On December 14, 2017, the FCC voted 3-2 to dismantle Obama-era Net Neutrality rules, claiming that the reversal “will protect consumers at far less cost to investment than prior rigid and wide-ranging utility rules.”
Without the Net Neutrality rules, companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon will be able to call all the shots and decide which websites, content and applications succeed.
The idea that dismantling Net Neutrality empowers consumers is simply untrue.
Without Net Neutrality, your internet service provider (ISP) can now slow down their competitors’ content or block political opinions they disagree with. They can charge extra fees to the few content companies that can afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service.
And how will the next disruptive technology, business or company emerge, when ISPs can squash competition before it even gets started?
How does that “empower consumers”?
And losing Net Neutrality is more than a blow to our wallets and business innovation, it’s a threat to our democracy.
Marginalized groups such as people of color, the LGBTQ community, indigenous peoples and religious minorities in the United States rely on a free and open internet to organize and raise awareness, to fight back against systemic discrimination.
Without Net Neutrality, how can these groups fight against oppression? Who will hear their voices? How will they gain justice and equality?
But the fight isn’t over yet!