the prices on popular streaming services (like Netflix) because of particular movies or shows they might offer.
And that’s a good thing. A very good thing.
It’s a way of telling ISPs, “You can’t just go putting additional prices on whatever websites or videos you want!”
Now that the FCC has voted to repeal these regulations, you’re probably wondering: what now?
Lucky for us, steps have already been (and can still be) taken in order to save net neutrality. This battle is far from over. A number of advocacy groups like Free Press are rallying against the FCC’s decision. Attorney generals have also threatened to sue the FCC in several states including New York, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington.
According to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a vast majority of commissions’ public comments regarding the repeal were, in fact, fake. Before the vote took place, several members of Congress suggested holding the vote (originally set to be December 14th) at a later date in order to investigate the number of bots and identity theft plaguing those comments.
States have decided to take measures into their own hands in order to make sure the FCC is held accountable for their decision and what it will cost millions of Americans.
If you want to aid the fight against the FCC, it is imperative that you call or email congress detailing why net neutrality should be saved. There are several online petitions going around as well, but contacting congress directly is the best way to make your voice heard – and the best way to take advantage of the voice we are given as American citizens.