It should come as no surprise that iBrattleboro is a supporter of Net Neutrality. It’s essential for a vibrant, free, all-access internet.
Getting rid of it opens up the possibility and likelihood of ISP’s deciding what internet content gets seen, and what sites get traffic. Comcast content will slide right to you; iBrattleboro content, well maybe.
Internet access should be treated like a utility. It’s a necessity, like water and electricity.
We don’t pay extra for water to cook with and less for water to wash with — it is on, or off.
The FCC plans to hand control over to the Federal Trade Commission. But the FTC has extremely limited powers. As Karl Bode wrote at TechDirt: “Gutting FCC authority, then throwing any piddly remaining oversight of ISPs to an FTC ill-equipped to handle it is the entire plan.”
Even the FCC agrees. FCC CTO Eric Burger recently wrote in an email (that leaked…):
“If the ISP is transparent about blocking legal content, there is nothing the [Federal Trade Commission] can do about it unless the FTC determines it was done for anti-competitive reasons. Allowing such blocking is not in the public interest.”
His concern is that internet service providers will block or throttle specific websites.
Almost 80% support Net Neutrality. If this were a democracy, the issue would be resolved in favor of Net Neutrality. Somehow, though, all of the feedback and comments to the FCC have been ignored, and Ajit Pai is about to toss us all under the proverbial bus.
Major tech corporations want Net Neutrality, too. Google, Facebook, Netflix, Reditt, the Internet Association, AirBnB, Tumbr, Etsy, Twitter, and others have come out in favor of keeping the rules as is.
Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done. I’d say write to congresspeople, but ours are on the right side of this debate. The best bet might be to boycott those who benefit from this change: AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon.