Who should care about Net Neutrality?
YOU.Net Neutrality is the principle that ensures that all users can access the content or run the applications and devices of their choice. It’s the reason ideas and information can be exchanged freely on the internet. And companies like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast & Time Warner would very much like to get rid of it, so they can provide service based not on neutrality, but on what makes most money for them.
Here’s the who and how of why we can’t lose Net Neutrality, excerpted from the wonderful folks at Save the Internet:
Political Groups—Political organizing could be slowed by a handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to pay “protection money” for their websites and online features to work correctly.
Nonprofits—This very website could open at snail-speed, and online contributions could grind to a halt, if nonprofits can’t pay dominant Internet providers for access to “the fast lane” of Internet service.
Online purchasers—Companies could pay Internet providers to guarantee their online sales process faster than competitors with lower prices—distorting your choice as a consumer.Bloggers—Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips—silencing citizen journalists and putting more power in the hands of a few corporate-owned media outlets.
Small Businesses and Innovators—Startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay Internet providers for dominant placing on the Web. The little guy will be left in the “slow lane” with inferior Internet service, unable to compete.
And of course I would add that women and people of color will be disproportiontely hurt, as we’re much more likely to have much less money than the white men at the telcom companies.
The good news: Congress is grappling with this issue right now, and they’re paying close attention to what their constituents want (ah, election years!). Even better news: it only takes a minute to call your Rep using this handy list.
Want more info on Net Neutrality and how it works? Check out this clever video and post over at AlterNet.