What is this net neutrality thing everyone is talking about? ~ George Costanza (just kidding)
For some reason the internet just can’t escape the highway metaphor. A change to net neutrality rules may mean that organizations with deep pockets will be able to pay a premium to have their content delivered faster than those who don’t. Just like folks who can afford the fast lane on the highway don’t sit in traffic.
Maintaining net neutrality is about keeping fair and equal access to the internet that everyone can afford–including public institutions like schools and libraries. It’s about a level playing field and watching your best friend’s wedding without slow buffering because they don’t have the clout to pay for the internet’s fast lane. That’s the simple explanation but it’s much more complex and worth taking a few minutes if you value imagination and innovation.
Here’s a link to the rules change. Many folks who are much smarter than me have weighed in on the issue. You can read their thoughts below.
Searching for Fairness on the Internet by the New York Times Editorial Board
This piece, written by a Denver librarian, offers a simple explanation of the issue. Net Neutrality and Why it Really Matters…in 900 Words
Netflix has started alerting viewers to the issue in it’s own way. But what you really need to know is how will this affect your viewing of Orange is the New Black? Everything you really need to know about net neutrality, in one passive-aggressive Netflix error message
Finally, John Oliver did one heck of a job on the topic of net neutrality, crashing the FCCs comment form. However, this opinion piece from the Los Angeles Times sets the record straight. John Oliver finds humor in net neutrality, but loses the facts
Read comments made by others here.
Don’t be neutral on net neutrality. The United States Federal Communications Commission will be accepting comments until July 15, 2014 at www.fcc.gov/comments.
What can you do?
1) Read before you rant. Google search “net neutrality” and read a variety of articles to help form your considered, personal position.
2) Add your thoughtful comment at www.fcc.gov/comments.
3) Take to social media. Encourage your Facebook friends to provide comment. As of this writing, there were 50,000 comments to the FCC’s site in the past 30 days. According to Pew Research Center statistics, Facebook has 1.3 billion monthly users of which one sixth are in the U.S. If everyone using Facebook sent a comment that’s a potential 200 million comments. Think the number sounds too high? The U.S. Census Bureau puts the population count at around 318,892,103. There is power in numbers. Be thoughtful. Read the arguments. Make it work.
5) Contact your local elected officials.