Earlier this year the highest appeals court in the land ruled in favor of Verizon and against the FCC (Verizon v. FCC), ultimately concluding that the agency did not have the jurisdiction to enforce its Open Internet Order under the Telecommunications Act.
This caused a ripple effect, with companies like Netflix finding themselves forced to pay for faster lanes to broadband providers like Comcast. Other companies like Google and Facebook were already paying for these fees. Ultimately these extra fees being paid by content providers will cost customers like you and I more money because content providers have to recoup those fees somewhere.
Instead of lobbying Congress to rewrite the laws that govern public utilities like telephone services to include broadband services, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler decided to refine the Open Internet Order to allow companies like Comcast and Verizon to charge companies for access to faster pipes.
If this is allowed to happen it is ultimately the end of net neutrality as we currently know it. Net Neutrality was flawed to begin with because it allowed ISPs to institute data caps, but this new move by the FCC is a huge step backwards.
The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) is one of the many internet rights groups and watchdogs concerned that the FCC, now being run by a former lobbyist, has lost its way. It needs your help to let the FCC know in no uncertain terms that the direction they plan on going is the wrong direction for Americans.
Here's more from ECA Advocacy Director Brett Schenker
In January, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s Net Neutrality rules in Verizon v. FCC. This decision makes consumer use of the internet unknown, especially regarding how protected we are from the whims of internet service providers. Keep in mind that over 70% of consumers have only one choice for their area. The FCC has announced the intention of new “Net Neutrality” rules that leaves a whole big enough for internet service providers and content producers to raise your rates through.
Net Neutrality – and the internet as we know it – protects consumers from ISPs slowing down, degrading, and even blocking online content and access. The idea of Net Neutrality is to keep the internet a free and open platform for innovation and expression. What these rules do is create the ability for internet providers to charge for fast lanes, creating a two tiered internet. They’ll of course charge for those fast lanes either to content providers or us the consumer. No matter what, bills will increase and we’ll continue to pay more than the rest of the world for sub-par service.
Do you want to pay even more for your internet service? No? Then speak up now!
If this passes, the definition of an “open internet” is, the more you pay up, the more open it can get. It will be a death knell for Net Neutrality. In the world where these rules exist it won’t be the content providers that pay, it’ll be us – the consumers. Take a stand now.