The Fight For Net Neutrality Will Continue, No Matter Who Wins
Today, the FCC will vote on whether or not they will repeal the net neutrality laws that were put into place in 2015. And while we do try not to get overly political here at Deep Core Data, we are a small business that relies heavily on the internet for our day to day operations, so for us, the result of this vote is pretty important.
At least, it certainly feels like it is. Ever since November 22nd, my social media feed has been nothing but people urging their followers to contact their congresspeople, to contact the FCC, to sign petitions, to do so many things to try and fight against this vote. A lot of people are concerned that small businesses will suffer. A lot of people are worried that ISPs will start packaging up internet access into bundles, the way they have with television. After all, many telecom companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T also provide cable or satellite services, so it’s not as if they don’t already have the infrastructure in place.
This video may be from 2014, but the fight hasn’t changed a bit since then.
Some people are worried that corporate giants will be able to manipulate our internet experience the way social media is able to manipulate the populace. In addition to a plethora of news articles about how social media affected the outcome of last year’s presidential election, a lot of tech developers have been stepping forward lately to express their guilt over the way social media is destroying society. At least two of Facebook’s executives have come forward in the past week, expressing concern about how we as a society have “adapted” to their technology.
Everything is starting to look a little grim. I try to be the eternal optimist, but it’s a bit difficult when not only is the FCC ignoring the 22 million comments submitted regarding net neutrality, but they’re blocking the investigation into comment fraud. Not only that, but Ajit Pai has straight up lied about the impact that net neutrality has had on smaller ISPs. Experts are even saying that the argument for repeal is based on a flawed understanding of how internet technology works.
Luckily, even if the motion to repeal net neutrality passes, the world isn’t going to change in a day. For starters, on December 7th, a bill was introduced to Congress that would make it difficult for the FCC to make changes to the current net neutrality laws, and many tech experts are urging them to block this vote. Many telecom companies have promised to not abuse the system once net neutrality is repealed, but since they’re already doing it anyway, you will have to forgive me for being skeptical.
Even without extra hurdles, it’ll take some time before the changes go into effect, as they have to wait until the new orders have been added to the Federal Register, which isn’t likely to happen until next year. After that, telecom companies will start slowly rolling out their new packages and service bundles as they change their business models. While this is happening, many advocates are planning to continue fighting for net neutrality through litigation, hoping to prevent the damage before things get too bad.
One thing is for sure, though. Regardless of how today’s vote turns out, this is not going to be the end of the fight over net neutrality.