It’s time to prepare for war.
Prepare to fight for the Internet as we know and cherish today. All of the news we receive, the memes we laugh at, the cat videos we watch, and the television and movies we stream are now in danger.
On January 14, the D.C. Circuit Court ruled the FCC has no authority to enforce network neutrality rules. Meaning Internet service providers do not have to treat traffic equally. This allows providers to pick and choose which websites we can view, and how fast we can view them. For example, we could be charged more to access streaming video services such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Prime. This ruling is bad news for us all, especially those of us (myself included) who stream content on a daily basis.
There are other awful implications as well. Traffic across the Internet may be slowed down based on random algorithms or the whims of those in power. Even web applications we use to read our email, download music and play online video games are in danger of being slowed down by our providers. This may force us to pay for the speed we’ve grown accustom to.
While it isn’t necessary to grab our digital torches and pitchforks yet, we must remain ever vigilant. It is up to us to ensure our Internet providers don’t take advantage of us. We have to ally ourselves with companies like Netflix, who are preparing for this ruling to evolve into a horrible situation.
Netflix wrote to its shareholders, “We would vigorously protest and encourage our members to demand the open internet they are paying their ISP to deliver.”
As consumers we have to be prepared to fight for our right to an open Internet. Especially when our country’s network is only ninth in the world for Internet speed. In short, it seems a bit unfair.
Remember: keep an eye on your Internet provider.
Below, Stephen Colbert shares his outlook on net neutrality.