FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced plans that would put the neutrality of the Internet at risk by going along with Verizon’s version of the Internet: ISPs charging extra to websites to insure access — a threat to freedom of speech and information.
It’s a future in which Comcast could decide they didn’t like a news story, so they throttle the speeds coming from that website, making it impractical for their users to see the story. Microsoft could pay Verizon to give preferential treatment to Bing, forcing users to switch from Google.
Start-ups wouldn’t have the money to compete with existing services, so they would die out, discarded like a Starbucks cup on the side of the information superhighway. Where ISPs decide what you, the paying customer, can do on the internet.
The FCC classifies telephone companies as “common carriers” to keep neutrality. There was a push to do the same with ISPs. Then Verizon went to court, and their lawyers won, forcing the FCC’s hand. Wheeler’s response was to avoid a fight and give in.
I urge you to fight back against Wheeler’s apathy and push toward classifying ISPs as common carriers. The Internet has become as much a part of daily life as the telephone, the highways, electricity, and water. Its future should be not be decided by these ISPs.