Net Neutrality is under attack by the Donald Trump administration. It's important to learn what's going on and for Net Neutrality supporters to mobilise. But what's the fuss all about? And what's Net Neutrality to begin with, you ask? The Wikipedia definition is pretty good.
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. For instance, under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.
In other words, the telecommunications infrastructure that makes up the Internet treats everybody and every kind of information the same. No favourite classes of data or penalised classes either. Video is treated the same as text is treated the same as voice is treated the same way as static images.
1. free and open internet enables equitable access to information.
2. free and open internet helps prevent unfair and discriminatory pricing practices.
3. free and open internet protects freedom of speech.
4. free and open internet promotes innovation.
Without an open internet, big corporations would have tight control over how we access information. Please do your part to keep the internet a cornerstone of freedom and opportunity. Get involved by supporting local municipal networks and fighting for net neutrality and Internet Freedom.
What would happen if we lost Net Neutrality?
The internet without Net Neutrality isn’t really the internet. Unlike the open internet that has paved the way for so much innovation and given a platform to people who have historically been shut out, it would become a closed-down network where cable and phone companies call the shots and decide which websites, content or applications succeed.
This would have an enormous impact. Companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon would be able to decide who is heard and who isn’t. They’d be able to block websites or content they don’t like or applications that compete with their own offerings.
The consequences would be particularly devastating for marginalized communities media outlets have misrepresented or failed to serve. People of color, the LGBTQ community, indigenous peoples and religious minorities in the United States rely on the open internet to organize, access economic and educational opportunities, and fight back against systemic discrimination.
Without Net Neutrality, how would activists be able to fight oppression? What would happen to social movements like the Movement for Black Lives? How would the next disruptive technology, business or company emerge if internet service providers only let incumbents succeed?
Why is Net Neutrality crucial for communities of color?
The open internet allows people of color to tell their own stories and organize for racial and social justice. When activists are able to turn out thousands of people in the streets at a moment’s notice, it’s because ISPs aren’t allowed to block their messages or websites.
The mainstream media have long misrepresented, ignored and harmed people of color. And thanks to systemic racism, economic inequality and runaway media consolidation, people of color own just a handful of broadcast stations. The lack of diverse ownership is a primary reason why the media have gotten away with criminalizing and otherwise stereotyping communities of color.
The open internet allows people of color and other vulnerable communities to bypass traditional media gatekeepers. Without Net Neutrality, ISPs could block speech and prevent dissident voices from speaking freely online. Without Net Neutrality, people of color would lose a vital platform.
And without Net Neutrality, millions of small businesses owned by people of color wouldn’t be able to compete against larger corporations online, which would deepen economic disparities.
Why is Net Neutrality important for businesses?
Net Neutrality is crucial for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open internet to launch their businesses, create markets, advertise their products and services, and reach customers. We need the open internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation.
Net Neutrality lowers the barriers of entry by preserving the internet’s fair and level playing field. It’s because of Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online.
No company should be allowed to interfere with this open marketplace. ISPs are the internet’s gatekeepers, and without Net Neutrality, they would seize every possible opportunity to profit from that gatekeeper position.
Without Net Neutrality, the next Google or Facebook would never get off the ground.
A few general resources
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation Net Neutrality page
- Various Change.org petitions
- VArious CredoAction petitions
- Battle for the Net campaign
- John Oliver on Net Netrality
- Position Paper: Net Neutrality and the Open Internet
And the story of what's going on right now in the US, with the FCC promising to end Net Neutrality. The list below has lots of resources and opinions and arguments, all of which are well worth at least taking a look at. If I've missed something important, let me know.
- 2016.11.16. Trump Names Two Opponents of Net Neutrality to Oversee FCC Transition Team by Michael Nunez
- 2017.01.02. This is the year Donald Trump kills Net Neutrality by Klint Finley
- 2017.01.05. Federal court lets net neutrality regulations stand by Harper Neidig
- 2017.01.06. Author of anti-net neutrality “Internet Freedom Act” gains leadership position: Rep. Marsha Blackburn will now chair the Communications and Technology subcommittee. by Jon Brodkin
- 2017.01.17. Trump Appoints Anti-Regulation Net Neutrality Enemy to Head FCC by Libby Watson
- 2017.01.24. Don't Like Net Neutrality? Then You're Going to Love Trump's FCC Chief by Matthew Ingram
- 2017.05.18. Dear FCC: We See Through Your Plan to Roll Back Real Net Neutrality by Corynne McSherry
- 2017.09.29. Just How Unpopular, How Wrong on the Facts, How Misguided Is the FCC Proposal to Rollback Network Neutrality and Broadband Privacy? by Elliot Falcon
- 2017.11.17. The U.S. government is using Thanksgiving to hide its plans to destroy net neutrality by Jason Abbruzzese
- 2017.11.20. Will Congress Bless Internet Fast Lanes? by Corryne McSherry, Elliot Harmon
- 2017.11.21. FCC plans to gut Net Neutrality, allow Internet "fast lanes" by Klint Finley
- 2017.11.21. F.C.C. Is Said to Plan Repeal of Net Neutrality Rules by Cecelia Kang
- 2017.11.21. If you want to see what America would be like if it ditched net neutrality, just look at Portugal by Rob Price
- 2017.11.21. Nuking Net Neutrality: Ajit Pai thinks we're being hysterical because we don't trust our internet service providers to act in our best interest. That's hysterical. by Barbara Fister
- 2017.11.21. To Save Net Neutrality, We Must Build Our Own Internet: We must end our reliance on big telecom monopolies and build decentralized, affordable, locally owned internet infrastructure. by Jason Koebler
- 2017.11.21. What the threat against net neutrality means for PC gaming by Wes Fenlon
- 2017.11.21. Today—and Every Day—We Fight to Defend the Open Internet by Corryne McSherry
- 2017.11.21. CREDO statement on the FCC order dismantling net neutrality
- 2017.11.22. Here's how the end of Net Neutrality will change the Internet by Klint Finley
- 2017.11.22. Net neutrality: Why Canadians should care about the internet changes in the U.S. by Katie Dangerfield
- 2017.11.22. NY AG probing ‘massive scheme’ to influence FCC with fake net neutrality comments by Rebecca Savransky
- 2017.11.22. This is what transparency looks like without net neutrality by Jessica Conditt
- 2017.11.22. Here are the details of the plan to kill net neutrality by Noah Kulwin
- 2017.11.22. FCC will block states from passing their own net neutrality laws by Jacob Kastrenakes
- 2017.11.22. If Portugal is a net neutrality nightmare, we’re already living in it by Adi Robertson
- 2017.11.22. FCC explains why public support for net neutrality won’t stop repeal by Jon Brodkin
- 2017.11.23. Looming Net Neutrality Repeal Sparks BitTorrent Throttling Fears by Ernesto
- 2017.11.23. Will Silicon Valley step up to defend net neutrality? by Leon Lazaroff
- 2017.11.23. FCC Commissioner Pleads: 'Please Stop Us From Killing Net Neutrality' by Alexander C. Kaufman
- 2017.11.23. Facebook, Google and start-ups oppose net neutrality U-turn by BBC News
- 2017.11.23. How repealing net neutrality in U.S. could hurt Canadian pocketbooks by Kate Bueckert
- 2017.11.23. Net Neutrality Divide: Canada and the U.S. Go Separate Ways on an Open Internet by Michael Geist
- 2017.11.23. Americans are spending Thanksgiving fighting for net neutrality by Sean O'Kane
- 2017.11.23. Net Neutrality Explained: What It Means (and Why It Matters) by Andrew Nusca
- 2017.11.24. What it would take to change my mind on net neutrality by Tyler Cowen
- 2017.11.24. Protest the Death of Net Neutrality: Shop on Black Friday, but Not Cyber Monday by Charles Mudede
- 2017.11.24. Trudeau 'very concerned' about U.S. plans to roll back net neutrality by CTV News
- 2017.11.24. Net neutrality could spur the next big political movement by Marguerite Reardon
- 2017.11.24. How Would the FCC’s Repeal of Net Neutrality Regulation Impact the Internet of Things? by Chantelle Dubois
- 2017.11.24. If Trump’s FCC Repeals Net Neutrality, Elites Will Rule the Internet—and the Future by John Nichols
- 2017.11.25. On Net Neutrality, Here's What AT&T, Verizon, Charter, and Comcast Say by Paige Leskin
- 2017.11.25. Reddit can't work out whether to save or destroy net neutrality by Nicole Kobie
- 2017.11.25. Canada should fight for open internet, says former head of FCC by Catharine Tunney
- 2017.11.25. Why Abandoning Net Neutrality in the U.S. Matters in Canada by Michael Geist
- 2017.11.26. Gutting net neutrality is a death knell for the resistance by Sarah Kendzior
- 2017.11.26. Commentary: Net neutrality is fiction, no matter what the FCC does by Shira Ovide
- 2017.11.26. Arrogant overreach: Ajit Pai's plan to totally destroy net neutrality may doom him in court by Cory Doctorow
- 2017.11.26. Net Neutrality: The Long View by NPR
- 2017.11.26. Why we should be wary of ending net neutrality by Emily Bell
- 2017.11.26. When The FCC Kills Net Neutrality, Here's What Your Internet Could Look Like by Steven Salzberg
- 2017.11.27. Net Neutrality repeal could damage local news startups: Information must flow freely for democracy to flourish by Matt DeRienzo
- 2017.11.27. A Lump of Coal in the Internet’s Stocking: FCC Poised to Gut Net Neutrality Rules by Corynne McSherry, Mitch Stoltz, Ernesto Falcon
- 2017.11.27. Comcast hints at plan for paid fast lanes after net neutrality repeal by Jon Brodkin
- 2017.11.27. Twitter and others warn FCC of 'disastrous' net neutrality reversal by Steve Dent
- 2017.11.27. Internet businesses ask U.S. to keep net neutrality rules by Reuters Staff
- 2017.11.28. Trump's FCC chairman accuses Twitter of silencing conservatives by Seth Fiegerman
- 2017.11.28. Pro-Neutrality, Anti-Title II by Ben Thompson
- 2017.11.28. How America Rolling Back Net Neutrality Will Affect the Rest of the WorldBe assured, America being stupid will at least affect Canada. by Mack Lamoureux
- 2017.11.28. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai blasted everyone from Twitter to Cher for opposing his efforts to repeal net neutrality rules by Tony Romm
- 2017.11.28. Net Neutrality: FCC Echoes RT Criticism of Internet Companies by Sean Lawson
- 2017.11.28. Net Neutrality Decision Could be Stuck in the Courts for Years: It won't go away overnight. by Alasdair Wilkins
- 2017.11.29. The Internet Is Dying. Repealing Net Neutrality Hastens That Death by Farhad Manjoo
- 2017.11.29. Study: FCC net neutrality comments rife with fake users, duplicate messages by Harper Neidig
- 2017.11.29. What Actually Happens the Day Net Neutrality Is Repealed by Dell Cameron
- 2017.11.29. FCC and Net Neutrality: Check to See If Your Name Was Used in Fake Comments by John Patrick Pullen
- 2017.11.29. Comcast deleted net neutrality pledge the same day FCC announced repeal by Jon Brodkin
- 2017.11.29. FCC Got 444,938 Net-Neutrality Comments From Russian Email Addresses by Todd Shields
- 2017.11.30. The demise of net neutrality is already hurting cord cutters by Jared Newman
- 2017.11.30. Comcast changed its tune on net neutrality the very same day the FCC plotted its death by Chris Smith
- 2017.11.30. As FCC Contemplates Repealing Net Neutrality Protections, Indian Telecom Regulator Reaffirms Support for Principles of Non-Discrimination by Jyoti Panday
- 2017.12.01. Alyssa Milano is taking on Ajit Pai and his quest to end net neutrality by Jason Abbruzzese
- 2017.12.01. How to make sense of net neutality and telecom under Trump by Klint Finley
- 2017.12.01. Comcast to customers: Just trust us about changed net neutrality pledges by Joe Brodkin
- 2017.12.01. Net neutrality activists just took over Reddit with protest posts by Timothy B. Lee
- 2017.12.01. The FCC asked for net neutrality opinions, then rejected most of them: The internet should have made it easier to fight for net neutrality. Instead it helped kill it. by Aja Romano
- 2017.12.01. Net Neutrality Needs You as Much as You Need It by Shahid Buttar
- 2017.12.01. What you need to know about net neutrality (before it gets taken away): A refresher course on all the rules, regulations and terms you need to know. by Cherlynn Low
- 2017.12.02. What does ‘net neutrality’ mean? Here’s why you should care... by Quentin Fottrell
- 2017.12.02. The End of Net Neutrality Would Be Bad for the Internet, Devastating for Colorado by Jared Polis
- 2017.12.02. Here’s How the End of Net Neutrality Could Affect Streaming by Alan Cross
- 2017.12.03. FCC chair trolls Alyssa Milano, Mark Ruffalo on Twitter over net neutrality by Kevin Nielsen
- 2017.12.03. FCC's net neutrality repeal sparks backlash by Harper Neidig
- 2017.12.03. Net Neutrality: Unleashing The Mother Of All Open Networks by Gil Press
- 2017.12.04. New York Attorney General joins 27 senators to call for a delay of critical net neutrality vote by Taylor Hatmaker
- 2017.12.04. Protests Planned Nationwide as Vote on FCC's 'Catastrophic' Plan to Kill Net Neutrality Looms by Jake Johnson
- 2017.12.04. FCC won’t delay vote, says net neutrality supporters are “desperate” by Jon Brodkin
- 2017.12.05. Fake comments and stolen identities prompt Democratic calls to delay net neutrality vote by Donie O'Sullivan
- 2017.12.05. The FCC plans to kill the open internet; don’t count on the FTC to save it by Terrell McSweeny
- 2017.12.05. Net Neutrality Fight Likely to Move to Courts, Congress by Matt Enis
- 2017.12.06. The Debate Over Net Neutrality Has Its Roots in the Fight Over Radio Freedom: Today’s epic battle has been fought before, when radio took to the air a century ago by Clive Thompson
- 2017.12.06. Tom Morello, Michael Stipe, Priests, More Support Net Neutrality in New Letter by Michelle Kim
- 2017.12.06. Tom Wheeler slams Ajit Pai’s plan to kill net neutrality rules by Jon Brodkin
- 2017.12.06. How the FCC's Net Neutrality Plan Breaks with 50 Years of History by Tim Wu
- 2017.12.06. Trump FCC Chair Ajit Pai will probably get his way on net neutrality by Michael Moynihan
- 2017.12.06. How Google and Facebook Could Save Net Neutrality by Kara Alaimo
- 2017.12.06. Net neutrality protests start Thursday—how to find one near you by Jon Brodkin
- 2017.12.06. How the FCC's move on net neutrality could impact consumers by Kaitlyn Schallhorn