THE LATEST THINKING
The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.
Keeping Up Won't Be So Easy
The Federal Communications Commission's plan to eliminate net neutrality laws directly affects every internet user. Small businesses and news organizations will be hit hard by high prices for regular speed internet.
The Trump administration is attacking the internet as we know it by trying to repeal net neutrality regulations. Net neutrality means that Internet Service Providers (ISP) can’t ask a ransom fee for normal internet speeds or choose which websites to slow down based on ideological differences.
For example, Comcast owns NBC, so if Comcast is the only internet provider in an area, conservatives could have sluggish internet speeds for competitor networks such as Fox News, and similar censorship could occur on the left. Why would any internet user want slower internet at all, much less slower internet because a corporation wanted to censor their opposition’s content?
Yet, net neutrality is what Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai (former Associate General Counsel of Verizon) plans to eliminate. Americans broke a record by posting 22 million comments against Pai's net neutrality repeal plans, yet Pai chooses to ignore this and will move forward anyways just so that the ISPs can make more money. The ISPs know that bigger companies can pay more for regular speed internet, which eliminates their small business competitors who can’t afford to pay the ransom fee to maintain the same internet speed they have today.
Not only does maintaining net neutrality affect my own enjoyment of the internet, but it also affects two of the small businesses in my life: my parent’s engineering consulting business and TheLatest.com.
My parents are the only full-time employees at their business. They provide consulting services to lawyers and insurance companies that need an expert to investigate the cause behind fires and explosions. There is no reason they should have to pay exorbitantly higher rates to have their website load their contact information at the same rate as the large engineering consulting corporations that my dad worked for prior to starting his own business.
THE LATEST is even more relevant to this issue because we’re a digital news company. We’re a small business whose mission is to provide a neutral market for all voices across the political spectrum to be heard. We’re not interested in paying more to make our pages load at the current, normal rate. We don’t want our writers’ voices censored because Big Internet decided that they needed even more money for their investors. One of our slogans is "keeping up made easy." There is nothing easy about keeping up when internet slows down.
Pai’s move takes autonomy out of the hands of internet users so that these ISPs (his former and likely future employers) can peddle their own propaganda and earn an extra buck at the expense of the little guy. This is a bipartisan issue. This is a corporate versus small business issue. This is a powerful versus powerless issue. This is a rich versus the rest of us issue. We’re not going to take it.
Send complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org or call his office at (202) 418-2000 if you want our government to maintain regulations that keep the internet free and fair for everyone.
After the FCC began its assault on net neutrality earlier this year, several cities and states began looking into ways...