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Today, November 21, 2017- will be a day which will be remembered as a date of inglorious infamy and the day that the United States of America, the land of the free and home of the brave, took a giant step towards totalitarianism.
Today, open season was declared against our First Amendment right to freedom of speech via the internet with the Federal Communications Commission announcement just hours ago, that it planned to abolish net neutrality by dismantling landmark regulations that ensure access to the internet, clearing the way for giant telecommunications monopolies to charge astronomical prices for internet use and allows companies to block access to websites.
This decision by the F.C.C. is a reprehensible abomination and must be challenged by every patriotic American since net neutrality safeguards the free exchange of ideas and freedom from censorship. The F.C.C.’s decision to abolish net neutrality allows the federal government and monopolistic telecommunication companies to restrict what we say and do on the internet.
The fundamentally important principle of net neutrality guarantees that internet service providers can’t restrict or regulate internet access. Net neutrality also prevents internet service providers from doing secret activities that restrict our internet usage and charge steep prices for internet access.
F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai proposed today to repeal rules put in place by the Obama administration, that prohibit high-speed internet service providers from blocking or slowing down the delivery of websites and allows parasitical internet service providers to charge steep fees for the streaming and other services for their subscribers.
The F.C.C.’s undermining of net neutrality allows coercive telecom monopolies like AT&T to become gatekeepers of who can use the internet. The undermining of net neutrality will these giant telecom companies to exert more and more control over what average Americans do on the internet and this is a direct assault on the First Amendment.
As the New York Times reported today, online companies like Amazon say that the telecom companies would be able to show preferential treatment to certain web services, by charging for accessing some sites but not others, or by slowing the connection speed to some sites. Small online companies say the proposal would hurt innovation. Only the largest companies, they say, would be able to afford the expense of making sure their sites received preferred treatment.
I am well aware that many of my Libertarian and pro-Capitalist brethren think the today’s F.C.C. decision to abolish net neutrality is a good thing for the free enterprise system, but this is not so. Abolishing net neutrality just allows giant telecom monopolies to control and regulate the internet for a steep price.
Abolishing net neutrality allows giant and powerful internet service providers to discriminate on who uses the internet based on their ability to pay and allows these providers to charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment and method of communication. Internet service providers will now intentionally block, slow down and charge high process for the ability to look at websites and online content.
The ultimate issue regarding net neutrality is money. That is, the giant telecom monopolies want to charge astronomical prices to be able to access the internet.
Abolishing net neutrality is not good for America because it places the ability to access the internet in the hands of powerful and greedy telecom monopolies. While I am generally against government intervention, in the case of the internet, I do not believe a person’s ability to go online should be contingent on their ability to pay.
It is time to keep the internet free for every American.
Cable companies can’t decide what online stores you can shop at, or which streaming services you can use and they can’t let any company pay for priority over its competitors…For most Americans, The Internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life.” — President Obama November 10, 2014
“Without strong competition, [broadband] providers can (and do) raise prices, delay investments, and provide sub-par quality of service. When faced with limited or nonexistent alternatives, consumers lack negotiating power and are forced to rely on whatever options are available. In these situations, the role of good public policy can and should be to foster competition and increase consumer choice.” — President Obama January 14, 2015