The FCC is set to vote on whether or not to repeal network Neutrality under the deceptive guise of “Restoring Internet Freedom” on December 14th. Like others who study broadband and telecommunications policy, we’re distressed by the possibilities for the Internet and its users, should the Commission decide to repeal these protections. Because we use the Internet for so much in our daily lives, reversing network neutrality will give big ISPs like Comcast and Verizon undue power over what information we receive, our online business, and the result may negatively impact innovation.
We’ve gathered together some of our earlier posts on network neutrality to help explain why the policy is so important. In this collection, we’ve included some of our own writings as well as media that we consider paramount to understanding why we need to preserve network neutrality.
The Basics At 80 MPH (Video):
An old but a goody. In this video, Professor Tim Wu explains network neutrality, including paid prioritization. The video is from 2016.
The Big ISP Perspective (Video):
Many of us consider a free an open Internet a necessity to foster innovation and investment, but the words from the lips of the big ISPs are changing, depending on whom they’re talking to. This video reveals what they tell the government about network neutrality versus what they tell investors.
The Small ISP Perspective (Audio):
Like other small ISPs and municipal networks that offer services to the public, Sonic takes the opposite view of Comcast, Verizon, and other big corporate incumbents - they believe network neutrality is important and should be preserved. Dane Jasper, Sonic’s CEO and Co-Founder explains why innovation needs network neutrality in episode 261 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.
Artists Appreciate The Freedom of Network Neutrality (Video):
Cinematic icon Francis Ford Coppola reached out to the FCC to express the need for artistic innovation, which will disappear without a free and open platform in his open letter to the FCC.
Rural Impact (Audio):
The FCC claims that it’s looking for ways to improve connectivity in rural America, but people who live there and who study broadband policy in rural communities describe how repealing network neutrality will put these communities at an even bigger disadvantage.
Economists Look At Government Agency (Audio):
Marshall Steinbaum, Senior Economist and Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, argues that the FTC, which may be tasked with complaints against ISPs once network neutrality is dismantled, does not have the adequate systems in place to contend with complaints from upstream content providers who feel they are being discriminated against by ISPs. Check out episode 258 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.
Our Comments To The FCC:
Lastly, we've included our comments to the FCC on Docket 17-108, Restoring Internet Freedom. The Commission asked the public to comment on network neutrality and there are have been almost 23 million comments filed, the majority of them in support of network neutrality. In our comments, we discuss how the Internet is about moving data and how, as a nonprofit, the ability to access information from across the world is critical to our mission. We are dependent on affordable access and rescinding network neutrality protections threatens our ability to obtain and share information with others without paying an extra fee. We also note that our research doesn't support the old argument that paid prioritization will fuel innovation. Read the details in our comments to the FCC on network neutrality.
For more MuniNetworks.org stories that involve similar coverage, check out our network neutrality tag.