…net neutrality is in jeopardy. Net Neutrality is the principle that says ISPs can’t discriminate between different types of traffic.
That means that…
…whether you’re a bedroom music producer, a couple on an amateur porn site, or just someone with a start up idea - you get access to the same users as Netflix, Facebook or Amazon. On the Internet, anyone can succeed.
…America’s ISPs wanna set up a pay-for-play system where rich companies pay extra to get to those users first.
If this happens…
…instead of a wonderful playground if innovation that it is now, the Internet will become like cable TV where you can only get stuff that’s been pre-approved by a bunch of old rich guys.
Ten years from now…
…your Internet bill could be a bigger “fustercluck” than your cable bill.
Now, you might be thinking…
…isn’t the government supposed to protect me from fragrant doucheholery like this?
…the former chairman of the FCC (government agency that’s SUPPOSED to protect you) is now the cable industry’s head lobbyist. And another former cable industry lobbyist is now the CURRENT head of the FCC.
…we can’t trust the FCC to make the right decision on their own. That’s why WE need to protect the Internet we love. The chaotic, AWESOME, often quite weird, place where literally everyone’s voice can be heard.
In a few months…
…the FCC will approve this festering soal of proposal unless we speak up. The Internet is one of the few places where human voices speak louder than money. So while that’s still the case, let’s use those voices. Go to DEARFCC.ORG and tell them to protect Net Neutrality. Thanks for doing your part to protect the Internet.
(I work the floor at an independently-owned menswear store. The owner, my boss, spends a lot of time at the shop, and tries to keep prices as low as possible to help our city’s large homeless population get good job interview clothes. A clearly homeless man is wandering around the store. The other patrons are giving him looks.)
Customer:“Excuse me, sir?”
Customer:“I think you may want to call security. That… bum over there, he keeps feeling the suits and muttering to himself. I’m just sure he’s planning to steal one.”
Me:“Well, ma’am, I think that’s quite unlikely.”
Customer:“Oh, come on, you know how they are! I mean, I’d keep an eye on him even if he wasn’t homeless!”
(The homeless man in question happens to be Hispanic.)
Me:“We don’t discriminate here, ma’am.”
Customer:“Well, I’m sure the owner would want to hear about this!”
(I give in and call him over. The customer explains her concerns. As a black man, my boss isn’t happy with her racism, but agrees to talk to the homeless man.)
Owner:“Excuse me, sir, are you finding what you need?”
Homeless Man:“Well, not really. I’m hoping for something versatile in a dark or navy wool, but most of the options in my size are cut American style instead of European, which fits me a little better. Not to mention they’re all pinstriped, which I really don’t have the build for, you know?”
Owner:“I… yes, I understand. I think we may have some options over here, if you’ll follow me. How did you know all that?”
Homeless Man:“Back before I lost my job, I used to be really into this stuff. I’m not looking for anything fancy, just something I can use to look good for a job interview later today.”
(My boss helps him find something he likes, and comes to the counter with him. The suit is priced at $87.)
Homeless Man:*digging in his pockets* “Hang on, I think I’ve got enough.”
Owner:*to me* “Take my card. I’m buying it for him.” *to the homeless man* “Here. The suit’s yours, on one condition. After your interview today, you come back and apply for a job here too. Got it?”
Homeless Man:“I… oh my God, thank you. Thank you so much.”
(Two years later, that formerly-homeless man is my manager, and has a little girl with his new wife—the owner’s sister.)