Net Neutrality Rules: Update 22/11/2017
While you are preparing a delicious turkey for Thanksgiving tomorrow, FCC’s chairman Ajit Pai would be jotting down the details of the roll back of current Net Neutrality rules.
Over the summer, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was bombarded with a whopping 22 million petitions or proposals, both for and against the Net Neutrality repeal. Today is the day when the final revision of the proposal will be released – keeping in view all those proposals – detailing the full order.
For now, we can only cross our fingers and wait for what the FCC chairman has to offer in his proposal before he votes to obliterate Net Neutrality completely by next month, on December 14, 2017.
The “Internet Doomsday” is nigh. Or, not! Nobody is sure what will happen at the end of the net neutrality saga. Unfortunately, for now, the doors of opportunity are closed to raise your voice against the repeal.
The deadline given by FCC to the public to submit their proposals for or against the repeal has passed and we are left awaiting our fate.
In 2014, when the issue of net neutrality first reared its ugly head, it was slaughtered with a whopping 3.7 million petitions. But this time, there has been a record breaking 22 million+ proposals sent to the FCC. Sadly, regardless of its crushing numbers, the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, has clarified that they won’t take quantity into consideration for the final decision. Instead, they will focus on the quality of the proposal, i.e., the arguments made in them.
The trump administration has signaled that they approve the doings of Federal Communications Commission and its chairman, Ajit Pai, regarding the changes to net neutrality regulations.
Despite the protests that raged on the net neutrality day, the government still supports the FCC's decision to tamper with the net neutrality rules.
“We support the FCC chair's efforts to review and consider rolling back these rules,” said deputy White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “and believe that the best way to get fair rules for everyone is for Congress to take action and create regulatory and economic certainty.”
Net Neutrality is an ongoing issue for the FCC and they have yet to resolve it. The commission had previously expressed its intent of eliminating Net Neutrality entirely from the US. They are already taking steps to grant more power to the ISPs and end Net Neutrality once and for all.
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Thankfully, internet giants are taking FCC’s threats to end Net Neutrality seriously. Most online giants will register their protest against the FCC on July 12 to show their support for Net Neutrality. The participating companies will slow down their services and will display various error messages in an effort to convey what the internet will be like if Net Neutrality is removed from the US.
“No one wants their cable company to control what they can see and do on the Internet or to charge extra fees to access the content they want,” said Evan Greer, the campaign director of Fight for the Future which is a leading organizations behind the protest. “The Internet has given more people a voice than ever before, and that transformative power is worth fighting for. July 12th we will come together to defend the future of free speech.”
Who is participating?
Almost 70,000 individuals, websites, and organizations have signed on to participate in this campaign. These include Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Kickstarter, Etsy, Vimeo, Automattic (WordPress), Mozilla, OK Cupid, Imgur, Soundcloud, Medium and hundreds of other major web services.
On July 12, participants will display messages on their homepages supporting Net Neutrality. They’ll also encourage users to take action by sending push notifications, videos, social media messages and emails.
These companies may also slow down their services for a while, or may display fake error messages only to display what will happen if Net Neutrality goes away. Users who face such errors need not to panic. These errors shall only remain for a temporary period and will vanish automatically.
Your time to take action!
We all know the problems we’ll face on a daily basis if the Net Neutrality rules are abolished. The internet will be slower than it ever was, and our online privacy will be at stake. There are plenty of other awful reasons that we’d mentioned earlier below.
It is now time to take action! Raise your voice in support for Net Neutrality. Otherwise, the internet will behave the way its behaving now, but for the rest of your lives.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: FCC Chairman's plan to roll back net neutrality rules has taken a step forward as the FCC has voted to begin undoing net neutrality rules.
In a 2-to-1 decision, the Federal Communications Commission opened a period of public input which will lead to the final decision. This voting does not immediately undo the 2015 Open Internet Order. For now, the first step to repeal the FCC’s net neutrality rules has been taken and we, the people, will have to raise our voice against it.
The epic battle between net neutrality rules supporters and the Trump-led Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is fueling up once again.
It seems like Ajit Pai, the newly appointed FCC chairman by President Donald Trump, is getting fanatical about abolishing the reforms proposed and established by the previous administration. That’s the reason why the long-debated problem of the open internet is once again brought to light by the new chairman, proposing to reform the rules, thereby “Restoring Internet freedom for all Americans.”
However, the question remains what sort of Internet freedom the new draft is proposing to restore through ending net neutrality. After all, there is no clear explanation in the draft regarding online freedom. The draft only highlights are words such as “spur broadband deployment,” “boost competition and choice in the broadband marketplace,” etc.
What Is Net Neutrality?
To discuss the newly forwarded draft, it is important to first understand what the debate is actually about, i.e., what is net neutrality and how it affects users, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and web companies?
As a user, you want complete access to every sort of applications and websites on the Internet. You want to use your rights of freedom of speech on the Internet without fearing any abrupt shutdown by your ISP. You also want a fast, yet consistent Internet experience.
As an entrepreneur, you want a fair playing field to launch your business, promote your brand and survive in the digital realm. With an open Internet, you can easily achieve your goals of fostering innovation and growth.
All in all, the Internet users in the US want to have complete control over their Internet experience. This is exactly what the net neutrality is all about. Unfortunately, it is probably going to be changed soon due to the newly proposed draft.
Consequences of Anti Net Neutrality Rules!
Due to open internet policies, ISPs are not authorized to restrict any content – unless imposed by the government. Secondly, ISPs are also not allowed to cap or throttle the speed of any website or accept any sort of compensation in exchange of prioritizing speed limit of certain web services over others.
However, with the fair policies of net neutrality gone, you can expect more website or application restrictions imposed by your ISPs. Your network carriers would also have total control on what web services will be assigned to faster lanes and slower lanes.
In short, telecommunication companies would be able to manipulate the Internet speed, i.e., cap or increase traffic to any website or application they want.
Telcos and ISPs are already notorious for manipulating the Internet for their personal gains. Take for instance the well-known case of Comcast back in 2014. The popular network-carrier capped Netflix’s traffic to make them shell out a hefty compensation in exchange for fast streaming on their carrier.
The 2012 case of AT&T is yet another example of ISP monopoly. The ISP restricted a video service application on iPhones, stating that it consumes high bandwidth. However, the fact remains that the AT&T did it because the service was competing with its video service.
National Uproar Against Anti-Net Neutrality Rules
There’s a huge national uproar due to the new net neutrality rules passed by the FCC during the speech by Ajit Pai in May 2017.
Gigi Sohn, the former counselor to the former FCC chairman, foresighted the national outcry by stating, “There will be emails, phone calls, protests ― it’s going to be a tsunami.”
The former counselor also took the Twitter showing complete disagreement over the new rules:
— Gigi Sohn (@gigibsohn) April 27, 2017
Michael Beckerman, the CEO and President of Internet Association, also issued a statement just hours after the proposed rules regarding net neutrality. In the statement, Michael Beckerman also opposed the new net neutrality policies, reminding the FCC about the importance of current policies and how they affect Internet experience for consumers as well as corporates.
In fact, the founder of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, also issued a statement against the rules:
“When I invented the web, I didn’t have to ask anyone for permission, and neither did America’s successful internet entrepreneurs when they started their businesses. To reach its full potential, the internet must remain a permissionless space for creativity, innovation and free expression.”
The concept of anti-net neutrality rules is so distressing that even startups are prepping up to fight it. More than 800 tech startups, including big names like Y Combinatory and Engine Advocacy, sent a letter to Ajit Pai, showing intense disapprovals.
The Best Counter-Measure against the New Net Neutrality Rules
The troubling part is that the new net neutrality policies proposed by Ajit Pai are likely to be approved by the higher-ups. This is because it involves a lot of money.
With the new policies, ISPs and Telcos would be able to rake in more money by prioritizing web services in exchange for a hefty compensation. And when the new rules are implemented, regular Internet users are the ones who will suffer the most.
For starters, users won’t be able to get maximum speed from their favorite web services if the ISP has limited its bandwidth. Secondly, users would also not be able to access content if it is restricted by the ISP.
The ideal solution that can help users survive the anti-net neutrality era is by subscribing to a VPN, virtual private network. A VPN allows users to surf the Internet through an encrypted tunnel. Due to an encrypted connection, even the ISP isn’t able to monitor or inspect the activity of the users on the Internet.
Regarding ISP-imposed content restriction, a VPN also enables users to bypass any ISP or geo restrictions, thereby accessing their favorite contents without any interruption. Apart from enabling users to access geo-restricted content and encryption, a VPN provides a safe and secure Internet experience to the users such as secure emailing, etc.