Michael Stipe, Tom Morello, Graham Nash and Alyssa Milano are among the 150 musicians, actors and artists who penned an open letter to Congress asking that the government stop the Federal Communication Commission's upcoming vote to end net neutrality. The move could very well turn the internet we know and love upside down.
Today, Internet Association President & CEO Michael Beckerman sent a letter to Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioners Clyburn, O'Rielly, Carr, and Rosenworcel calling for the FCC to delay or vote against the draft Restoring Internet Freedom Order. The United States now has deregulated Net Neutrality, meaning internet service providers, or ISPs, must treat all websites equally, can not prioritize certain websites or charge consumers more to use certain websites.
Lori Erlendsson attends a pro-net neutrality Internet activist rally. ISPs would control the information presented online.
Repealing net neutrality, however, would give ISPs the ability to determine not only what information users could see but how quickly they can see it.
"[Currently] Verizon, who is a part of the same company as Yahoo, can not slow Google dramatically because they would prefer you to use Yahoo...which they are economically tied to".
This is not an issue of consumers versus companies either. Much like other public utilities, the Internet has become a necessity.
"At the center of the debate is whether telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon should be able to charge internet sites for delivering their data to consumers' homes", reported The New York Times. So, no, the speed of your MRI does not depend on how many people are or aren't looking at porn, which is a good thing because there are a lot of them.
That explanation also doesn't cut it for businesses. This dramatic change to government policy is predicted to have dire consequences for freedom of information and equal access to the internet both in the United States and overseas.
And that makes sense.
A separate study from the Pew Research Center indicated that among the record public comments about net neutrality filed with the FCC over a four-month period, only 6% were unique comments.