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Defend Net Neutrality

Posted in Insights — July 10, 2017

On July 12, FINE (along with more than 50,000 people and thousands of other websites) is observing the Internet-wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality. We hope you’ll join us by filling out the form on www.battleforthenet.com and urging the FCC and Congress to protect net neutrality rules.

What is Net Neutrality?

Internet service providers (ISPs)  control what and how you access websites and services on the Internet. Net neutrality is the principle that ISPs should treat all data equally, rather than prioritizing or blocking your access in order to charge premiums or reduce competition.

Why Net Neutrality Matters

ISPs and the FCC, under the Trump administration, are looking to gut the current net neutrality rules so they can have wider latitude to engage in practices that stifle competition and cost consumers. They claim that concerns over what would happen are only hypotheticals, and that ISPs will treat services fairly even without being legally required to do so. It seems highly unlikely they’d be spending millions toward an effort to overturn laws they plan to abide by anyway.

In fact, history has shown that ISPs have already breached net neutrality rules for their own benefit:

  • Between 2011 and 2013, AT&T, Sprint and Verizon blocked Google Wallet, to favor their competing service.
  • In 2012, AT&T announced it would block FaceTime to customers unless they subscribe to more expensive plans.
  • From 2007 to 2009, AT&T forced Apple to block Skype and other VOIP services on the iPhone because they were direct competitors.
  • In 2005, Comcast was caught blocking or slowing peer-to-peer services.

These are a few examples of what ISPs are doing while net neutrality rules are still in place, demonstrating what these companies have in mind when they invest big money to remove them. With the FCC open to public comment before rolling back the 2015 regulations, it’s time to demand an open and free Internet.

Visit www.battleforthenet.com for more info on how to take action and share with others.

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