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MARCH COMPASS: Moment Of Clarity

WTF is Net Neutrality?


WTF is Net Neutrality?

You may have heard some buzzing about Net Neutrality, big telecoms, and the FCC’s chairman Ajit Pai lately. If you’re out of the loop, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) chaired by Ajit Pai recently voted to repeal Title II classification for the internet—which had established the internet as a public utility—to almost unanimous public reproach. Regardless of the brouhaha leading up to this decision, it’s worth more to look ahead at what the vote means for you and, frankly, to everyone connected to the internet. Applying Title II Classification means that ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) must treat all internet traffic equally, without slowing down or stopping individual websites or charging consumers more for access to any particular services. While Title II didn’t cover Internet service until 2015, it’s worth noting that ISPs have an extensive history of abusing customers: blocking apps from working, blocking website access, hijacking people’s browsing experiences, and more. Clearly, Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, and the other major players stand to tighten their stranglehold on consumers’ relationship with the rest of the web. The repeal of Title II, a vote made late last year, could very well bring anti-consumer changes to your Internet plan very soon. Don’t trust that any ISP or cable backed ‘Net Neutrality bill’ will do anything but cement relaxed regulations into codified law—ISPs have spent over half a billion dollars since 2008 lobbying against net neutrality, and for the time being, it appears to be paying off.



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