September 10th Internet Slowdown!

 
 
 
NoSlowDown NoSLow-red
 
 
Johan Bester
Student Writer

 

Many technology companies have pledged their support for the Internet ‘Slowdown’ on September 10. These actions are to promote a demand to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rethink its proposition regarding the internet.

There is however no need to panic — Internet speeds will remain unchanged, for now. Instead, sites across the web will display a “Battle For The Net” emblem, widget or banner which shows a revolving icon on their websites.

None of these emblems will actually slow sites down; they are created to tell internet users about the issue and ask them to contact lawmakers.

 

What is the ‘fight’ about?

The FCC is redrafting its rules, following legal challenges by telecommunications firms and content providers. Under the proposed rules, cable giants like AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon would be able to create a two-tiered Internet.

Some will have slow lanes for most users, and fast lanes, for corporates able to pay for fast service.

According to critics, the planned ‘slow down’ is related to how the Internet could look. The common question being asked is “should ‘fast lane’ and preferential treatment of traffic based on corporate deals be allowed?”

 

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the internet’s guiding principle: It preserves the right to communicate freely and unimpeded online.

Net neutrality is the internet’s guiding principle: It preserves the right to communicate freely and unimpeded online. This means that companies must provide all net-citizens with open networks, and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that travels over those networks.

Many claim that net neutrality is what enables the internet to be such a hotbed for innovation. If new services come online, carriers should deliver that content in the same manner that they would deliver content from million dollar corporates; without prejudice or favoritism.

 

What are net-citizens fighting for?

After the public outcry, the FCC left the door open for the only proposal that can preserve net neutrality: reclassifying Internet access as a “common carrier” under Title II of the Communications Act.

The FCC is accepting comments from interested parties on its proposal till September 15, after which they will decide what, if any, new rules to adopt.

 

What does the other side say?

The carrier companies want the right to control how content is accessed, and are doing everything possible to ensure they’ll get their way.

According to BattleForTheNet, the carriers have engaged in miss-information campaigns claiming, amongst others, that Title II will reduce investment in infrastructure.

 

How can net-citizens speak out on net neutrality?

Organizers believe the only way to win this battle, is by people communicating to the FCC that the majority of Americans support net neutrality, and that America’s Internet economy depends on net neutrality to thrive.

People are urged to visit the sites of battleforthenet.com, and Free Press Action Fund to become involved in the Internet Slowdown.

 

Contact Johan at jbester@lc.edu

 

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