Thursday, the FCC will vote on the fate of net neutrality. If successful in rolling back the 2015 rules that banned internet service providers from prioritizing certain internet traffic over others, it will be the difference between a free and open online experience, and one where corporations dictate what you can see, and how fast you can see it.
To understand the importance of net neutrality—and the public fight to preserve it—we’re gathering here a collection that illustrates what it is, why it matters, and how lost the internet would be without it. Meanwhile, you can watch the FCC vote unfold live right here, starting at 10:30 ET.
Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu coined the term “net neutrality.” Here, he argues that its abolishment overturns precedents that date back to the ’70s.
What would the end of net neutrality mean in practice? Nothing good—unless you’re a giant ISP.
One argument in favor of pulling net neutrality laws is that it’ll be good for innovation. In fact, argues Stanford Law School fellow Ryan Singel, it will stifle the startups who provide just that.
Given its popularity, doing away with net neutrality will exact a political toll—but not on the agency behind it.
The creation of more expensive internet “fast lanes” could make it much harder for students and colleges to benefit from online learning tools, like streaming lecture videos.
Keeping track of how various administrations treat technology in the Trump administration—the Department of Justice wants to block AT&T’s proposed Time Warner acquisition, while the FCC wants to do away with net neutrality—can give you whiplash. But it also speaks to deeper conflicts in Trump’s efforts to balance populism with deregulation.
Some respected internet analysts actually agree with the FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality rules, while still supporting net neutrality in general. But the argument that pre-existing protections alone can prevent ISPs from misbehaving is simply false.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s net neutrality overreach is a trick, argues Backchannel columnist and Harvard Law School professor Susan Crawford, designed to distract from the core issue of broadband accessibility.
Out of 22 million public comments, a full million came from bots. Millions more came from form letters, making it nearly impossible to sort real concerns from fake.
Current FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel argues that the net neutrality vote shouldn’t go forward until the agency better understands how bots hacked the comment period.
If the FCC ever does investigate, they’ll see just how hard it is to tell the real comments from the bots and form letters. We know, because we tried to find all 39 Nicholas Thompsons who commented.
The assumption was that Pai’s plan to replace net neutrality would be bad, but maybe not this bad; the agency’s proposal reads like a worst-case checklist for open web advocates.
For the longest time, Apple set on the net neutrality sidelines. This summer, it finally joined the fray—in part, at least, because the company’s newfound interest in creating original content means it could feel throttling’s impact directly.
Looking for a primer on what all the fuss is about? Here’s your look at why net neutrality matters, even when it feels like lost cause.
A conversation with the Senate’s staunchest net neutrality advocate on what can be done, both within and without the political process.
A current FCC commissioner and former FCC general counsel lay out the competitive case for keeping net neutrality alive.
During his tenure as FCC chair in the Obama administration, Tom Wheeler fought to preserve the fundamentals of net neutrality. Without it, he says in this exclusive interview, internet freedom will be lost.
In this op-ed, NYU economist Nicholas Economides argues that net neutrality shouldn’t pit people against companies. In fact, it’s actively good for business.
Sam Altman, president of the influential Y Combinator start-up indicator, argues in this op-ed that early-stage companies shouldn’t merely take an interest in net neutrality; they have an obligation to fight for it.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking net neutrality applies to video only. But in truth, its demise would exact a serious toll across the entire internet–especially the internet of things.
Remember, no matter what happens Thursday: This isn’t over.
© 2018 Condé Nast. All rights reserved.
Frank’s source: https://www.wired.com/story/net-neutrality-fight-wired-guide/
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