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Article Update, July 14, 2017 | 11 a.m. PST :
As of Thursday, the results of this week's Internet-wide Day of Action are as follows:
For more information on how your participation helped make a difference in the battle for net neutrality, check out the site's recap here.
On July 12, 2017, websites, internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. Experts Exchange has thrown their hat into the ring, joining companies like Netflix, Vimeo, and Amazon to protect users' rights online.
Our official statement says, "Experts Exchange believes in a user's right to net neutrality. On July 12th, an internet-wide Day of Action, we will stand alongside those who support Title II, the legal framework protecting our online freedom."
The announcement by FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer, Ajit Pai, comes just two years after the Title II regulation was first put in place. It was built to keep internet providers from blocking sites and apps, charging apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience, and slowing down speeds of competing providers. Internet providers were, naturally, against these regulations as it removed their ability to make their sites and products superior and preferred within their zones of service. The removal of net neutrality removes equality among ISPs. (For a great, in-depth visual explanation of how a lack of net neutrality works, check out this representation.)
Dismantling Title II goes against the FCC’s mission of the initial implementation of the initiative. Their 2015 Title II installation document, for example, states off the bat that, “The open Internet drives the American economy and serves, every day, as a critical tool for America’s citizens to conduct commerce, communicate, educate, entertain, and engage in the world around them. The benefits of an open Internet are undisputed. But it must remain open: open for commerce, innovation, and speech; open for consumers and for the innovation created by applications developers and content companies; and open for expansion and investment by America’s broadband providers. For over a decade, the Commission has been committed to protecting and promoting an open Internet.”
Revoking this regulation removes the idea and practice of an open internet. It will grant large cable companies the power to control what users see and do online. Companies such as Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Charter, etc. These companies could target streaming programs, forcing them into a slow-loading lane while companies who can afford “prioritization fees” gain greater access to users. Consumer preference will no longer play a part and the ability to pay for the right to view certain streaming sites and services will no longer be within a user’s grasp.
Without this regulation, not only will a user’s rights be revoked, but the FCC’s Title II intent of carefully tailoring rules to “protect Internet openness [to] allow investment and innovation to continue to flourish” will be shattered.
Companies like Netflix and Hulu—companies that have indisputably changed the way our society consumes content—may not have risen to the same financial success and stability if they were required to pay for viewer prioritization from the beginning. Innovation in the way content is delivered will only be attainable by those capable of paying to be innovators, possibly resulting in a slow-down of economic growth. After all, small companies and startups tend to be busy paying for product iterations and improvements and may not have the funds that will be required to compete with the large ISPs who have the funds, as 84% of all investment in U.S. internet comes from large broadband providers.
That’s why the internet-wide Day of Action was created by grassroots organizations, and has been supported by companies and individuals alike. If you join the protest on July 12th, you’ll add to the number of users and online communities standing tall against this infraction against users’ online rights.
The Battle for the Net campaign has provided tools that make it easy to take action. Learn more here.